The Challenge Fund provides vital funding for communities and organisations to develop a number of new and inspiring local environmental projects across Northern Ireland.

The Challenge Fund was run as a pilot scheme for the last two years. Due to its success it was allocated this core funding of £1million for 2014. In addition to this year, the Forest Service provided £200,000 for forest-based partner/community-led projects.

The 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; those who want to transform and shape their local environment for the better.

The Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) was contracted to administer the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) Challenge Fund for 2014.

The Lough Neagh Partnership where fortunate to secure funding for four standalone projects that have now been completed on time and budget.