More and more Lithuanian communities are actively utilising the financial support made available to them to improve their daily lives. Vydmantai is a good example of a community that successfully utilised financial support granted by Ignitis Renewables, an international green energy company. The largest village in Kretinga district has used the funds to light up the swimming area that has become a community attraction, improve their sports stadium and complete the electricity installation works for the new church and parsonage complex. Additionally, there are plans to erect a dome for an outdoor classroom and a stage for community and student activities in 2024.

“We see the financial support allocated to projects that are important to the communities not just as a measure to promote our renewable projects and garner support. Supporting community projects and ideas allow the responsible companies to build trust between citizens and businesses as well as support the development of rural areas. We see communities as partners that can help us reach the goals of green transition. That’s why we are especially proud of and support the communities that look for energy efficiency, renewable and other solutions that can coexist with the environment,” said Emilija Musteikytė, Community Projects Coordinator at Ignitis Renewables.

A community attraction in a new light

One of the projects has already been completed with the help of financial support provided by Ignitis Renewables. Lighting solutions powered by solar energy have been installed at the Vydmantai recreational zone, where residents can enjoy water activities. According to the Chair of the Vydmantai Community Centre, Simas Končius, the new lighting solutions already had their use both in summer and at the start of the cold season.

“During the summer, Vydmantai residents can play beach volleyball, camp and swim at our recreational and swimming area. You can often find the village kids having fun here, and people like to walk their pets nearby, and darkening sky doesn’t interrupt their recreational activities. As the autumn brings longer evenings, the lamps allow us to spend more time outside and improve security as well as help ensure public order at night,” told us S. Končius.

According to the Chair of the Village Community Centre, the community is glad that the implemented project is modern, environmentally friendly and promotes green energy at Vydmantai.

The refurbished stadium to make sports safer

Another project implemented in Vydmantai was upgrading the infrastructure of Vydmantai gymnasium by installing nets for catching balls. The headmistress of the gymnasium, Rasa Stonkuvienė, said that it was a joint decision made by the students, the teachers and the community footballers to upgrade the stadium.

“The gymnasium stadium is surrounded by thorny hedges, so when playing football, the balls would often be damaged or get into private properties. To avoid the resulting conflicts and to upgrade the barriers, it was decided to build a 90 metre fence for catching balls. This made the stadium, which is very important to the community, more attractive and functional,” said R. Stonkuvienė.

She notes that the entire gymnasium and village community engaged in the implementation of the project as volunteers helped with manual labour and preparations.

The long-awaited church and parsonage complex

Financial support was also utilised for another project that is important to the community, electricity installation works for the new church and parsonage complex that are under construction. During the installation works, electricity lines were laid up to the foundations of the new church and parsonage.

“Church and parsonage construction works are being very closely followed by all Vydmantai residents and the entire parish. In the context of these uncertain times, it’s important to create a safe environment that benefits people’s wellbeing, covers spiritual and cultural needs,” said Karolis Petravičius, priest of Vydmantai parish.

Each of the representatives of Vydmantai village is confident that the financial support provided by businesses is important and beneficial, so they expect to take advantage of it in the future by implementing other projects that the community needs and that improves their daily lives.

Vydmantai community and school submitted separate projects and secured financial support for a dome for an outdoor classroom and a stage for community and student activities.

Financial support was granted for a second year in a row

Ignitis Renewables and its subsidiaries have been granting financial support for two years in a row. In 2022 they granted financial support to nine communities that are located near renewable energy projects managed by the companies. A total of EUR 86,100 was allocated to support the communities.

This year financial support was allocated to the projects of the communities located near renewable energy projects in Tauragė, Mažeikiai, Jurbarkas, Kretinga (Lithuania) as well as Pomerania and Silesia (Poland). In 2023 the total funds allocated to the projects that improve the wellbeing of communities amounted to EUR 350,000.