Lough Ree Power, Lanesboro
Longford County Council is to receive €1.4 million in 2021 to help compensate for the loss of commercial rates arising from the closure of Lough Ree power station, Lanesboro.
Peter Burke, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, today confirmed that Government funding of €3.3 million will be provided to Offaly County Council in 2021 and an amount of €1.4 million will also be provided to Longford County Council in 2021.
This funding is being provided to the two local authorities in the context of the impending closure of power plants in both Counties at the end of 2020.
The package of funding recognises the serious impact that these closures will have on the commercial rates income for the authorities in question.
Indeed, it should be noted in 2019, Lanesboro accounted for some 15% of Longford County Council rates income, and Shannonbridge accounted for approximately 20% of Offaly County Council’s rates income.
In 2020, the Government has already made €900 million available to local authorities to enable a full rates waiver. This Government support has been critical in terms of supporting local businesses but also in terms of supporting local authorities deliver key services to communities in their local areas.
Minister Burke said, “As Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, I have seen at first hand the great work of our local authorities up and down the country. This has especially been the case during COVID-19, when we have seen our local authorities lead the Community Call initiative and provide vital services to citizens. The great work of local authorities is recognised by this Government and the local authority sector can be assured of this."
He added, “I am delighted today to confirm to both Offaly County Council and Longford County Council that funding of €4.7 million is being provided in 2021 to support the work of these two local authorities, having regard to the closure of power plants in both authority areas.
"Minister O’Brien and I have been working with Minister McGrath in recent weeks to secure this funding and I have no doubt that the funding in question will make a huge difference and will support the delivery of key services for the communities in both these Counties."
Meanwhile, Senator Micheàl Carrigy also welcomed the announcement by Minister Burke, TD, saying that it recognises the serious impact the closure of Lough Ree Power will have on Longford County Council's commercial rates income.
He added, "We will be looking for further funding to cover the years 2022 up to 2027 when the station was originally due to close. Special word of thanks to Minister Burke for his continued support for projects in Longford."