New Water Grant 6 September 2012
New Water Quality Improvement Grant
NIEA launched on 3 September 2012, a competitive grant scheme which aims to provide funding for local projects which it is hoped will help to improve water quality. Find out more about the Water Quality Improvement Grant and how you can apply for it.
What is the Water Quality Improvement Grant?
The aim of the Water Quality Improvement grant is to help the wider community to contribute to ecological improvements in the local water quality and will focus on the objectives set out in the River Basin Management Plans to meet the demands of the Water Framework Directive.
Who can apply for a Water Quality Improvement Grant?
The grant scheme is open to a broad range of not–for– profit organisations such as community groups, schools, environmental charities, Rivers Trusts and local councils.
What type of project will the grant be awarded to?
The aim of the grant is to achieve improved ecological status or prevent deterioration in one or more quality elements through targeting the following problems:
· Diffuse / Point Source Pollution
· Invasive Alien Species
· Fish Habitat Enhancement
· Morphological Conditions
· Flow Regulation
To discover if the Water Environment near you is affected by any of these problems please check on the NIEA Interactive Web Map at www.ni-environment.gov.uk
How will the grant be awarded?
This is a competitive grant programme which is likely to attract more applications than can be supported by the current budget. Funding will therefore be allocated to projects which will contribute to the improvement of water quality and meet specific criteria.
Can the grant be used to improve all types of water bodies?
The grant may be used to improve water quality of rivers, lakes, canals, estuaries, coastal waters or ground waters.
Are there any water related projects which are not eligible?
Normally grant funding will not be awarded to projects which:
- Are eligible for funding through existing financing mechanisms such as the Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme. Where there are gaps and opportunities such funding may be considered.
- Where EU State Aid rules will be contravened. These rules relate to the effect of public funding on competition and trade.
Can the costs of monitoring and evaluation be included?
Yes, but the project should not be solely about monitoring and evidence gathering. Projects must design a robust post project evaluation to determine if the actions taken have led to an improvement in water quality.
How much money can I apply for?
Each project can attract funding up to a maximum of £10k. Grants will normally be awarded up to 75% of the total project costs, therefore match funding will be required to make up the shortfall. This can be either monetary or payment ‘in – kind’ e.g. voluntary labour.
Who can give advice?
You should discuss your project proposal with your local Catchment Management Officer. They will be able to give you an INDICATION of what elements of the project MAY be eligible for grant aid and how they can best deliver NIEA river basin planning objectives. However the final decision will be dependant on the assessment of the completed application and the availability of finance. No firm indication should be assumed unless you receive a formal Letter of Offer.
How can I apply for the Water Quality Improvement Grant?
More details and an application form can be found at: http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/water-home/wfd/public_partic_3/make_difference.htm or by contacting your local Catchment Management Officer.