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Lottery grants provide local groups with thermal insulation

Local groups across Northern Ireland have installed thermal insulation after receiving lottery grants as part of the Big Lottery Fund's Energy Efficient Venues programme.

One theatrical group in Dungannon plans to increase its energy efficiency through upgrades at its headquarters.

Following a cash injection of over £40,000, Community Recreational Arts In Coalisland (CRAIC) will use the funding to make its base more hospitable.

Brian Duffin, management committee member for the group, commented that there had always been problems controlling the temperate of the building.

He added: “It was either too hot or too cold. Insulation is inadequate or non-existent and everything, including the lighting, was originally installed by volunteers on a very limited budget."

CRAIC intends to install a new heating system, draught-proofing and lighting, as well as a new entrance to the building to replace the current 100-year-old porch.

Local football club Aghaloo GFC has also received a share of the grants and has been awarded £31,790 to make improvements to the group's hall.

Connor McCarron, club secretary, stated the developments will reduce energy bills and save the team money towards a range of events and activities for the community to take part in.

"We will use the grant to insulate and draught proof the building, install zoned heating and water heating, replace existing lighting and fit new external doors," he was quoted by the Tyrone Times as saying.

Upcoming renovations will benefit a number of the local football clubs - including under-eight teams and senior squads - as well as residents who use the hall for Irish language classes and dance lessons.

The aim is to make the community space warmer and easier to heat so locals have the opportunity to hold more events, Mr McCarron concluded.

Energy Efficient Venues offers grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 or £15,000 and £50,000 for community groups who need to upgrade loft and wall insulation or install better heating fixtures but ended its call for applications in June this year.

Posted by Paul Taylor