2022/23 Water Quality Challenge Fund now open - Poots

Date published: 28 June 2022

Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has launched this year’s Environmental Challenge Fund Competition which will provide funding to projects led by local stakeholders to help improve our aquatic environment.

Daera Minister Edwin Poots
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA

The grant scheme will be running from 24 June 2022 until 31 March 2023. The funding is for constituted not for profit organisations and councils. The grant will cover up to 85% of funding for projects costing £5,000 to £30,000.

Announcing this year’s competition, Minister Poots said: “I’m delighted to launch the Water Quality Challenge Fund today. The Water Quality Challenge Fund will support volunteers in their communities to further improve water quality. Water based community groups are invaluable contributors to our plans to improve water quality.

“These groups work tirelessly every day of the week to ensure the water quality in their local catchment improves. They monitor water quality, participate in pollution prevention and are well placed to build relationships within the catchment to bring about improvements. The Water Quality strand offers funding opportunities for not only local conservation projects, but also to connect people with their local rivers.”

He added: “Since becoming Environment Minister I have seen at first hand the inspiring behind-the-scenes efforts volunteers from community groups put in everyday in partnership working to champion local conservation efforts. I want to commend their enthusiastic approach and efforts.

“So I’m calling today for inspiring applications to improve water quality across the province – don’t forget the deadline is 26 July.”

The 2022/23 strand of the fund is aimed at local communities and voluntary organisations to run small projects to bring about improvements in their local water environment.

The closing date for applications for the 2022/23 Water Quality Improvement Strand of the Environmental Challenge Fund Competition is 23:59 h on 26 of July 2022.

Further information, including guidance notes and details of how you can apply for funding.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Environmental Challenge Fund is available to not-for-profit organisations and Councils to deliver on water quality priorities across Northern Ireland. Grants are available between £5,000 and £30,000 through the competition to cover up to 85% of eligible project costs. A finding pot of £200,000 is available to support projects.

2. The three key themes for funding under this Challenge Competition are:
• Conservation and restoration of our aquatic environments
• Nature-based solutions, particularly for climate change mitigation and adaptation
• Connecting people with the aquatic environment

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4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk

5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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