Climate / Sustainability / Environment Reporting

Environment and Carbon Footprint Report 2024

Local authorities are in a leading position to demonstrate CO₂ reductions through their activities and behaviour as an example of best practise to residents and local businesses.

By calculating their own emissions and making in-house reductions, in addition to increasing awareness and supporting local businesses and residents, carbon emissions can be reduced across each local authority area and therefore across the country as a whole, meeting the government's climate change targets.

We are committed to reducing its carbon footprint and improving environmental performance year on year.

This is demonstrated through its accreditation to ISO 14001:2015, the international standard for environmental management.

Council’s environment policy can be viewed on the Council website's Environmental Policy page.

Council has adopted 2019/20 as its carbon baseline year.

It should be noted that from 1 April 2024 a revision to the Agile Working Policy requires staff to work in the office 3 days per week (previously 2).

Energy Use


Energy use

(Electric gas oil)


(LGA Accounting Tool)

No. employees

tCO2e per employee


21,102,645 kWh





22,840,333 kWh





23,229,518 kWh





17,509,843 kWh





24,552,132 kWh




Council has reduced its energy consumption by 9% compared to previous year (and by 18% compared to 2019/20 baseline year) due to energy efficiency measures.




Total fuel used by vehicle fleet (litres)


(LGA Accounting Tool)

No. employees

tCO2e per employee


























Council’s fleet fuel consumption decreased by 3% from previous year (and by 5% to the baseline year) due to the operation of Sullatober Transfer station and, Eco-Driver training and fuel saving initiatives.

Carbon Footprint


Total tCO2e

(LGA Accounting Tool)

tCO2e per employee
















Council has reduced its carbon footprint by 2% compared to the previous year (and by 7% 2019/20 baseline year) due to the introduction of energy efficiency measures, electricity being generated from more renewable sources and behavioural change of staff.



Waste generated per employee (kg)

% Recycled

tCO2e from waste landfilled

tCO2e from waste landfilled per employee


























Internal waste has increased on previous year due to more staff returning to offices on a more frequent basis.

Staff have achieved an internal recycling rate of 52.74% for 2023/24.



Water Consumption (m3)

No. of Employees

Water Consumption per employee (m3)





















Water consumption has reduced by 20.8% compared to the previous year (and by 19.7% compared to 2019/20 baseline year).

An internal desktop audit has been completed to identify historic and possible live water loss events.

Key Achievements 2023/24

Environmental Education:

  • We delivered a series of waste management / sustainability comms campaigns annually, in partnership with WRAP.
    In terms of waste management specifically, we promoted the new DAERA/WRAP designed My Recycling NI website, which clearly demonstrates end destinations for waste/recycling streams – this provides information and gives confidence to our residents as to the actual end destination of their recycling efforts.
    We have also in January 2024 become a new member of the Northern Ireland Resource Network (NIRN) who promote sustainable reuse and repair as a practical and effective way of tackling Northern Ireland’s waste generation and develop opportunities in the Circular Economy.
  • Council continue to support the Eco Schools Programme through online learning to all 77 MEA schools, including Wrigley’s Litter Less Campaign, Translink Travel Challenge, Single-Use Plastic Project. Council provided £10,942 to KNIB for 2023/24 academic year to support a new Big Wheelie Bin Challenge to encourage school pupils (and their families) to recycle.
    Council and Eco Schools - Charlene McKeown (Environmental Education Manager) delivered an Eco Schools Cluster meeting on the 18 September 2023 which brought together over 27 school teachers and delivery partners.
    The Eco Schools team undertook 55 school visits (up from 25 previous year), delivered coastal projects to 3 coastal schools, delivered Wheelie Big Challenge to 10 schools, and awarded new Green Flag awards to 20 schools.
    Ulidia Integrated College secured Ambassador School for the second year. 25% (19) of schools have a current Green Flag.
    2023/24 saw 20 new Green Flags being presented.
    Ulidia College retain the Ambassador Eco Schools Award.
    36 schools retained their Silver Certificate, 7 schools currently hold Bronze Certificates.
    We continue to keep all MEA schools up to date with funding opportunities including the DAERA Climate Challenge Fund, the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme and the DAERA Marine Litter Capital Grant.
    We also keep schools up to date with training opportunities including DAERA/KNIB Climate Change Programme and Carbon Literacy Programme.
  • Council awarded £12,800 to 10 projects across the borough (currently being delivered), through the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme in partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful – projects are to support communities to improve their local area and promote civic pride among residents.


  • We continue to engage with our residents through social media/press releases/website info/Bin-ovation app delivering waste reduction and recycling comms campaigns to help to reach EU recycling targets (50% by 2020 [achieved], 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030).
  • In October 2023 we delivered Recycle Week which focussed on The Big Recycling Hunt - and “missed capture”: the items that can be recycled but are commonly missed in the home.
    We supported this campaign through social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram), press release, Council website update, Bin-ovation app update, as well as ‘sharing’ online posts issued by WRAP.
  • Throughout December 2023 we delivered Christmas/New-Year-related comms on reducing waste and encouraging recycling.
    We also delivered a campaign on the ‘Christmas Toy Container’ project, which encouraged our residents to gift pre-loved/unwanted toys to our recycling centres, which were then provided to local charities to raise funds or were directly gifted to local community groups for families across the borough.
    We diverted 3.2 tonnes during this campaign in 2023 (down from 5.2 tonnes in 2023, 2 tonnes in 2021, 2.3 tonnes in 2020 and 1 tonne in 2019).
  • In March 2024 we delivered a WRAP supported ‘Food Waste Action Week’ comms campaign aimed at encouraging residents to reduce the amount of excess food shopping, to meal plan, to store food properly and to use up leftovers more effectively.
    This campaign theme was to ‘Choose What You’ll Use’, highlighting the benefits of buying loose fruit and vegetables and inspiring people to do this wherever they can.
    We supported this campaign through social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram), press release, Council website update, Bin-ovation app update, as well as ‘sharing’ online posts issued by WRAP.


  • Council’s current recycling rate is 52.15% (Q1-Q3 2023/24) compared to 53.90% (Q1-Q3 2022/23).
    We’ve met the 2020 EU target (50%), but it will be harder to reach 55% by 2025.
    The new Climate Change (N) Act 2022 includes a more ambitious target of 70% for all municipal waste.
    Proposed expansion into municipal waste collections from businesses etc in borough.
  • As part of ISO14001, we introduced recycling services (dry and organic) to our 26 community centres, boosting the recycling performance of the Council in 2022/23 – this service has now really bedded in and we’re seeing good set out rate and recycling performance.
  • April 2024 has seen the introduction of a new one-Council confidential shredding contract with ShredBank.
    This not only ensures proper document disposal, it promotes recycling of this material, with carbon savings provided.


  • KNIB Cleanliness Survey: Jan-March 2024 - Council scored 70%, which is on par with July-Sept 2023.
  • Council continues to support all litter picking volunteer groups across the borough, with a lot of focus on the Eco Rangers in Larne and Carrickfergus, County Antrim Countryside Custodians (Ballymena area) who continue to tackle polluting litter, enhancing our borough.
    We also supported the KNIB ‘Big Spring Clean’ throughout April and May 2024.
  • Council is also currently supporting local man Abe Agnew with this application to Best Kept Awards NI ‘Best Kept Town’ 2024 Larne through provision of equipment, assistance in the co-ordination of group activities and PR.


  • Council achieved ‘Gold’ level at the 2023 Business in the Community NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey.
    Council is entering the Awards again in June 2024 with the aim to achieve ‘Platinum’ level, based on the reduced carbon emissions and wide range of environmental projects delivered this last year.
  • ISO14001 - Council continue to be accredited to IS0 14001:2015 International Environmental Management Standard across all services, with 8 new sites being audited in August 2023.
  • Under ISO14001, we have delivered the following:

Objective 1: Improve the energy efficiency of Council buildings to help deliver carbon reduction targets and reduce costs

Target: Deliver 10 LED lighting projects.

  • Install ongoing from Invest to Save budget, Minor Works projects postponed due to spend control.
  • On track to deliver target by year end.
  • Further LED projects identified for future investment, timing of install for these projects is dependent on budget availability 23/24 and beyond.

Objective 2: Maximize the use of renewable energy sources to help deliver carbon reduction targets and reduce costs

Target: To deliver 3 solar projects

  • DNO approval secured for 6 solar projects.
  • Delivered - 3 Projects completed, with 1 additional install in progress.
  • The remaining 2 projects with generation agreements will be procured this year, installed 23/24, dependent on budget availability; possibly delivered Q1 / Q2 24/25
  • Further application in progress for future install at ECOS to support green hydrogen generation.
  • Battery storage at design phase.

Objective 3: Deliver an energy efficiency education program to Council staff

Target: Deliver to 100% of staff over 2 years

  • Delivered.
  • Behavioural change challenging in nature and in delivery.
  • Staff training provided through ihasco training suite.
  • Compulsory module.
  • Positive feedback & good staff engagement

Objective 4: Desktop review of water consumption across the estate

Target: Introducing water saving technologies, where appropriate.

  • Delivered.
  • De-energised several sites reducing potential for water loss.
  • Implementation of new process proposed to greatly reduce consumption at leisure centre sites.
  • Water saving technologies incorporated into design spec for capital projects, & minor works refurbishments.

Objective 5: Maximise the efficient use of buildings and facilities

Target: Complete review of energy /thermal efficiency of Council estate

  • Delivered (ongoing).
  • Smiley Buildings – on open market for sale.
  • Reception and registration functions being relocated to Larne Market Yard & The Braid.
  • Staff re-deployment planned in Ballymena, Larne, and Carrick.
  • Primary desktop review completed, efficiencies from space utilisation and building opening being actioned.

Objective 6: To reduce fuel usage across fleet by 5% each year, over the next 3 years, compared to 2022/23

Target: To deliver Route Optimization. To deliver Eco-Driver training to fleet officers as part of CPC.

  • Route Optimisation has now been rolled out (October 2023).
  • 70 CPC modules arranged between January and February
  • All CPC modules have elements contained within them regarding environmental awareness.
  • These include waste management using sustainable products, reusing materials as well as driving skills.
  • Going beyond first targets.
  • Fuel usage: Apr – Dec 2022: 553,100 litres v. Apr-Dec 2023: 529,824 litres.
    • Total fuel saving = 23,276 litres, which is 4.4%

Objective 7: Deliver behavioural change in waste management

Target: Delivery of reuse event for MEA communities

  • Contact with NI Resource Network and Positive Carrickfergus.
  • Repair/Reuse Lunchtime seminar delivered in March 2024.
  • Staff survey currently out to choose repair/reuse topic.

Objective 8: Improve the control of confidential paper disposal (recycling)

Target: New procedure for confidential document control disposal

  • Data collation underway.
  • 3 suppliers found.
  • Establishment of Council requirements completed.
  • ShredBank new service provider from 1 April 2024.

Objective 9: To develop the ECOS Centre as a sustainability hub

Target: Apply for test bed funding to develop green hydrogen, environmental education, hydrogen-powered refuse, and renewable energy

  • This is still work in progress.
  • Invest NI are currently appraising the Outline Business Case for the Hytech NI project where the funding package for proposed plans at ECOS fall under.

Objective 10: Delivery Climate Canopy Project

Target: Develop GIS spatial layer on tree location and condition. Develop and implement tree strategy.

  • Continuing to develop GIS spatial layer on tree location and condition.
  • Finalising draft of tree strategy ready for consultation and implementation later in 2024.

Objective 11: To achieve Bronze Status in Sustainable Food Place

Target: Promote sustainable food production, consumption, and resource efficiency. Reduce, redirect, recycle food packaging and related waste.

  • Continuing to reduce surplus food going to landfill with new community fridge opened in December in Harrryville Ballymena which is proving to be popular.
  • Implementing feedback from Sustainable Food Place about our application and progressing within current structure limitation.
  • More evidence was requested demonstrating the building of a local good food movement that proactively engages and inspires citizens about food, beyond the scope of the council.

Objective 12: Include environmental and social value weightings in procurement policy.

Target: Include weighting mechanism in service contracts valued above £138,760 and construction contracts valued above £5,336,937.

  • The Council is including a 10% social value weighting in all Government Department funded projects which are mandatory.
  • Projects include: 3 City Deal projects: I4C Innovation Centre, Carrickfergus Regeneration and Gobbins for the procurement of the ICT teams.
  • They were also to be included in the Construction contracts for Carrickfergus and the Gobbins (5 projects in total).

Social Value of 10% has also been used in the Leveling-Up Funds from UK Gov for development of Carnfunnock, that makes 6 in total in 2023-2024.

The ‘Buy Social’ model applies to Local Government and will be considered in Council’s procurement to formally embed social value in all procurement processes.

Objective 13: Implement climate and sustainability screening on all new and reviewed policies

Target: 100% new and reviewed policies screened

  • Now integrated as a required step alongside the other screening requirements in policy development.
  • In Q1 of this year 29% of policies were screened. In Q2 50% of policies were screened. In Q3 75% of policies were screened.
    This makes for a year-to-date figure of 41% of new and reviewed policies this year being screened.
  • National Compost Awareness Week – Council provided free compost to residents during this week in 2023 and 2024.

Looking forward to 2024/25:

  • Establishing new ISO14001 2023/24 environmental objectives/targets energy (3 large LED project, 3 solar projects, energy efficiency (education programme), water (desktop review of consumption), fleet (HVO trial), estate review, Scope 3 emissions – commuter miles, ECOS sustainability hub, FairTrade promotion, Carrickfergus oyster project, tree planting under the Carbon Canopy Project and working with Climate Essentials to calculate Scope 3 emissions.


  • Council developed a new Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 2023-27 which commits Council to achieve net zero by 2040 and support the Borough to net zero by 2050.
    It involved extensive collaboration across all service areas and includes six key themes: Good Governance and Community Leadership, Economy, Transport, Resource Management, Protecting the Environment and Buildings & Energy.
    The Plan will deliver key actions to help deliver climate mitigation (including carbon reduction targets) and climate resilience, ensuring both Council services and communities are prepared for the impacts of climate change.
  • In 2023/24 Council officers also developed a new MEA Adaptation Plan using the Climate NI ‘NI Adapts’ Planning toolkit which aims to support organisations to undertake a methodological approach to ‘adaptation’ with the overall aim of enabling NI to build resilience to the potential negative impacts of climate change, whilst allowing us to take advantage of any possible opportunities.
  • Decision Time Performance platform is used to track progress of actions set out in both of the above plans, which includes all services.
  • Working with new Net Zero Initiatives Manager to develop business engagement for carbon reduction and to explore non-technical barriers to decarbonise Council.
  • Council has continued to deliver actions to meet the new Fleet Strategy which focus on reducing fleet emissions, drive efficacies to ensure a cost and effective fleet and continue to ensure a safe and complaint fleet.
    Council officers are planning an HVO trial with Kennedy Fuels over Summer 2024.
  • Council has adopted a ‘cradle to grave’ (sustainable) tyre management system with Michelin. Headline figures for 2023 include 3 tonne reduction of waste (up 0.7 from previous year), 4,624 litres reduction of fuel (4,964 litres previous year) and 9.6 tonnes of CO2e savings.
    Tyres are re-grooved and re-used and eventually recycled in road making materials.
    Council is using less tyres and the longevity reduces particulate air pollution.
  • Climate Mitigation:
    • Populating Climate Essentials toolkit to review carbon emissions by service/buildings etc – strategic decision-making tool – all baseline data (2019/20) up to 2022/23 now uploaded for MEA buildings and fleet fuel.
    • Supporting new agile working (incl. space utilization review).
    • Supporting cleantech and green hydrogen developments with Economic Development.
  • Climate Adaptation:
    • MEA Adaptation Plan 2023-2037 approved and operational.
    • Completion of work with Community Development on roll out of Climate Adaptation Toolkit – targeting 4 community clusters in Ballymena initially, with further roll out to Larne and Carrickfergus in 2024/25.
  • Training - We continue to promote the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Carbon Literacy Training to local community groups, schools, Elected Members and Council staff throughout 2023/24.
  • Training – Carbon Literacy Training being delivered to 60 key staff in March 2023 and a further 30 in May 2023 by Giraffe Associates, with Elected Members trained in September 2023.
  • Workshops - On 23 January 2023, over 400 students from 13 secondary school students were inspired to consider careers in science and engineering after attending the prestigious ‘Science Summer School’ event in Ballymena. 
    The project, which was co-founded by Professor Brian Cox CBE, OBE, FRS, saw pupils with an interest in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) descend on The Braid in Ballymena for an enjoyable and challenging daytime programme of activities including interactive workshops, and TED presentations.
    • Hosted by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, this was the second event to have been held in Northern Ireland and we were delighted to have Professor Cox in attendance.
      ​In addition to Professor Cox, keynote speakers included inspiring TED Talks by industry and academic leaders including Dr. Erin Higgins, Astrophysicist at the Armagh Observatory & Planetarium; Male Midwife Vince Rosales; Fiona Simpson and Suzanne Leslie from Amazon Web Services and Richard Furey from local employer Yelo to name but a few.
    • The event which certainly created quite the buzz and Prof. Cox was delighted by the whole event including the diverse questions asked by the students.
      Please take a look at the video captured on the day, at the following link Highlights of Science Summer School 2024 - on YouTube.
  • Council hosted a series of ‘sustainability’ events for local schools including a competition to design a ‘Sustainable Park or Building.
    Dunclug Secondary School from Ballymena won the competition with the fantastic re-design of their own school incorporating solar PV, wind turbines, EV chargepoints, biodiversity, recycling and less carbon intensive building materials.
  • MEABC/DCSDC Community Resilience Pilot – toolkit now ready and can be tested with local community groups.
  • Student Projects – Council hosted x1 BSc Environmental Awareness student from QUB to assist with ISO14001 delivery alongside other sustainable initiatives.
  • Awards – Council won the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful ‘Zero Waste Award’ for a range of waste minimisation and recycling projects and initiatives delivered over 2023/24.
  • Council has responded to multiple consultations requests from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), including:
    • Energy One Stop Shop (Nov 2022)
    • Draft Circular Economy Strategy for NI (February 2023)
    • Climate Regulations for Northern Ireland (June 2023)
    • Draft Regulations Extended Producer Responsibility [October 2023]
    • WEEE Regulations [March 2024]
    • SPPS & Climate Change [March 2024]
    • Offshore Renewables Installation [March 2024]
    • Onshore Petroleum Licensing Policy for Northern Ireland [April 2024]
    • Rethinking Our Resources: Measures for Climate Action and a Circular Economy in NI [deadline 27 June 2024]
    • NI Waste Management Strategy [TBC]


  • Sustainable Food Place - 2023
  • Sustainable Food Places - A total of 5 community fridges are now in operation organised and facilitated by volunteers in partnership with the Council. 
    All fridges have set up important relationships with local businesses which supply the bulk of the food available for those who need it. 
    In addition, where available, locally grown fruit and vegetables are donated from local home growers or allotment holders.
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council delivered a successful ‘Plot to Plate’ Programme (2023) thanks to funding from the Northern Health Living Partnership.
    The sustainable food education programme was held at Greenisland Football Club, Carrickfergus, over eight weeks. 
    Up to 30 local residents attended the free sessions which focussed on cookery skills, nutrition, physical activities and life skills.
    The ‘Plot to Plate’ programme also encouraged sustainability. 
    All participants received fresh produce, a grow your own herb kit, energy efficient supplies, refill water bottles, recipe books and slow cookers to enable them to put into practice at home what they had learnt.
  • New Social Supermarket - serving the entire Borough and helping those most in need during the current cost of living crisis. 
    Based at the newly established MEA Community Hub in Ballymena, the ‘Mid and East Antrim Affordable Food Club’ was established in October 2022 and continues to operate into 2024, thanks to funding from the Department for Communities, distributed through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
    The Affordable Food Club offers a membership scheme, which gives members access to food at a reduced cost alongside a wraparound service to enable them to address any challenges that contribute to their food insecurity.
    This is the first ‘Affordable Food Club’ in Northern Ireland.
    Since October, membership has been growing steadily with over 200 members. 
    Membership covers the entire Mid and East Antrim Borough. 
    or those members across the Borough that cannot shop in person, they can access the Club online and avail of the service through the project’s click & collect service. 
    This is assisting the Club in growing their membership across every part of MEA.
  • Capital Works: St. Patrick’s Barracks – Capital Works asking us re: BREEAM – movement towards consideration of sustainability in design and operation of major development in Ballymena.
    Project design progressing well.
  • Funding - Council secured funding to develop a new ‘Community RePaint’ project whereby residents can drop off un-used/partially used paint tins to our five Household Recycling Centres where it will be provided to local community groups and schools for projects.
    This project supports the waste hierarchy by promoting reuse.
    The project is operating well and is well used by local schools, community groups and individuals. Quarterly returns undertaken.
  • Funding - Council secured (£9,057) funding from Keep Britain Tidy’s Chewing Gum Task Force Grant to purchase new mechanical equipment to tackle gum staining across the borough.
    The funding also provided anti-gum staining signage to promote positive behavioural change.

Circular Economy Initiatives:

  • Dry recycling collection service to 60k households – processor Bryson Recyclingview the end destinations of recycling.
    • Q1-Q3 2023/24: 8,891 tonnes recycle from MEA
  • Organic recycling collection service to 58k households – processor Natural World Products – converted into compost and sold on market, and also provided back to Council for use in parks and open spaces, as well as provision to local community groups and schools for environmental improvement projects.
    NWP also support the annual National Compost Awareness Week which Council promotes.
    • Q1 – Q3 2023/24: 17, 782 tonnes recycled from MEA
  • Household Recycling Centres (x5) and Bring Centres (32) – collect a range of HRC materials and Bring Bank materials.
    Materials transferred to local processors (and onto re-processors, in some instances).
    Processors are tendered each year to establish one year contracts.
    • Example – mattresses processed by USEL – a NI social enterprise who is the Leading Provider in Helping People with Disabilities or Health Conditions Gain Employment. Recycle all components of mattresses – produce new mattresses, provide bedding to equine sector.
    • Example – DIY materials and furniture items collected by Habitat for Humanity – ReStore Shop - The low-cost, do-it-yourself stores sell donated new and used building supplies and home improvement materials at 50 percent to 75 percent of the normal retail price.
      As well as raising funds for our work, the stores enable local people to improve their homes for less cost, provides opportunities for volunteers from different abilities and backgrounds, and diverts tons of reusable waste from landfill.
    • Example - *new* RePaint Community – providing half to ¾ full paint tins to local community and school projects. Reducing landfill and supporting local projects.
  • CIRCUS – Circular Economy Social Enterprise Programme - is supporting local communities to develop new revenue streams using the circular economy, building a social co-operative of like-minded social enterprises.
    Mid and East Antrim Borough Council worked with Workwest Ltd. (Programme Facilitators), Queen's University, Ballymena Business Centre and Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (Knowledge Partner) to co-design and develop the CIRCUS Programme to stimulate and support the creation of three Circular Economy Social Enterprises.  
    Diversion of materials from our HRCs to support this programme.
  • Projects MEA Christmas Toy Container Project - Council officers realised the huge potential for diverting pre-loved and unwanted toys from landfill, especially on the run up to Christmas, when families are planning to purchase new toys.
    The Mid and East Antrim Christmas Toy Container project will be running this year for the second year.
    Partners: local charities, local community centres, MEA waste team, comms team.
    • 2019 (pilot year): 1 tonne of toys diverted
    • 2020: 2 tonnes of toys diverted
    • 2021: 2.3 tonnes of toys diverted
    • 2022: 5.2 tonnes of toys diverted
    • 2023: 3.2 tonnes of toys diverted (families selling on marketplaces instead)
  • Projects MEA School Uniform Scheme - Mid and East Antrim's Community Planning Partnership and Waste Management team teamed up with Mid and East Antrim Community Advice Services (MEACAS) and Volunteer Now to help provide families with good quality, clean and pre-worn school uniforms.
    MEA Poverty Action Group (PAG) are also involved.
    This project has been running since 2019.
    • 2021 – 1,156 uniform items gifted to 700 individuals, savings c. £24,000
    • 2022 – 2,568 uniform items gifted 929 individuals, saving c. £40,000
    • 2023 – 5,369 uniform items gifted to 1,676 individuals, saving c. £96.000
  • There are other projects ongoing which also support the circular economy, e.g. Belfast Regional City Deal (BRCD) projects which will embed sustainable practices in their design, construction and operation.
    Specifically look at waste management in these developments, sourcing local products, re-using and recycling materials, where possible.
  • The above ‘Environment’ and ‘Climate’ updates have cross-cutting themes with sustainability.

Economic Development / Capital Works:

  • The HyTech NI Project represents a collaboration between Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and industry underpinned by £15million funding leverage from the NI Complementary Fund.
    The Outline Business Case for the project has been submitted to InvestNI for appraisal and the partners are expecting an approval decision in late 2024.
    The Universities are leading on the creation of a hydrogen technology accelerator to support NI companies to innovate and expand in the emerging hydrogen economy, while Council and its local industry partners plan to implement a series of hydrogen testbed demonstrators in Ballymena around the themes of mobility/transport, gas blending and skills training over a four-year funded period.
    These demonstrators will serve as pathway finder projects in the transition to net zero and position the Borough as a hub for manufacturing and supports in the future hydrogen economy.
  • The Hydrogen Training Academy (HTA) continued to be operational in 2023/24 with accredited training delivery being led by Northern Regional College throughout 2023/24. 
    The pilot project finished in March 2023 but Council continues to work in partnership with NRC and other HTA partners on delivery of the OCN accredited Level 3 in Hydrogen Technologies and Applications, providing the H2 Gas Safe Lab and equipment for the H2 Fuel Cell Skills Lab to support the training delivery. 
    There have now been more than 200 trainees accredited through the Hydrogen Training Academy including 70 at Level 5 and more than 130 at Level 3. 
    More than 200 organisations and 500 people have engaged in the HTA project since November 2021, and the HTA partners continue to develop the offering and provide access to the bespoke training labs for stakeholders from both public and private sector.
  • In April 2023, Council secured £294,454 from Innovate UK under the Fast Follower strand of the Net Zero Living Programme to deliver a two year ‘MEANZ’ Business project from 1 July 2023 30 June 2025. 
    This ‘MEANZ Business’ project provides an additional staff resource and full programme of activity which includes social, economic and technical support. 
    The project supports both Council and businesses to achieve a higher level of net zero readiness and increased capacity, helping to realise organisational sustainability targets faster and support the national transition towards net zero. 
    To date, the project has included delivery of a tailored programme of engagement, support and dissemination on net zero to a range of stakeholders, with a focus on targeting c400 relevant businesses in the Borough and will continue until June 2025 with activities such as: A Net Zero Insights webinar series, best practice visits, a consumer engagement and customer behaviour research exercise, a Council led data and digitalisation project focusing on emissions reporting, a NZ skills mapping exercise, a capacity building programme for Council Planning Officers in relation to net zero and renewables and finally, support for the CleanTech Collaborative Growth Network and implementation of a joint decarbonisation project with a group of local companies. 
  • Plans to regenerate, reposition and rebrand the town of Carrickfergus have moved a step closer after a funding agreement was sealed for the rollout of the £42m project.
    A key strand within the Belfast Region City Deal under the ‘Tourism and Regeneration’ pillar, the Carrickfergus Regeneration is one of three projects in Mid and East Antrim that will collectively benefit from more than £80m investment as part of the City Deal.
    The Carrickfergus project will firmly place the town on the map as an authentic, heritage-led, tourism hub, and a ‘must-visit’ starting point to the internationally acclaimed Causeway Coastal Route.
    This project will be delivered to BREAAM ‘Excellent’ standard for sustainability.
  • Over £6million has been allocated to Carnfunnock Country Park from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.
    Levelling up is a UK government regional development plan.
    It is aimed at improving economic performance outside the south-east of England.
    The scheme is most closely associated with the north of England but is funding projects throughout the UK.
    The key components of the project will include construction of a new visitor centre which will house a retail shop, café, meeting rooms and bathroom facilities, overlooking the coastline.
    Works commence in September 2024.


  • Conservation grazing programme implemented at Keeran Moss peatland as per conservation management plan. 
    The enables sustainable management of this important habitat and reduces the need for mechanical management. 
  • 58,610 trees planted on public land 2023/24.
  • Support for red squirrel conservation programmes at Carnfunnock Country Park.
  • Fairtrade status for the Borough retained.
  • Total of 5 community fridges providing important resource for those who need it and a facility for businesses and local growers to reduce food waste. 
  • 3 x Green Flag awards retained (Eden Allotments Gardens, Carnfunnock Country Park, Ecos Nature Park).
  • 1 x Green Flag community award retained for Shellinghill Park & Millennium Walk in Cullybackey.
  • 3 x Seaside awards retained (Carnlough, Ballygally, Browns Bay).
  • Success at Ulster in Bloom 2023 with Cullybackey securing first prize in the large village category and selected for entry into Britain in Bloom 2024.
  • 3 x schools completed Forest School programme (6 sessions per school = 18, approximately 80 pupils engaged).
  • 3 x schools completed Schools Growing Club programme (6 sessions per school = 18, approximately 80 pupils engaged).
  • 3 programmes ran to engage people with their local environment involving 194 participants:-
    • Natural connections Photography
    • Health oceans, healthy minds
    • Plot to plate
    • 79 events held engaging with over 2000 participants.
  • 218 active allotment holders.