Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Just Transition Fund
100. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will defer the community contribution required under the just transition fund in view of the difficulty for communities to fundraise during Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30796/20]
My Department published its call for proposals under the Just Transition Fund on 19 June 2020. In line with the normal conditions for Exchequer-funded grants schemes, the terms and conditions for this call included a requirement that funding for projects include a minimum level of funding to be provided by the project itself. This minimum amount was set at 15% for this call, with the Just Transition Fund contributing a maximum of 85% of the total project cost. This requirement for matching funding ensures a level of commitment from applicants that helps to underpin the viability and of project proposals.
The Department envisages that projects that are approved for funding will be able to drawdown funding from the Just Transition Fund on a regular basis for the duration of the project and that a project’s matching funding be spent concurrently with each Just Transition Fund drawdown paid to the project. This reduces the risk to the Exchequer that matching funding requirements may not be met by an individual project. In addition, projects may also receive up to 25% of the Just Transition Fund contribution to that project in pre-funding where requested and where a rationale is provided.
I am advised by my Department that a range of approaches for securing matching funding has been evidenced from Just Transition Fund applications in the community and voluntary sector, including local fund-raising, funding provided by other public bodies, corporate and philanthropic contributions, and engagement with dedicated providers of loan finance to that sector, such as Clann Credo. I am, therefore, satisfied that relevant organisations whose projects are approved for support from the Just Transition Fund have a number of options open to them to secure the matching funding required.