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A bond with real social impact

Triodos Corporate Finance raises £600,000 for new social enterprise Bristol Together CIC

01-11-2011 | Ethical investment specialist Triodos Bank announces today it has successfully arranged the initial funding for Bristol Together, a groundbreaking social enterprise that supports a major programme of job creation for ex-offenders in Bristol. 

Triodos acted as lead advisors for the initial fundraising from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and a private individual, successfully securing a £600,000 investment to purchase and renovate empty properties in Bristol.

The investment will allow Bristol Together to buy empty, sub-standard properties. These properties will then be fully repaired and refurbished.   Over the next five years the social enterprise expects to create full-time jobs for over 200 of some of the most excluded people in and around Bristol. 

Bristol Together will partner with social enterprises, such as the Restore Trust and Aspire. The enterprises will employ the ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed to repair and refurbish a range of several more properties. 

The sale proceeds from developed properties will be utilised to acquire further properties in need of renovation - and thus create even more employment opportunities.

This endorsement of the Bristol Together concept by Esmée Fairbairn underpins the additional £1 million fundraising campaign planned to commence in Spring 2012, when a tax-efficient social impact bond will be offered to a selection of high net-worth individuals.

In time it is the intention of the directors of Bristol Together to replicate this model in other large UK cities.

Bristol Together began employing ex-offenders at the beginning of October but has already won the award of 'Social Business of the Year' at the ClearlySo conference in London.

Instrumental in getting this socially-relevant project off the ground has been Bristol Together's management team, comprising Paul Harrod (Founder and CEO), Peter Culliford (Operations Director) and Andrew Street (Chair and Investor-Director).

Triodos Bank's Corporate Finance lead advisor, Lydia Westmore, worked with the management team to shape the business and make it investor-ready

"We believe that this project will add-value to UK society as a whole - demonstrating the effectiveness of social impact bonds, and giving real assistance to vulnerable individuals in the Bristol area," said Lydia Westmore, Corporate Finance Manager, Triodos Bank.

"There is an urgent need to create jobs for ex-offenders" said Paul Harrod, Founder and CEO of Bristol Together.  "The cost to the tax-payer of people reoffending is huge - but we have already proved that, given the right opportunity, we can help people leave their criminal past behind them, and develop their skills and employability.   At the same time we are bringing empty property back into use.

"Having worked with Triodos for the past nine months I feel confident that this project will succeed.  We would like to see if it can replicated in other major cities across the UK where the need for jobs is just as great as it is here in Bristol,

"I look forward to seeing private investors support this initiative, leading to a very positive result for people in the Bristol area - and beyond."

Lead advisory:        

Triodos Corporate Finance: Lydia Westmore

Notes to editors:

Triodos Corporate Finance works exclusively with sustainable businesses and has a long track record of advising businesses on raising capital through private placements and retail offers.  The growth achievable from capital raisings helps businesses achieve the perfect balance between financial and ethical business objectives.  Triodos has an enviable database of ethical investors keen to invest in the growing sustainability sector. 

Over the past 12 months, Triodos Corporate Finance has raised over £25 million for businesses within the sustainability sector with investments from institutions, charitable foundations, private high net worth individuals and retail investors.  Through our Europe-wide reputation and credibility in the sustainability sector, Triodos has unmatched access to potential clients.

For further information, please contact:

Will Ferguson                0117 980 9770   william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk

Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added-value.

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.
Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

To find out more about Triodos Bank's range of banking services, visit www.triodos.co.uk or call 0500 008 720.  

Corporate Finance Team

Dan Hird, Finance Director

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