Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Mr Peter Burke TD
The Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Mr Peter Burke TD, has announced the provision of an additional €1.3m funding specifically for Longford County Council as part of budget 2022, continuing the financial support he provided in 2021.
The funding has been allocated in recognition of the impact of the closure of Lough Ree power plant in Lanesboro, which had a significant impact on the local authority’s commercial rates income, and a knock on impact on other activity in Lanesborough and the wider county.
Prior to closure, the Lough Ree plant accounted for approximately 16% of the rates receipts for Longford County Council.
“A financial loss of this magnitude would be challenging in normal circumstances”, said Minister Burke, “but particularly so over the course of 2020 and 2021, given the wider commercial environment. I liaise with the Executive and members of Longford County Council regularly and am aware of the acute need for the Government to step in to provide income lost due to the closure of the plant. I have secured funding again this year from my Department for this purpose, and these funds will provide certainty to the council in the development of its budget for next year.
“Just Transition is integral to the Government’s Climate Action Plan, and we are committed to supporting our midlands communities who are transitioning to a low carbon economy. We must put our money where our mouth when it comes to this support.
“It is recognised that the power plant made a significant contribution to the rates income of Longford County Council, and the serious impact closure has had. The Government is committed to providing some funding certainty at this time, and the allocation is to provide support and mitigate the losses in these local economies.”
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