On 9th October 2023, Sport NI opened a new £1million pound capital investment fund which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of sports clubs throughout Northern Ireland and contribute to a more sustainable sports club network.
Funded by The National Lottery, the Renewable Energy Fund will support sports clubs with infrastructure upgrades such as solar energy systems, air and ground source heating systems, sustainable water recycling solutions, and floodlight upgrades.
The Renewable Energy Fund will be delivered as a pilot programme in 2023/24, as Sport NI gathers information on which environmental interventions have the greatest impact within sports clubs. The fund was developed using feedback from sports clubs through Sport NI’s Environmental Sustainability Survey.
Investment will be spread across Northern Ireland with at least one club from each of the 11 council areas being selected to take part. To be eligible, clubs must have completed Sport NI’s Environmental Sustainability Survey.
Phelim Sharvin, Head of Community Finance for Northern Ireland at Community Finance Ireland said:
“I welcome the announcement of this new initiative from Sport NI which will enable sports clubs across Northern Ireland to invest in infrastructure upgrades in line with renewable energy ambitions. Not only will the initiative have a positive impact on the environment but it will reduce clubs’ long term energy costs, allowing them to invest the savings into other areas of the clubs’ development.”
WHO CAN APPLY?
- The Renewable Energy Fund Pilot Programme will only accept applications from sports organisations in Northern Ireland who either own or operate their own sports facilities.
WHAT TYPE OF PROJECTS CAN BE FUNDED?
- Sport NI are interested in taking forward the following types of energy projects within sports clubs:
- Solar Energy Systems (and ancillary equipment).
- Air Source Heating Systems (and ancillary equipment).
- Ground Source Heating Systems (and ancillary equipment).
- Sustainable Water Recycling Systems.
- Fixed Floodlight Upgrades (Specifically upgrades to LED Bulbs and Connection to Grid).
- Sport NI may consider alternative interventions if recommended in your club energy audit, and if the benefits of that intervention have been clearly articulated.
If you are ready to apply to the Sport NI Renewable Energy Fund, click here for more details.