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27 Jan 2022

Offaly groups get funding boost to rebuild after pandemic

Community Finance Ireland has announced a €10 million All-Island Recovery Loan fund, its first all-island loan scheme with a number of Offaly groups set to benefit.

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 Offaly.

Between 2016 and 2020, Community Finance Ireland financed loans to the value of €11.3 million for organisations in Leinster, including Ballinnamere Gaa Club and Birr Development Company in Offaly.

Commenting on the launch, Barry Symes, Client Executive Manager, at 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."

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