£400k has been made available for local environmental projects thanks to the charge for plastic bags.
Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen announced the funding today (Wednesday).
An initial £400,000, sourced from the carrier bag levy, will be available for the Challenge Fund in the current financial year for not-for-profit organisations delivering projects which aim to improve the local environment and boost civic pride.
Speaking about the fund, the Minister said: “The Challenge Fund is one of a number of mechanisms by which the proceeds of the carrier bag levy are reinvested in the environment. This funding of £400,000, with potentially further support later in the year, will enable local communities, schools and voluntary organisations to undertake small-scale projects to improve the environment and deliver environmental education.
“Community groups can use the funding to enhance civic pride in their local area through, for example, tidying a local beach or neglected beauty spot or creating and enhancing areas where the public can enjoy the local environment. Schools can take advantage of the financial support to create eco-gardens and provide learning opportunities where children and young people can engage with nature.
“To date more than £4.6m has been offered from the Challenge Fund, enabling almost 600 environmental projects to be carried out, and I am pleased to be able to deliver further resources for the fund and ensure this good work in our schools and communities can continue.”