Bank of Ireland to invest €1.2m in Enterprise Town programme
Initiative designed to boost economic activity and foster networking in local areas
Pictured at Enterprise Town launch in Birr Co Offaly were David Merriman, Bank of Ireland, Owen Finn, Shannonbridge Pottery, Mary Walsh-Kinsella , Castle Courtyard Cafe and Kevin Mahon My Tee Print and Embroidery. Photograph: Seán Curtin/True Media
Bank of Ireland plans to invest more than €1.2 million this year on its Enterprise Town programme, which is being expanded to include 120 locations around the country.
The initiative involves a two-day expo in a given town, designed to help boost economic activity and foster networking in the local area.
It brings together local businesses, education, sports and cultural organisations, and host towns are usually among the 250 locations around the country with a Bank of Ireland branch.
Launched in 2013 in Kells, Co Meath, the event has been hosted in 145 towns across Ireland. This included 92 in 2016, with the bank now planning to expand the initiative to more towns.
About 1,000 bank staff were involved in the programme last year, with more than 6,100 businesses, 1,900 sports and community groups, and 236 schools participating.
Bank of Ireland estimates that more than 91,500 “connections” were facilitated through the initiative.
In addition, each town has the option to undertake a fundraising drive for a local cause, with donations up to €1,000 being matched by Bank of Ireland.
The bank also provides guest speakers for many of the events, which have included businessman and RTÉ dragon Gavin Duffy, chef Rachel Allen, GAA broadcaster Marty Morrissey, and soccer pundit John Giles.
They address topics such as business success, teamwork, motivation and leadership.
David Merriman, head of enterprise development at Bank of Ireland said the feedback from communities who had participated in the programme had been overwhelmingly positive.
“Through our Enterprise Town programme we want to invigorate and re-energise communities, showcasing what is on offer in these towns and supporting economic growth and development,” he said.