– Fund reflects confidence in community sector across island of Ireland to lead recovery –
Community Finance Ireland has announced a €10 million All-Island Recovery Loan fund, its first all-island loan scheme. The fund will offer flexible loans of €10,000-€500,000 to community sector organisations including faith-based groups, sports clubs and social enterprises.
Commenting on the launch, Dónal Traynor, Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland said:
“Throughout the pandemic we witnessed the incredible resilience of the community sector, with many pivoting their offerings and exploring new opportunities for development. The All-Island Recovery Loan fund is open to organisations who want to build on these new opportunities to recover, rebuild or reimagine what they can bring to their local community.
“Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and public health restrictions, our client portfolios performed well over the past year and at Community Finance Ireland, we have nothing but confidence in the sector and its ability to play a pivotal role in bringing our local communities back together and to create something new in response to the changes our communities have undergone during the past year.”
Emmett O’ Hara, Associate Director ROI at Community Finance Ireland continued:
“The new recovery fund supports the strategic priorities outlined in ‘Our Rural Future’, launched by the government earlier this year, which aims to transform the quality of life and opportunity for people living in rural areas. The flexible nature of the fund with the added value of a one-to-one relationship with a dedicated client manager who knows the sector and the local area, makes it a great option for communities exploring how they can become more attractive locations for people to live and work.”
“The All-Island Recovery Loan fund supports longer term loans plus short term bridging loans. There are no time restrictions around funding and we will respond to applications within 48 hours of receipt.”
In 2020 the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team planned to develop the Mountain Rescue Base in Laragh Co. Wicklow with grant aid from the County Wicklow Partnership. The project included the provision of additional car parking, and the development of equipment storage facilities and environmental systems. Community Finance Ireland provided additional financial support through a bridging loan for the project until grant aid was made available, as well as project development advice.
Commenting on the support received from Community Finance Ireland, Diarmaid Scully, Treasurer Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue said:
“When the Project experienced difficulties in securing the necessary project bridging finance from the bank the team approached Community Finance Ireland which has a strong relationship with the community and voluntary sector in Ireland.
“Community Finance Ireland were extremely helpful with project advice and very supportive of the mountain rescue base development project. They quickly came on board the project making over €100,000 in bridging finance available until arrival of the grant aid from the County Partnership fund. The development project was successfully completed in Nov 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 safety limitations.”