Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund shortlist revealed

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  • Seven community groups throughout Northern Ireland have been shortlisted in Ulster Bank’s 2017 Skills & Opportunities Fund (Round 1) and now have the opportunity to receive a share of an overall £35k fund in Northern Ireland.

    Over 40 not-for-profit organisations applied for Round 1 funding and the judging panel whittled entries down to seven with each group asking local people to make their vote count and back them by voting online before midday, Friday 5th May.

    Groups shortlisted come from right across Northern Ireland and the seven finalists are; Women in Business, Work West Enterprise Agency based in West Belfast, NDDO in Bangor, Armagh regeneration programme C.A.I.R.D.E. and Cookstown Enterprise Centre.   Also featured on the shortlist are Waterside Women’s Centre in Derry~Londonderry and Ballymena Business Centre.

    Each shortlisted organisation has applied for a grant of up to £35k to create or expand a project which will benefit some of the most disadvantaged members of our communities – through improving financial capability skills or enterprise opportunities.

    The Fund is a key part of Ulster Bank’s flagship community programme, as Sean Murphy, Regional Managing Director, Branch & Private Banking explains:

    “Our three flagship programmes (MoneySense for schools, our partnership with The Prince’s Trust and the Skills & Opportunities Fund) are a natural extension of our business strategy as a bank that wants to serve customers well and help them to succeed in life.

    “We focus on financial capability skills and on supporting enterprise: areas which draw on our core capabilities and as such, areas where we believe we can make the greatest difference.”

    The public are invited to read the shortlisted entries and vote ahead of the closing date, midday on Friday 5th May. Local people can also encourage others to vote by using #skillsnadopportunities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    The winning organisations will be announced on Tuesday 6 June 2017.

    The Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund launched in 2015 and has already distributed over £150k, providing grants of up to £35k to not-for-profit organisations across Northern Ireland.

    Skills & Opportunities Fund grants have already helped hundreds of people achieve qualifications, find work or start a new business and is expected to reach a further 25,000 people by the end of 2017, helping to build better lives and stronger communities.

    A further £35kwill be shared through the Fund in Northern Ireland later this year.

    vote http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.ulsterbank.com/vote/ with ahead of the closing date, midday on Friday 5th May. Local people can also encourage others to also vote by using #skillsandopportunities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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