Architectural Heritage Fund launches £7m loan initiative

The Heritage Impact Fund is the first time the AHF has offered money to charities outside the heritage sector

The Architectural Heritage Fund has today launched a new £7m loan fund that will for the first time be available to charities outside the heritage sector.

The Heritage Impact Fund is a social investment fund that will help charities deliver economic and social impact from re-using heritage buildings.

This will involve providing loan finance to charities, social enterprises and community businesses that want to acquire, re-use or redevelop historical buildings, including those that are listed or in conservation areas.

Loans of up to £500,000 per project are available, with a maximum three-year term.

The fund will also help to support charities working within local communities, the AHF said.

As well as the AHF, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland and the Welsh historical environment service Cadw have all provided funding.

Rathbone Greenbank Investments will provide investment management and loan facilities to the AHF.

Matthew Mckeague, chief executive of the AHF, said: "The Heritage Impact Fund is our first partnership loan fund and the first of its kind for the heritage sector. We are extremely pleased to be launching the fund alongside our partners.

"The Heritage Impact Fund is designed to be flexible, supporting not-for-profit organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, the common link being the re-use of a heritage building and delivering local economic and social benefits."

Mckeague said that the fund could be used for almost any type of loan to support a project, such as working capital during the construction phase, capital to grow a business or finance to acquire a property.

A new business support service called RePlan has been launched by the AHF to provide charities with access to pro-bono expertise, advice and guidance.

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