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 in Kerry.
Between 2016 and 2020, Community Finance Ireland financed loans to the value of €5.1 million for organisations in Munster, including Sneem Digital Hub and Learn from Leaders in Kerry.
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.”
“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.”
Bantry Rural Transport Partnership CLG, in nearby Cork, is a registered charity and not for profit organisation. As well as providing Rural Transport, the group also support a number of community organisations with their transport requirements as well as responding to providing accessible transport requests.
Commenting on the support received from Community Finance Ireland, David O’Brien, General Manager, Bantry Rural Transport Partnership CLG said:
“Community Finance Ireland’s level of engagement and understanding from the beginning was impressive and professional. They outlined the process and what would be required of us. Our relationship with Community Finance was positive and engaging throughout from the initial loan application to the drawdown and the clarity on the terms of the loan, repayments, responsibilities etc.
Community Finance are entitled to have the term ‘Community’ in their name and we are extremely grateful for the help and support they provided us.”