£100,000 fund open to local community groups

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A £100,000 fund has been launched for application by all community and voluntary organisations across Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Bank Community Impact Fund is open to all non-profit voluntary and community based organisations with a view to stimulating and supporting initiatives in the areas of enterprise, financial education, and financial inclusion.

The Fund has been developed through a partnership between Ulster Bank and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland will award individual grants from £1,000 to £35,000 to successful applicants.

Launching the new fund, Stephen Cruise, Head of Branch Banking, Private and Financial Planning NI at Ulster Bank, said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to provide funding to initiatives that make a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate”.

Mr Cruise urged all community and volunteer organisations to take action and make use of the fund to enhance community participation.

“By helping promote enterprise, improve financial education and widen access to financial services, this important work will help create a more vibrant economy and nurture positive attitudes to money that will be extremely important for the long-term,” he added.

Applications to the fund will be shortlisted by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and assessed by the Community Impact Fund judging panel.

In welcoming the establishment of the Fund, Helen McKeever, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said: “This fund will provide a welcome boost to local social entrepreneurs and groups trying to provide financial education to communities at grassroots level.

“With cuts to public services really beginning to bite and people’s finances under more and more pressure, the work funded by the Ulster Bank Community Fund couldn’t be more timely.”

The Ulster Bank Community Impact Fund is part of an island wide initiative to provide £250,000 to support voluntary and community groups in the areas of enterprise, financial education and financial inclusion.

The application process is open until March 8, and successful organisations will be informed in late April.

For further information and to apply for a grant from the Ulster Bank Community Impact Fund, visit www.communityfoundationni.org/Grants/Ulster-Bank-Community-Impact-Fund

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