I have spoken many times in this Chamber since being elected regarding how seriously Longford in particular has been affected by the closures of operations at Mountdillon and Lough Ree power stations in Lanesborough. This has had a significant affect on families who worked there and the local businesses. As I have said previously, the shortfall in rates has been made up and I am glad that we recently got a commitment that there will be a process in this regard from 2023 onwards.
A fund was made available in 2020 to support communities' transition to a low-carbon economy. The fund is a key pillar of the Government's plan for the midlands region. The focus is on retraining workers and generating sustainable employment in the green enterprise throughout the region. The objective of the fund is to facilitate innovative projects that contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the region. It supports projects that take a whole-of-midlands strategic approach and complement each other. I welcome the supports heretofore and the need for a just transition in the midlands. Some €108 million was allocated for the bog rehabilitation scheme. This is extremely welcome in my area because following the closure of both power plants, there is a great opportunity for us to turn these places into an asset such as the mid-Shannon wilderness park, a 20,000-acre national park that will be a fantastic tourism asset.
Other projects have been funded, including Lough Ree and Lanesborough food hub, which was immediately repurposed with funding from Enterprise Ireland, following Bord na Móna pulling out of the project, Lough Ree Access For All, Lough Ree Distillery, and the Yard Hub, just to name a few. This funding is crucial as it will support communities in the midlands that have been impacted by the just transition and make this region a location for green and sustainable investment.
However we are here to seek the commitment from ESB and Bord na Móna to provide funding of €500,000 to develop a community facility in the Lanesborough and Ballyleague area, following the closure of the plant. I had a meeting recently with Kieran Mulvey, the just transition commissioner, who has put these proposals to provide that funding for both Lanesborough and Shannonbridge. As yet the ESB and Bord na Móna have not made a commitment to do so. I ask for a commitment from the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications that either the ESB or Bord na Móna provide this funding proposed by the commissioner to develop a community facility in Lanesborough, County Longford.