Bridging Finance for Community Groups and Social Enterprises approved for LEADER Grants
Community groups or social enterprises in the Western Region who have been approved for grant aid from LEADER* are eligible to apply for bridging finance from the WDC Investment Fund.
In order for a community group or social enterprise to draw down this grant aid they are required by LEADER to first spend the money on the approved project and then draw down the grant against that expenditure. As some organisations do not have that money to spend upfront, the WDC Investment Fund can provide a bridging loan. This will allow them to use the WDC bridging loan to make the required expenditure and the WDC bridging loan is then repaid directly by the LEADER grant.
The minimum threshold for bridging finance is €25,000.
An interest rate of 1% per annum is charged to the community group/social enterprise and they pay this on a monthly basis to the WDC. Once the grant aid is approved for draw down, the LEADER Company must pay the grant directly to the WDC at which stage the bridging loan is considered to be repaid.
The WDC does not fund or bridge feasibility studies.
If you are a community group or social enterprise based in the Western Region and have been approved for grant aid through LEADER Funding you can apply to the WDC for a bridging loan by sending us in the following:
- A completed application form, download here (PDF)
- Copy of the Grant approval letter
- Completed Project Summary Sheet (See link below)
Funding by the WDC Investment Fund is subject to WDC Board approval and the main criteria for that approval are
- grant letter of offer from LEADER
- completion of an irrevocable grant mandate from the LEADER company to the WDC stating that the total amount of bridging financed will be paid by the LEADER company directly to the WDC (see suggested templates for those mandate letters)
*LEADER Funding means funding which has been made available through the Rural Development Programme, financed by the Irish Government under the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2014-2020 (LEADER) and by EAFRD: Europe investing in Rural Areas.