Sport NI has 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.
Sport NI research found 80% of sports clubs are ambitious about reducing their environmental footprint and aspire to implement environmental strategies and plans. This Renewable Energy Fund will make a significant contribution to helping clubs reduce their environmental impact and will support clubs to plan for a greener future.
Richard Archibald, Interim CEO, Sport NI, said: “Sport NI’s Five Year Plan – ‘The Power of Sport’ commits to reducing the environmental impact of sport, by leading by example and supporting sports clubs to implement positive change.
“Our Renewable Energy Fund aims to reduce carbon emissions, grow a greener sports sector, whilst also reducing running costs. Clubs can reinvest savings into developing their sport or other club infrastructure, or mitigate costs for their members and communities, particularly important during the current cost of living crisis.”
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.
Sport NI’s Renewable Energy Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery players who raise more than £30m for good causes each week.
For more information on how to apply, please visit: https://bit.ly/RenewableEnergyFund
Caption: Solar panels at the new Newforge Sports Complex.