UP TO €20,000 is available to communities across Limerick city and county through a new fund by KBC, which opened its first bank in Limerick last year.
The bank has launched the inaugural KBC Bright Ideas community initiative, a scheme that allows local communities in Limerick to source funding for innovative projects.
The fund offers people the opportunity to apply for funding of up to €20,000 for innovative projects looking to transform, improve or revolutionise their communities through creative ideas.
Entries are accepted through an online application form, up to May 30, that requires entrants to submit their innovative ideas, explain why the idea would help their community and describe how the money will be invested.
Padraic McElwee, KBC hub manager in Limerick, said that “as KBC continues to expand our retail presence in locations across the country, we are positioned at the heart of our local communities.
“KBC Bright Ideas is an initiative which will help to transform and improve local communities in Limerick by providing much needed funding for worthwhile, innovative projects. Bright Ideas is aimed at people or organisations doing something different, creative and fresh. As the ‘Bank of You’, we want to hear from people who are really pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box in terms of their concepts,” added Mr McElwee.
He continued: “We have already received a number of applications, and would like to see a lot more. The projects can be in any field or any sector, we have no fixed idea but we would like to see something that hasn’t been thought of before.”
He explained that there is an overall countrywide fund of €80,000, of which €20,000 has been ringfenced go to projects in Limerick which could benefit the local community.
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of local judges in KBC’s Limerick’s hub at 103 O’Connell Street.
The judging panel will review the application and award an allocation of funding to deserving projects. It is likely that one large project may be awarded in the region of €10,000, with a number of other projects receiving smaller sums.
Ideas must be for innovative projects that will help transform a local community, and the winning groups will have up to 12 months to spend the money. Among those on the judging panel are Helen O’Donnell, community activist and a former Limerick Person of the Year, and council official Josephine Cotter Coughlan.
KBC has been established in Ireland for 40 years, and opened their first premises in Limerick in September last. It is now open on one Saturday every month to meet growing demand, and is open until 7pm on Thursdays. “Business is going very well and is exceeding our own expectations,” Padraic added.