Carrier bag charge fund passes £1m investment milestone
A first-of-a-kind fund which uses proceeds from the Scottish Government’s 5p single-use carrier bag charge has passed a major milestone after lending more than £1m in small loans to communities across Scotland.
Asda Community Capital, which was set up in partnership between Asda and responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS), passed its £1m milestone with the approval of a £40,000 loan to Renfrewshire childcare provider Klas Care.
Klas Care has become the 30th organisation to be awarded funding through the Asda Community Capital fund, whose other recipients have included Edinburgh-based community baker Breadshare, Cumnock Juniors, Brewgooder and Heroes Vodka.
Asda Community Capital was established in 2014 following the supermarket’s pledge to invest half of the funds from the bag charge to support innovative social enterprises and community projects across Scotland.
The partnership with one of the UK’s leading responsible finance providers SIS, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, has allowed Asda to distribute half the proceeds through loans, ranging from £10,000 to £50,000. The average value of each award has been £34,000, with the smallest just £10,000.
For recipients of the loans, interest is waived during the first year of investment and from the second year, all interest raised on the Community Capital loans is reinvested to support more good causes, delivering sustainable social impact in communities across Scotland.
Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the passed the £1m mark for Asda Community Capital. The fund has been instrumental in supporting local groups across Scotland who were struggling to gain access to capital through traditional routes.
“By offering loans free from interest payments for the first year, these organisations have been able to focus their energy on increasing local community impacts and making a real difference to people’s lives.
“Not only that, but we have been able to help these charities and social enterprises become more financially sustainable, allowing them to stand on their own two feet. The future of the fund looks bright, we are continuing to work with Asda and all money raised through interest is now being reinvested in more good causes.”
Lesley Compston, Co-founder of Klas Care, said: “We are delighted to receive £40,000 from the Community Capital Fund. The support we have received from SIS has been fantastic the team are so supportive and have had a positive effect on our future plans. This funding will enable us to progress with our refurbishment plans and make our aims and objectives a reality bringing additional child care spaces and much needed community space.”