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Scottish Third Sector Organisations Offered Property Lifeline

Triodos launches co-lending product with Social Investment Scotland

15-11-2010 | Charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in Scotland are being offered a property lifeline by way of a new one-stop, full value loan package from Triodos Bank in partnership with Social Investment Scotland (SIS).

SIS and Triodos have teamed up to offer Scottish third sector organisations looking to purchase freehold or long leasehold property the chance to borrow up to 95 per cent - and in some cases even 100 per cent - of the value of a property, opening the door for more of the third sector to realise property ownership. Triodos will lend up to 70 per cent of the value of the property and SIS will fund the remaining up to 30 per cent.

There are currently around 45,000 third sector organisations in Scotland and 3,000 social enterprises. Together, they add more than £4.5billion to the Scottish economy every year, similar to that derived from tourism.*

Many organisations do not have the equity needed to purchase their own property and in the current market there is a real opportunity for them to do so. By initially making available up to £5million, the Triodos/SIS loan product will provide the Scottish third sector with crucial access to finance it might not otherwise be able to obtain.

Craig Campbell, chief executive at SIS Scotland, said: "We are pleased to offer the third sector in Scotland a new resource that will enable them to buy their own property. We hear regularly how difficult it is for organisations to find finance to enable expansion plans, and we hope that this will help them realise their ambitions for growth."

David Cousland, regional manager for Scotland at Triodos Bank, added: "This new package has been specially put together based on a growing need and interest from some third sector organisations to purchase their own properties. It comes at a time when, like elsewhere in the UK, these organisations are experiencing a tough time financially, and this will provide them with access to finance they might not otherwise get. We hope this package helps create a platform for growth of Scotland's third sector."

Applicants to the scheme will benefit from access to just one valuer and one set of solicitors. The process has been developed to be as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

The new loan package represents a new formal relationship between the two social finance specialists, although they have previously worked together - via the Social Investment Fund - to help organisations such as the WASPS Trust which provides affordable workspace for artists at 17 centres throughout Scotland,
Scottish third sector organisations interested in finding out more about the new loan package should email scotland@triodos.co.uk  or debbie.zima@socialinvestmentscotland.com


For further information
For more information please call Allan Hogarth, consultant to SIS on 07982250682 or Will Ferguson, communications officer, Triodos Bank on 0117 980 9770 or email william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk

Notes to editors
* Figures from SCVO http://www.scvo.org.uk/about-the-sector/sector-stats/
and Scottish Social Enterprise http://www.scottishsocialenterprise.org.uk/news/1103

Triodos Bank only finances enterprises creating social, environmental or cultural added value - ranging from large ethical enterprises to smaller, innovative organisations meeting local needs. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank's lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment. A range of personal savings accounts is offered and full banking services are available for businesses and charities.

SIS's remit is to help grow the size of the social economy in Scotland. Our particular emphasis is on the use of loans as a more predictable and sustainable form of finance. In addition, in 2008, the Scottish Government asked SIS to manage its £30m Scottish Investment Fund. By March 2011, SIS expects its portfolio of live investments in social enterprise in Scotland to total £35m, of which some £25m will be in the form of repayable loans.

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