ESB Covid Recovery Fund Guidelines

The COVID-19 Emergency fund was launched in 2020, to support communities within the Area of Benefit of ESB windfarms. The fund was open to initiatives and activities addressing the impact of coronavirus in the community.


The fund was delivered in two stages: Emergency and Recovery.

Emergency aimed to support not-for-profit and voluntary community-based organisations delivering COVID-19 emergency projects and activities to support vulnerable sections of the community

    • provision of meals, emergency food parcels or other support for the isolated and vulnerable.
    • collection of and delivering prescriptions and medication for the isolated and vulnerable.
    • resources and activities related to the delivery of the above such as PPE, fuel, transport services, volunteer expenses.
    • Home schooling support including access to laptops, school materials and other related items.

    Recovery fund supported initiatives and activities addressing the aftermath impact of coronavirus in the community.

    • Capital work/equipment required to re-open facilities/services safely. For example, installation of hand sanitising stations, screens, signs, cleaning products and equipment, upgrade to buildings
    • Volunteer schemes that support any of the themes or support the upskilling of individuals who have been directly affected by the economic crisis of the covid-19 pandemic. For example, volunteers’ expenses at the foodbank, volunteer (re) training costs, equipment for volunteer roles.
    • Equipment and volunteer expenses for projects addressing the improvement of mental and physical well-being of communities and individuals. For example, outdoor recreation projects, environmental campaigns, community gardens

    Eligibility to Apply



    To be eligible to apply, your organisation must:

    • Be located within:
      • 10 km of Crockdun Wind Farm
      • or 10 km of Crockagarran Wind Farm
      • or 7 km of Carrickatane Wind Farm
      • or 7 km of Eglish Wind Farm
      • Curryfree Wind Farm will not receive applications for the recovery fund. But applications for the yearly ESB Community Fund will open in Autumn 2020
    • OR the primary beneficiaries of your project must be located within one of the above areas of benefit
    • Be a constituted group**

    A constituted group is one that has a governing document (i.e. memorandum/articles of association or constitution).New groups formed in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus or groups that are not formally constituted are encouraged to work with a local constituted group, which has previously submitted an application to ESB for funding on a partnership basis and should identify that the constituted group will be the lead applicant on the project. 



    Whilst we are open to a broad range of proposals, we cannot support:

    • Projects operated by individuals / private sector organisations
    • Projects which primarily benefit organisations that apply restrictive ‘members only’ conditions of access
    • Projects where work has commenced prior to application
    • Projects which directly replace statutory activities/funding
    • Projects which provide unnecessary duplication of activities/services/infrastructure within the community
    • Projects which do not directly benefit the local community
    • Projects where duplicate funding from other sources exists, however match funding is welcomed
    • Projects which conflict with or adversely affect the aim, objectives or policy of ESB or any other associated companies (i.e non-renewable energy)
    • Projects which directly promote or advance any particular religion or faith; any particular political party; any type of hunting or shooting
    • Projects which seek to purchase / cover the cost of salaries of core staff; business plans and feasibility studies; funding campaign contributions or costs; recoverable VAT costs or routine repairs and maintenance, and/or normal running costs

    Area Maps

    Funding Available

    Suggested awards of £1,000 per application.
    Funding will be paid in advance to successful applicants.
    We will expect organisations to account for all expenses incurred in the delivery of the project upon completion of the evaluation report.



    The fund is open until 15 November.
    Applicants will be informed the outcome of their application in Jan/Feb 2023

    Your project will be given up to six months from receipt of letter of offer to be completed


    Application Process

    Applications should be completed and submitted using the online application form.

    In addition to a completed application form, you will be required to submit:

    • A copy of your constitution
    • A filled BACS form
    • A copy of your most recent bank statement
    • A copy of safeguarding policies and guidelines
    • A copy of all applicable volunteer forms

    Please note that we expect applicants to have robust safeguarding policies in place to support the proposed project/activity. If you are working in partnership, please ensure the lead applicant can demonstrate this.


    Scoring Criteria

    All applications will initially be assessed by Groundwork NI for eligibility. Those projects which meet all of the eligibility criteria will then be scored against the following:

    Scoring Criterion Max. Score Description
    Ability to address an identified community need 30 Scores will reflect how clearly the need for the project has been identified and evidenced, and how equipped the applicant is to deliver this activity.
    Benefit to the community 30 Scores will reflect the number of beneficiaries and how clearly the project addresses the aftermath of the covid-19
    Impact of the project in tackling issues as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. 20 Scores will reflect how much the project will impact the need created by covid-19 pandemic in the community.
    Life-spam of project/activity 10 Scores will reflect that project can be delivered within maximum of 3 months of receipt of funding.

    Proximity of the project to the wind farm.

    Note: One application per group per windfarm. If a group is located within proximity of more than one windfarm; the application should be to the closest windfarm.


    Projects/activities located closer or benefitting the community closer to an ESB Wind Farm will score more highly than those located further away.

    Note that Curryfree is not part of the recovery funding.