CHARITIES will benefit to the tune of £5,000 from bank funds.

NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland announced details of a new fund to support charities and projects in Ellesmere Port and across Cheshire, and is inviting customers and locals to decide who should benefit.

The cash is available to help good causes in communities served by the NatWest or RBS branches in Chester city centre, Hoole, Neston, Ellesmere Port, Heswall and Broughton.

Ian Carson, Senior branch manager for NatWest in Chester, said: “By asking local people to nominate and vote for the community charities/projects which are important to them, the fund will be directly supporting the communities the bank serves.

Customers and members of the local community can nominate a good cause or project by visiting their local NatWest or RBS or by logging on to and communityfund.

Once all the nominations have been received a panel consisting of representatives from the bank, local people and community figures will select three charities/projects from those put forward. The community will then be invited to vote for their favourite of the three, with the most popular receiving a £3,000 grant with the two runners up each receiving £1,000.

The fund is one of 380 across the UK and forms a key part of the recently launched NatWest and RBS customer charter which includes a commitment to support the local communities in which NatWest and RBS work in.

Mr Carson added: “By way of an additional support for the community, the bank has granted our employees a day away from the office to help local good causes. We hope this element of our customer charter will deliver more than 10,000 days of community volunteering in 2010.”