Sefton social enterprises to benefit from investment fund

Michael Hunt

Liverpool Vision, the economic development agency for the city, has teamed up with Charity Bank to offer loans to social enterprises in north Liverpool and south Sefton.

Charity Bank, a community development finance institution, will seek private investors, businesses and wealth funds to invest money into the Liverpool Sefton Social Investment Bond, with an aim of raising £5m.

The money raised by the Bond will be used to offer loan finance from £50,000 to £2m to social enterprises and other community organisations in north Liverpool and south Sefton that are creating jobs and bringing economic investment, regeneration and development to the area.

Mike Taylor, Liverpool Vision's director of investment and enterprise, said: "We know from talking to businesses in this area that one of the main barriers to starting up a business, and to business growth, is lack of available finance. It is clearly proving difficult to attract new investment, making the challenge of regeneration an even tougher task.

Malcolm Hayday, the chief executive of Charity Bank, added: "The Bond offers savers a safe, secure and transparent way to support their local community without having to give their money away. It's a great alternative for those who, in this economic climate, might be struggling to sustain their support for charity, because we can use their savings to fund these vital projects, and then they can get their money back when they want it. And unlike a donation which once spent, is gone, we can lend the money out again and again while it remains with us."

Charity Bank has set up similar funds with the Welsh Assembly Government and regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, but this is the first time that it has created one with an economic development company.

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