COMMUNITY groups and charities in the Ballymena area are being invited to apply for funding through the new Tesco Bags of Help scheme in Northern Ireland.
Applications are officially open with more than £100,000 to be shared across the province throughout 2020.
Applications remain open throughout the year, however the groups to go forward to the first round of public voting will be selected by 10 March, so Tesco is calling for all interested community groups and charities to submit their applications as early as possible.
Anyone can nominate groups and charities benefiting communities in Northern Ireland.
Three groups will be awarded grant amounts of £2,000, £1,000 or £500 every three months in a total of 12 funding areas, including Antrim and Ballymena.
The grants will see money raised from the sale of reusable Bags for Life in Tesco stores used to fund the winning local projects, in partnership with Groundwork.
And customers will decide where the money goes, casting their votes for shortlisted charities using blue tokens handed out in stores when voting launches in April.
The announcement follows the success of the supermarket’s Tesco Centenary Fund, which saw grants of up to £50,000 awarded in Northern Ireland in honour of Tesco’s 100th birthday.
Jason Tarry, UK & ROI CEO at Tesco, said: “Through the Tesco Centenary Fund, we saw the difference we could help make to community groups and charities across Northern Ireland.
“That’s why in 2020 we are delighted to be rolling out a permanent Bags of Help grant to deliver more little helps for the people who make a difference in our communities, including here in Ballymena.
“From projects to improve community spaces to groups looking for support with community events, purchasing new equipment and funding coaches, we encourage you to nominate and apply, and get involved in this fantastic new scheme.”
The scheme runs in partnership with community charity Groundwork.
Graham Duxbury, CEO of Groundwork UK, said: “It’s great that we are launching Bags of Help in Northern Ireland to enable more local communities to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them.
“We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”
Find out more at: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp