£50k for club that helped nurture multimillion pounds transfer target Evans

Defender Jonny Evans with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the official opening of Greenisland's new clubhouse in 2013. INLT 37-411-RM
Defender Jonny Evans with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill at the official opening of Greenisland's new clubhouse in 2013. INLT 37-411-RM

Away from the fuss of transfer deadline day, Jonny Evans’s old club has received a vital funding boost.

The club, which previously included Jonny’s brother Corry and fellow international Craig Cathcart among its ranks too, made a successful application through the Alpha Programme, which administers landfill tax credits.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Operational Committee was informed last Tuesday of Greenisland FC has obtained the funding windfall.

Philip Thompson, council’s Director of Operations, said: “Since the introduction of landfill tax, schemes were set up to administer a percentage of that revenue back to local communities who are affected by landfill operations, due to their close proximity to a landfill site.

“Initially waste going to the landfill site at Mallusk, and more recently to Mullaghglass in Lisburn, included a radius which excluded Mid and East Antrim Borough Council from accessing the fund.

“In 2015, representation was made to Arc21 to ensure that when the new landfill contact was put in place that discussions took place to extend the radius so that all Councils who were depositing waste could access funds.

“The Alpha Fund which administers the landfill tax credits from Mullaghglass landfill site recently reviewed its radius and extended it to 15 miles, which ensured that an area of Mid and East Antrim was now covered.”

Having built up a knowledge of the types of projects which were being submitted and funded, local government officers identified potential projects within the Greenisland area which local community groups could apply to.

Given the extensive work needing to be carried out around the Greenisland pitches, to link in with the proposal to provide a 3G facility, the club was informed of an opportunity to apply through this funding stream.

Greenisland submitted an application which included a commitment from council to lease the grass pitches to the club. The application was successful.

Given the benefit to the area and local community, MEA Council agreed to contribute 10% match funding to the project.

The club, which has around 200 players, anticipates the pitches will be available for use from April 2018.

Mr Thompson added: “Our ongoing relationship with Greenisland FC reflects an important part of the Council’s Corporate Plan - to support building a safer, stronger, healthier community and ensure the delivery of high performance facilities in the borough.”