Nanango is a thriving town of more than 3000 people in the South Burnett region of Queensland. Residents love the small-town friendliness and community spirit. But in the late 1990s, they also felt there was something missing. A small enthusiastic group of local people wanted access to financial services in the Nanango district. They were armed with new research on the devastating consequences of rural bank closures, and were concerned that they too would soon go down that path.
That concern heightened with the closure of the town’s Commonwealth Bank branch, and concern about service restrictions and the likely closure of the NAB branch - the last bank branch in town (which eventually did close).
The concerned locals investigated options and formed Heritage Nanango Community Funding Ltd (HNCF) to help establish a Heritage Bank Community Branch. Taking a proactive approach, around 164 local investors represented by HNCF raised $100,000 as their share of capital to form a joint-venture with Heritage Bank. And in December 2001, Heritage Nanango Community Branch opened. Now, residents in the Nanango district have long-term access to a full-range of financial services from a local team.
As a Community Branch, profits from are distributed back to the community in the form of Community Grants and sponsorships that are used to support charities, sporting clubs and other local organisations.
Since opening, the local Heritage Nanango Community Branch has invested more than $4.5 million back into the Nanango community in grants alone. The community grants have enabled local organisations to complete numerous essential projects that may have never been possible if it wasn’t for this mutually beneficial relationship between HNCF and Heritage. So many community organisations simply don’t have the resources to raise large amounts of money needed to do their projects.
The biggest project to date is Heritage Lodge, which has seen $750,000 contributed over a few years. In conjunction with CTC South Burnett, this project includes the construction of 8 independent living units.
If your community group is from the Nanango area and would like to apply for a Community Grant, please contact your local Community Branch for more information about our next round of funding.