Big Society Capital to focus on three areas, says 2016 review

The document, published this week, says the social investor will fund schemes that provide homes for people in need, support communities or take early action

Big Society Capital is to focus its investment on three areas, according to its 2016 annual review, which was published this week.

The social investor, which was founded in 2012, will fund schemes that provide homes for people in need, support communities or take early action to prevent problems. These themes were agreed after discussions with stakeholders dating back to last autumn.

Cliff Prior, chief executive of BSC, said in a statement that the new approach, which has no fixed timeframe, would enable the organisation to "focus our efforts where social investment can make a substantial difference to people's lives".

He said: "We have taken stock of what we have learned since we were set up five years ago and worked closely with many of our stakeholders to define what role we can best play in the future.

"Our ultimate aim is to improve the lives of people in the UK by connecting investment to the charities and social enterprises that are creating social change."

BSC will continue to invest with intermediary organisations rather than directly with charities by typically providing three to 10-year loans of between £500,000 and £15m that generate a 4 or 5 per cent return on investment.

David Dinnage, interim senior director of communications, said there would be little change to operations this year as BSC continued to work on deals already in its pipeline, including a range of investments in social issue areas that fall outside the new themes, and would carry on supporting the investments it has already made.

The review also revealed that BSC's staff costs rose from £2.7m to £3m between 2015 to 2016. The number of staff rose during this period from 39 to 47.

According to the review, BSC and its co-investors have invested £893m in 63 projects since 2012, of which £340m has come from BSC and £553m from co-investors.

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