– Fund reflects confidence in community sector across island of Ireland
Community Finance Ireland, the only dedicated social finance provider in Northern Ireland, has today (24.06.21) announced a £10 million All-Island Recovery Loan fund, its first all-island loan scheme. The fund will offer flexible loans of £10,000-£250,000 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.”
Phelim Sharvin, Associate Director NI at Community Finance Ireland continued:
“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 shorter-term bridging loans. There are no time restrictions around funding and we will respond to applications within 48 hours of receipt.”
Forkhill Preschool is a voluntary not for profit preschool set up in 1983 and situated in the Ring of Gullion catchment area in rural Armagh. With support from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) managed by Community Finance Ireland, Forkhill Playgroup has been able to progress with the construction of a modern purpose-built childcare facility. The new facility will comprise of a large playroom, a multi-purpose quiet room, kitchen, toilet facilities, cloak area and an outdoor play area.
Commenting on the support received from Community Finance Ireland, Marie Grant, Chair, Forkhill Preschool Playgroup said:
“We are grateful for the support provided by CBILS which was vital in enabling us to pay upfront costs during the construction phase and a shortfall in the funding required to complete our new childcare facility.
“The new centre will leave the playgroup well placed to respond to any new statutory conditions or regulations imposed in response to the coronavirus outbreak.”