Big Society Capital committed £93m to sector last year

The social investment wholesaler, chaired by Harvey McGrath (pictured), has now committed £149.1m since its launch in 2011

Harvey McGrath
Harvey McGrath

Big Society Capital made new commitments to charities and social enterprises worth almost £93m last year, bringing the total amount committed to £149.1m since its launch in 2011, according to its second annual report.

The social investment wholesaler said that the £93m figure was in line with its target of between £75m and £100m of new commitments in 2013, and compared favourably with the £40m Big Society Capital had available for social investment finance in 2012.

Of the £149m BSC has committed in 31 deals since 2011, £123.4m was pledged to UK-wide organisations, while £25.4m went into regional-specific investments.

BSC took its first steps to support regionally focused finance last year, channelling £8m into the Social Growth Fund managed by Social Investment Scotland and, earlier this year, putting £4.5m into a fund targeting north-east England and supported by the Northern Rock Foundation.

BSC achieved match-funding for its agreed investments of £5.5m, or 116 percent of the £48.1m worth of deals it signed during the period covered by the report.

Revenue for the lender fell from £1.5m in 2012 to £1.1m, and it made a loss of £2.9m over the year, an increase on the previous year’s figure of £1m.

A BSC spokesperson attributed the loss to the high administrative expenses incurred by the lender – £4m last year – which he said were in line with expectations for a start-up and a reflection of the amount of funds spent on BSC’s market-building activities such as sponsoring and hosting educational events on social investment.

Harvey McGrath, chair of BSC, said in a statement: "Internationally and in the UK, interest and engagement in social investment stepped up a gear in 2013, most notably with the announcement of the Social Investment Tax Relief and the launch at G8 of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce.

"We’re pleased to have played a role in this, and look forward to building on this momentum in the future."

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