The objective of the Fund is to contribute to the long-term economic, social, environmental and cultural development of the Erris area and to provide both financial and non-financial support to ideas and projects that will benefit Erris.

An Independent Advisory Board was appointed in December 2007 and has made recommendations on the formation of the Fund to the Corrib Gas Partners. The Advisory Board will assess proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Corrib Gas Partners. Projects that fall under the following categories will be eligible to apply for funding.

  • Enterprise and Knowledge (including education)
  • Marine and Environment (including tourism)
  • Sports and Culture

The Erris Development fund will have a programme manager and this person will act as the primary focal point on issues relating to the Fund. Non-financial support - for example - advice on business planning may also be available via the programme manager.

In June 2008 the Advisory Board advertised in the local papers seeking expressions of interest from groups who had projects that would be of benefit to Erris. Following this process the Corrib Gas Partners, together with the Advisory board is pleased to announce the following funding with immediate effect

  • €200,000 to Ballyglass RNLI for the provision of a new inshore lifeboat and associated facilities. These include a land rover and trailer, which ensures multi-site launch capability for the new lifeboat and a new boathouse located in Belmullet town.
  • €200,000 to Belmullet GAA towards the funding of phase two of the development of pitches and facilities including a new clubhouse.

During 2009 the Corrib Gas Partners and the Advisory Board will seek feedback from the local community on the Fund.

Terry Nolan, Managing Director, SEPIL said "This Fund offers a great opportunity to bring real benefits to North West Mayo. We have been very impressed with the quality of applications and expressions of interest from local groups to date and look forward to seeing this fund make a long term difference to the economic and social development of Erris ".

“We are delighted that after two years of work we are in a position to formally launch a long term fund with an Independent Advisory Board. Shell companies operate similar Social Investment Funds in many parts of the world. The focus of our Social Investment Funds is always on the communities closest to our operations and we will work to ensure that the Corrib Gas Erris Development Fund will bring long term benefits to the parish of Kilcommon and the wider Erris area over the years to come ”.

Picture Caption: Advisory board members pictured with Shell staff at the launch of the Corrib Natural Gas Erris Development Fund, l to r; Padraic Philbin Mayo County Council, Frank Fullard Mayo County Enterprise Board, Fiona Togher Shell, Sean Hannick Council for the West, Susan Shannon Shell, Padraic Cosgrove Leader, Alan Mee Shell and Sean O’Coisdealbha Údarás na Gaeltachta. The fund will last for the life of the field and the first phase of the fund from 2009- 2012 will have a budget of up to €5 million.

Further details of the Fund, including the process for applying and the guidelines are available through SEPIL’s Belmullet office at 097 27100. Download the Erris Development Fund brochure.