Belfast Telegraph

Plastic bag levy puts £1m into green fund

BY LINDA STEWART

A scheme to encourage new local environmental projects in Northern Ireland has been given £1m from the carrier bag levy.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said the money will go to the Challenge Fund scheme, which provides funding for communities and organisations to develop new and inspiring green projects across Northern Ireland.

The fund has been run as a pilot scheme for the last two years, but has been so successful that it has now been allocated core funding of £1m for 2014.

Meanwhile, this year the Forest Service will also be providing £200,000 for forest-based partner/community-led projects.

Previous projects included trying to attract seabirds to breed on the Copeland Islands using decoys, as highlighted in the Belfast Telegraph this week.

Minister Durkan said: "This fund is about challenging and inspiring local communities to look at what they can do differently to improve the environment. It's about encouraging and supporting energetic partnerships between local businesses, schools, youth groups and residents."

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