KBC Bank announces winners of €100,000 Bright Ideas funding


40 local community projects benefit – Launch of Public vote to find Brightest Idea 2015

KBC Bank Ireland has announced the names of the winning community projects to receive funding this year through the bank’s ‘Bright Ideas’ community support initiative.  A total of 40 projects across Ireland have received funding from a pool of €100,000 donated by KBC as a way to support groups and individuals who are working to transform their communities, and who require funding to continue with the great work that they are doing.
Aidan Power, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, KBC Bank Ireland said: “It takes just one individual or group to turn a bright idea into a reality and help make a difference in their local community. With 15 hubs in towns and cities around the country, KBC has a role to play in community life too.  Our Bright Ideas programme is about recognising innovative thinking and giving local projects a chance to shine with the help of funding and support.  I am pleased to say that the public can also get involved this year and vote for their favourite project to receive additional funding.  I would encourage people to get behind the shortlisted projects, show their support and get voting for KBC’s Brightest Idea for better communities in 2015.”
Over 300 community groups and individuals applied to KBC’s Bright Ideas for funding this year.  Entries were reviewed by independent judging panels at a local level.  A total of 40 community projects were shortlisted for funding, with ten selected to go forward to the National Final. Members of the public can now vote online at www.kbcbrightideas.com for their favourite initiative to become KBC’s Brightest Idea and receive an extra €5,000 funding. 

This year’s 40 winning projects address a variety of social needs in local communities, and include a range of urban regeneration, learning and development, sports and play, care and wellbeing initiatives.  The ten community projects shortlisted for public vote include:

Project Description Funding
Peter McVerry Trust - ‘Home’ Project, Dublin City A project to enrich the lives of disadvantaged young adults in residential services through short retreats within Ireland incorporating holistic and therapeutic activities, thus providing a positive experience of life outside the capital city. €10,000
Flanagan’s Fields
Co-operative Regeneration Project,  Rialto, Dublin 8
An early stage urban project which has turned an ‘eyesore’ into a community space featuring Dublin’s first geodesic dome – a grow dome to create jobs, food and energy in a sustainable manner, while fostering community engagement. €4,000
Naas CBS Transition Year Students & Naas Tidy Towns Project, Co. Kildare Equipment, clothing and materials to help 125 TY students undertake four major clean-up projects in Naas involving 1,000 hours of voluntary work that will support the work of Naas ‘Tidy Towns’ community organisation. €3,000
Heartsafe Community Programme, Kilcock, Co. Kildare A new initiative to equip the local community with defibrillators for public access and provide skills training to community members, helping to save lives locally.  €6,000
CB1 Gallery/Meeting Space, Limerick City
Development of a new city centre community space including a community run coffee dock, meeting place, gallery, garden, artist studio and venue for people in Limerick city to share, connect and create across all age groups, backgrounds, lifestyles and interests. €7,000
Elemental Festival Arts/Culture Project, Limerick City A project to animate Limerick and promote inclusiveness through arts and culture with the aim of stimulating the local community, their creativity and engagement in a fun way. €2,000
Glounthaune Tidy Towns Funtastic Kiddy Ecotrail Project, Glounthaune, Co. Cork A biodiversity and sustainability learning experience for 4-12 year olds incorporating eco trails featuring a butterfly friendly garden, sensory herb garden, bug hotel, bird bat and owl boxes, signage, leaflets and maps for 3,600 local children.  €5,000
Rainbow Club for Autism, Mahon, Co. Cork
A project to equip indoor and outdoor areas to support children with autism and sensory difficulties, and their families by providing an environment to socialise, play and meet in a space tailored to meet their sensory needs. €2,500
Ballybane Welcome Project, Galway City This project will support the creation of reading groups for adults with literacy and mental health issues in the local community, providing much needed support and additional resources to the many community members who use the library. €5,000
Marathon Mara Project, Connemara, Co. Galway This project involves building a traditional racing boat (currach) to enable emigrants from Connemara return from Boston USA to participate in the first Marathon of the Sea (Marathon Mara) challenge as part of the national ceremonies commemorating 1916. It will be an opportunity for two parts of a community to gather together in a unique sporting event in a celebration of their past, their culture and their tradition. 
After the race the boat will be donated to a rowing club in Connemara. It will be made available to all Boston rowers for their leisure when they return to Connemara on their holidays.

For the full list of winning initiatives and more information on KBC Bright Ideas, visit www.kbcbrightideas.com  

Bright Ideas is part of KBC’s Brighter Futures programme through which KBC helps customers, staff and communities share in a brighter future by supporting a range of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.  KBC’s Brighter Futures programme supports a range of youth, education and community projects in Ireland.  Our partners include Jack & Jill Foundation, Enactus and Junior Achievement Ireland.
For reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications, 01 661 0402 / 086 866 4501