Ballina is among the finalists announced in Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards 2020.
This year, the awards recognise business and community groups that have come together to support their local area as they start to rebuild and recover from the impact of Covid-19.
A total awards prize fund of over €200,000 is available to finalists to help reboot local economies across the island of Ireland. Twenty-one awards are on offer, with the overall winner set to receive €50,000 and the title of Ireland’s ‘Most Enterprising Town’. There is also a prize of €20,000 for the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ award.
Reflecting the new challenges that communities and businesses currently face as a result of the pandemic, three special COVID-response awards have been introduced: (1 ) Local Town Promotion Initiative - A marketing or promotional campaign designed to help kick-start the local economy; (2 ) Local Community Enterprise Initiative - A local enterprise initiative established specifically to ease the impact of Covid-19, or one that has repurposed itself during the pandemic; (3 ) Local Business and Community Response Initiative – A joint initiative by local businesses and the community to manage the impact of Covid-19 through lockdown and beyond as towns start to reopen.
Ballina will be competing with towns from across the island of Ireland. The judging panel will review all finalists in September and the winners will be announced on Virgin Media TV’s Ireland AM in early October. The awards initiative this year is being fast-tracked to provide funding to winning towns in October in order to directly assist their Covid-19 recovery.
Michael Costello, Head of Bank of Ireland for Mayo said: "Congratulations to Ballina on becoming a finalist in this year’s Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards.
"Through these awards we are supporting businesses and communities across the island of Ireland impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as they start to rebuild and get back on their feet.
"We have seen that incredible and powerful things can be achieved when communities, business groups and local authorities come together to meet their own challenges and make their own opportunities. I would like to wish Ballina the very best pf luck in the competition."
The Begin Together Awards fund is part of a wider €1 million Bank of Ireland support for local enterprise and community groups this year.