ESB Covid Recovery Fund Guidelines

The COVID-19 Recovery fund aims to support communities within the Area of Benefit of ESB windfarms. The fund is open to initiatives and activities addressing the aftermath impact of coronavirus in the community.
The fund is open to not-for-profit and voluntary community-based organisations delivering projects and activities to support the community in the existing wind farm areas of benefit.
The funding is not to be used to fund organisational running costs; however, volunteer expenses will be covered.

What can we fund?

The recovery fund will focus on the following themes:

  • Continuation of immediate/emergency support to groups at-risk because of covid-19. For example, foodbanks, delivery of meals to shielding, activity packs for home schooling.
  • 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 do not directly benefit the local community
  • Projects which conflict with or adversely affect the aim, objectives, or policy of ESB or associated companies
  • Projects which directly promote or advance any religion, faith, or a political party
  • Projects which seek to cover running costs, trips, funding campaign contributions or costs,
  • Projects that cannot follow government and health agency advice on safety during covid-19 pandemic.
  • The fund will not reimburse recoverable VAT or retrospective expenditure

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.



Closing date for applications is Monday 10 August.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application at the end of August 2020.

As this is emergency funding, we will expect that your project is delivered within 3 months of receiving funding.


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.