KBC Bright Ideas fund competition returns for a third year


David Milne from KBC Bank with junior gardeners Aran Hurtzler and Rory Winslow at the launch of the 2016 KBC Bright Ideas fund competition. Image by Naoise Culhane

KBC Bank Ireland is utilising its ambitious €100,000 Bright Ideas fund for a third consecutive year. Once again they are offering community groups across the country a chance to take part in a competition and win financial support for their dream projects.

The purpose of the fund is to allow individuals and organisations to improve the lives of people in their locality. Over the course of the first two years, 70 innovative and creative projects were granted funding through the Bright Ideas fund, allowing a diverse range of ideas to become reality. Among these have been help for the elderly and disabled, sporting and educational activities for youths and projects dedicated to arts and culture, urban renewal and community wellbeing resources.

A new aspect introduced to the fund this year is the “Green” category, which recognises the importance of helping the environment, and the winner of this particular category will be given a prize of €2,500.

The overall winner of last year’s activities was the Rainbow Club for Autism in Mahon, Cork. It was voted KBC’s Brightest Idea by the public was awarded €5,000 in additional funding to bring its total funds to €7,500. The money was used to provide the club with indoor and outdoor equipment, and as a result many of the 140 children who attend the club have overcome their autism and sensory difficulties to improve their communication skills.

In 2016 Dublin will be just one of seven different geographic regions that KBC will be promoting the fund in, reflecting the organisation’s expanding network of retail banking hubs in Ireland. Further promotion will take place in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Waterford and the wider Leinster area.

Over 300 community projects applied for the Bright Ideas fund last year, and at least as many applications are expected this year. Once all of them have presented their ideas, the judges will choose the 14 best projects to go forward to the national final, where the public will then vote for the Brightest Idea with two regional winners being selected from the seven geographical regions.

Applying for the competition is simple and can be done through an easy to use online application portal at www.kbcbrightideas.com. Applications are now open and will be until May 31 2016.

By Kevin Carney