National Enterprise Town Awards

Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Town Awards recognise the spirit of enterprise in local areas across Ireland, bringing business and community groups together to showcase their efforts to build an economically sustainable community.

There are over 40 awards available from a total prize fund of €193,000 with the overall winning town or urban village/area awarded €33,000 and the title of Ireland’s Most Enterprising Town, which in 2018 was won by Letterkenny.

There is also the Rising star category which aims to focus on towns which have overcome major challenges and can demonstrate how they have achieved this. Last year “The Kells Old Print Works” took home the trophy and €20,000.

The local authorities and their LEOS support the nomination of towns, cities and villages/areas on behalf of their own city or county while this year there was an opportunity for the public to nominate their locality. Also new in 2019 are the “small towns” category.

The judging process started in Phibsborough, Dublin on the 22nd of August and will continue until mid-October. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in December. We’ve travelled the length and breadth of the country to find the winner of this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. On our travels we’ve discovered towns that embody the enterprise spirit. Discover Cloonan’s Hardware’s story in Tullamore and the Quilt Yarn Stitch story in Tuam.

Stay tuned to and for news and updates on National Enterprise Town Awards, including entrants, judges schedule and local stories which showcase how local businesses and community groups work together and enable their community to thrive.

The entry process is now closed, please contact your Head of County as listed in the FAQs below


  • Purpose of Competition?

    The competition aims to promote enterprise by bringing business and community groups together, in each town, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area.

  • Why is Bank of Ireland launching this competition?

    Bank of Ireland is the country’s largest lender and committed to helping customers achieve their business ambitions. Bank of Ireland recognises that SME’s, Start-Ups and Community Organisations working together are a core part of the country’s success.

  • Is this just a sales promotion for the bank?

    This is not a sales promotion for Bank of Ireland. This competition is the Bank’s way of recognising the efforts being made by businesses and local communities to promote and grow their towns and become economically sustainable.

  • What is the local council’s role in the competition?

    The competition is held in collaboration with local authorities.

  • How are the towns chosen for the competition?

    The Towns and City villages/Urban areas are generally put forward by the relevant local authority. There is an option to recommend your area via and anywhere nominated in this manner will be considered for entry.

  • How many entries are allowed from each county or city council area?

    There is no limit on the number of entries per county or city council area.

  • Why is the competition called Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards when City areas and villages can also participate?

    Every city has urban areas and urban villages that operate as a town in their own right and have distinct identities, local business and residential communities. The definition of a town for the purpose of these awards includes City Villages and Urban areas.

  • Who are the judges?

    The names of the judges and their bios will be made known to the towns organising committee prior to judging.

  • What is the format of the judging?

    Each town will be visited by the judging panel for a three hour session which it is recommended includes:

    • 30 minutes presentation by the town
    • 30 minutes question and answer session
    • 20 minutes to meet people socially
    • 80 minutes to visit and view key initiatives selected by the organising committee
    • 20 minutes concluding comments and wrap up

  • What if our town exceeds three hours?

    The maximum time for the visit is three hours and the judges will expect towns to adhere to this timeframe and schedule the visit accordingly.

  • What are the judging criteria?

    The judging criteria are outlined on the application form.

  • How does a town enter the competition?

    See no. 5 above. Once selected, the town to submit application form through

  • Where do I submit my application?

    Applications are submitted online through

  • There is no Bank of Ireland in my town? Can it enter?

    Yes. This competition is open to all towns and City villages/Urban areas in the Republic of Ireland irrespective of whether there is a Bank of Ireland branch.

  • Who should I talk to?

    Nearest Bank of Ireland Branch OR List of Bank of Ireland Head of Counties (contact details after these Q&A’s.)

  • What are the various categories?

    • Small – <2000
    • Small/Medium – 2,001-5,000
    • Medium – 5,001-12,000
    • Large – over 12, 000
    • Cities – urban villages/areas (confined to cities)
    • Rising Star – Overall town based

  • What are the prizes?

    CategoryPrizeNumber Awarded


    Regional Runner-UpFramed Certificate + €2,00016€32,000
    Regional WinnersTrophy + €3,00016€48,000
    National Category WinnersTrophy + €10,0004€40,000
    Town Initiatives of the YearFramed Certificate +3 x €5,000
    and 3 x €2,000
    City Award Runner-UpFramed Certificate + €2,0001€2,000
    City Award WinnerTrophy + €10,0001€10,000
    Overall National WinnerTrophy + €20,0001€20,000
    Rising Star€20,0001€20,000

  • Is the overall national winner prize on top of Regional and category winner’s prize?

    €33,000 is the total prize money for the overall winner (Regional Category winner €3,000, National Category Winner €10,000 & overall winner €20,000).

  • What are the Town Initiatives of the Year Awards?

    These are special cash awards out of a total fund of €21,000 (3 cash prizes of €5,000 each and 3 cash prizes of €2,000) made at the discretion of the judges to projects/initiatives they discover on their judging journey which they believe would benefit from this award.

  • Who is the prize paid to?

    The nominated Organisation as specified in the application form.

  • Are there any restrictions on how the prize money can be spent?

    This is at the discretion of the winning town. However, during their visit, the Judging Panel will ask the nominated organisation what they would spend the money on.

  • When are the winners announced?

    The winners will be announced at the awards night which will be held in The Lyrath Estate Hotel on 5th December 2019.

  • Apart from the cash prize, how is the town acknowledged?

    Each Category winner will receive a trophy. The overall winner will receive trophy and be crowned ‘Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards – Overall Winner 2019’

  • Will there be positive publicity by the bank for the towns?

    Press releases will be issued to local and national media and the town will feature in future promotion of the awards.

  • Can the judges’ decision be appealed?

    The judges’ decision is final and cannot be appealed.

  • Can the entries receive feedback on the judges’ visit and will marks be available?

    If requested, an overview of the judges’ reflections on their visit will be made available. The judges’ marks are not available.

  • What is the Rising Star Category?

    In the National Enterprise Towns Awards 2019, there will again be a Rising Star category with a prize of €20,000 awarded to the winner. This category will focus on towns which have overcome major challenges and can demonstrate how they have achieved this. Entries must be specifically nominated in this application form. The town must also be an entry in the overall competition to participate in this award. Details of the award are outlined in the application form.

    The application must include the following:

    • Details of the town, with key demographics
    • Reason why town should now be considered as Ireland’s rising star
    • Previous state of town and current state
    • What key actions were undertaken-give specific initiatives
    • Current and ongoing initiatives and outline of their impact
    • Details of successful partnerships within town and with supporting bodies, e.g. Local authority
    • Details of how success was measured
    • Details of increased employment/developments/new business in the town and recognition for the town
    • How the award would be spent to promote or improve the town.

    A separate judging panel from the main competition will be established. Applications will initially be assessed based solely on the documentation submitted and a number of entries will be shortlisted and visited by the judging panel.

    The winner will be announced and presented at the National Enterprise Towns Awards night.


List of Bank of Ireland contacts by County

NameCountyMobile No.

Email address

JJ KeyesCarlow086
Eamonn CorcoranClare086
Sean ByerleyCork City086
Eilis MannionCork County086
Barry GallagherDonegal086
Karen CunninghamDublin Central087
Morgan O’Regan Dublin – Dun Laoghaire Rathdown 086 0443797 morgan.o’
Neil O’Reilly Dublin South087
Kieran TuiteDublin North – Fingal County Council086
Marie Meehan Galway City087
Tomas DiskinGalway County086
Deirdre Twomey Kerry086
Roisin CrottyKildare087
JJ Keyes Kilkenny086
Aine MaloneLaois/Offaly087
Maria KellyLimerick086
Ita GrayLongford/Westmeath087
Paula HarmonLouth086
Michael Costello Mayo087
Gary HolliganMeath087
Tara RodgersSligo/Leitrim/Roscommon086
Morgan O’Regan Dublin South West086 0443797 morgan.o’
Mick RyanTipperary087
Pamela PimWaterford087
Trudi RyanWexford087
Maria ColemanWicklow087