SSE Airtricity presents over £61,000 to community groups in Fermanagh and Tyrone

SSE Airtricity, Northern Ireland’s second largest energy provider, has presented £61,769 to 30 community groups near the Bessy Bell, Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms in counties Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Through its Community Fund programme, SSE Airtricity makes annual contributions to community groups located close to its wind farms. SSE Airtricity sold the Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms in 2012, however, the company is still proud to operate the Community Fund on behalf of the owners, Greencoat UK Wind.

This year’s presentation took place in the Silver Birch Hotel in Omagh and brings the overall contribution to local groups through the Bin Mountain, Tappaghan and Bessy Bell Community Funds to over £651,000 since 2006.

This year, 30 local groups received funding, including schools, sports clubs and community associations.

Ardstraw Youth & Community Forum will be using this year’s contribution towards upgrading floodlights with LED bulbs.  The pitch suffered flood damage in August 2017 and the lighting system was left unsafe and mostly unusable.

Aaron Hempton, Chairman of Ardstraw Youth & Community Forum, said: “The current state of the floodlights on our pitch, which hosts many social, recreational and community programmes for people living within rural Newtownstewart, are at present not fit for purpose. Over the last year, many activities had to be cancelled due to floodlight failure.  SSE Airtricity’s funding will enable us to fix the lighting and contribute greatly towards helping the club get back on its feet.”

Ederney St. Josephs Primary School will be using this year’s contribution to fit new energy-efficient lighting in the school.

Liam Monaghan, Principal at Ederney St. Josephs Primary School, said: “We hope to boost our Eco-Schools work by tackling our tired, out-dated, inefficient lighting system, replacing fittings with energy efficient ones.  The new energy efficient lighting together with our solar panels which the fund supported last year, will play a vital role in educating pupils, parents, staff and the wider community, about the contribution energy conservation can make in our environment”

Other projects being supported range from fitting energy-efficient lighting at Mountjoy Football Club, St. Columba’s Parish, Derg Parish Church and Ardstraw Parish Presbyterian Church, to improving insulation at Ederney St. Joseph’s GAA, Kirlish  Ulster Scot, Castlederg Young Loyalists and Castlederg Baptist Church, to windows and doors at Ederney Community Development Trust, Omagh House and Newtownstewart Leisure Centre, to installation of a storm porch at Kesh Development Association Charitable Trust and water safety equipment for Derg Valley Community Angling Club.

Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity Community Development Officer, commented: “We’re delighted to presenting over £61,000 to 30 forward-thinking and important community projects this year. As always, it’s great to see so much of the money going towards improvements in energy efficiency, which is a fantastic way to secure long-term benefits for the community.”

SSE Airtricity’s Bessy Bell Wind Farm and Greencoat UK Wind’s Bin Mountain and Tappaghan Wind Farms can generate 51.5MW of clean, green energy combined.