Lloyds Fund re-opens for applications
01 Mar 16
Lloyds Banking Group’s £4 million Credit Union Development Fund is now open for 2016 applications.
The Fund, which is managed by the Credit Union Foundation with all grant award decisions made by a specially selected independent Grants Committee, has already seen £2 million shared by 38 credit unions across the country in its first two years.
Applications are now being invited for a share of a further £1 million in the Fund’s third year. All credit unions authorised to operate in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can apply for an award, provided they have not already received a large grant from the programme.
The funding programme has been designed to strengthen the financial position of credit unions and give them the capacity to develop new strategies for sustained and effective growth.
Two kinds of grants are available:
- Large awards (of between £50,000 and £100,000) will provide a contribution to a credit union’s reserves or capital activities and help remove barriers to growth and innovation.
- Seed funding awards (of between £10,000 and £20,000) will help credit unions to make the changes they need to apply for a large award in a subsequent year or to pay for the costs of merger in certain circumstances.
The Co-operative Credit Union received a large award of £100,000 in 2014 to support their reserves and allow them to bring forward their plans for growth. As a result, the credit union has added 12 new employers and associations to its common bond and has increased its membership by 20% in a single year.
Advance Credit Union received a large award of £50,000 in 2014 to support its EasyPlan loans, refurbish its public offices, and invest in computers to improve the reach of the credit union. The credit union has successfully increased its average loan size from £712 to £791, making a significant contribution to its sustainability. And they have far exceeded their target of 400 new members, with 1,484 new members joining in a year.
Lloyds Banking Group’s financial commitment to credit unions is set out in its Helping Britain Prosper Plan. Published in March 2014, this sets out a target to give £4 million to credit unions between 2014 and 2017 and to increase colleague participation in – and the impact of – its community programmes.
The Credit Union Development Fund is open for applications now, and closes at 5pm on Friday 29 April. Full details of how to apply are available here.