£16M Social Fund for Scotland Opens for Business: Press Release

£16M Social Fund for Scotland Opens for Business: Press Release
Social Investment Scotland

Scotland’s leading funder for the third sector, Social Investment Scotland (SIS), has today (Thursday 8 May) opened the doors to a new £16M Social Growth Fund for Scotland.

The Fund was officially opened for business by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP, during a visit to the Spartans Football Club in Edinburgh, an ongoing beneficiary of investment from Social Investment Scotland.

The Social Growth Fund includes £8M from the Scottish Government and a further £8M from Big Society Capital, the independent financial institution set up to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK.
Social Investment Scotland is using this major funding boost to expand its existing investment activity within Scotland’s third sector, and to launch a new risk capital product for the Scottish social investment marketplace, providing long-term finance from £10,000 to £1 million with repayment tailored to each organisation’s needs.

In tandem with this new funding, SIS has also today launched a Great Social Enterprise Tour, visiting five cities in five days, to raise awareness of the Social Growth Fund amongst local social enterprises across Scotland. The events will provide social enterprises with a chance to speak directly to an investment manager about how social investment can support the sustainability of their business.

• Monday, May 12th – Glasgow, The Lighthouse – 10am till 12pm
• Tuesday, May 13th – Edinburgh, Out Of The Blue – 10.30am till 12.30pm
• Wednesday, May 14th – Inverness, The Spectrum Centre – 1pm till 3pm
• Thursday, May 15th – Aberdeen, Transition Extreme – 12.30pm till 2.30pm
• Friday, May 16th – Dundee, The Factory Skatepark – 12.30pm till 2.30pm

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP, said: “I am delighted that the new Social Growth Fund for Scotland is now open for applications. This is an exciting opportunity for third sector organisations in Scotland, allowing them to continue their vital work within our local communities.

“Today I have seen the great work that has been achieved by the Spartans Community Football Academy in the local area, with police and youth groups noting a huge reduction in call outs and antisocial behaviour. The facilities here at Spartans show what can be done with the type of funding the Social Growth Fund will provide.

“Through schemes such as this, social enterprises will be able to have a greater role going forward, bringing more benefits to the communities they serve.”

Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “The Social Growth Fund will enable us to provide considerably more support to social enterprises and community businesses across Scotland. This funding support will in turn help these local organisations improve the lives of people within their communities by making them much more self-sufficient and sustainable.

“However, we also recognise that applying for funding can be a daunting prospect for many organisations, as it frequently represents a change in the way they do business, moving from grant dependency to a mix of income streams. Our Great Social Enterprise Tour is aimed at addressing this uncertainty by providing social enterprises with the answers they need to start moving their organisations on to the next level to create longer lasting social impacts.”

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital, added: “Social Investment Scotland is a leading example of how regional social finance managers can play an important role in helping charities and social enterprises to access social investment, through their deep knowledge of the needs and challenges of a local area. They have an exceptional track record of delivering social investment support to organisations in Scotland, and we are pleased to have been able to help them to continue doing this.”

Big Society Capital’s investment in Social Investment Scotland is the first of its kind in Scotland since its formation last year, and will increase Social Investment Scotland’s funds under management by a third. It is the largest investment in SIS for twelve years and the largest ever investment by an external organisation.
Organisations who are looking for investment should call a member of SIS’ investment team on 0131 558 7706 to discuss possible funding or support.

Case study: Spartans Community Football Academy

The Spartans Community Football Academy is a social enterprise and charity located in North Edinburgh which uses sport to deliver social change.  Their local community includes some of the most deprived post codes in Scotland.  With support from Social Investment Scotland, the Spartans have invested £4.5m in the last 5 years to build first class facilities and services which generate commercial income, the profits from which are re-invested to deliver their charitable objectives. 
In the past 15 months, Spartans business has continued to grow, enabling them to increase their social impact.  Some recent highlights are:
• Delivery of 1000+ hours of youth work based provision in 2013, including the Friday FooTEA club, where young people can enjoy a ‘hot meal’, take part in various activities and develop/grow at their own pace (a model which has been rolled-out & replicated elsewhere across the country)
• Delivery of 850+ physical activity and coaching sessions in local schools in 2013, helping them to meet their 2 hours of PE target per week
• Creation of 4 x Homework Clubs – using a ‘Game of 2 Halves’ model – in local primary schools, helping local schools to increase academic attainment levels
• Over 1200 sign-ups for our community coaching programmes in 2013, catering for recreational -> elite players
• Over 100,000 users of our range of Academy facilities in 2013
• Runner up in the Scottish Social Enterprise of the Year 2013 awards