Big Society Capital made £255m of social investment capital available in 2014 alone

The social lender reveals in its annual report that from its inception to the end of last year it committed a total of £359m to social investment finance intermediaries

Big Society Capital annual report
Big Society Capital annual report

Big Society Capital and its co-investors made £255m of social investment capital available to social sector organisations in 2014, and £75m was drawn down by individual organisations, the organisation’s annual report shows.

The report, published today, shows that BSC and its co-investors had committed a total of £359m from its inception to the end of 2014 to social investment finance intermediaries, which in turn support individual charities and social enterprises. Of this, £255m was committed in 2014 alone. A further £15m was committed in the first three months of 2015.

The SIFIs had distributed a cumulative total of £104m at the end of 2014, of which £75m was drawn down during 2014, while a further £32m was drawn down in the first quarter of 2015. Of that £104m, £36m came from BSC and £68m from its co-investors.

The £104m has been distributed to a total of 135 organisations, of which 37 operate in employment, education and training projects, 26 in the field of citizenship and community and 21 in housing or local facilities projects.

For the first time, BSC has produced a social impact report, also published today, which uses case studies and statistics on projects it has funded across the UK to demonstrate what these schemes have achieved.

At the end of March this year, BSC had received a total of £319m from the reclaim fund, which collects money from dormant bank accounts, and from banks.

Harvey McGrath, chair of BSC, said: "2014 has been a year of significant progress on many fronts. Access – the Foundation for Social Investment was established, responding to the market and providing finance for social sector organisations needing less than £150,000, while providing capacity-building support for the sector.

"Big Society Capital has developed from a start-up to having an emerging track record on which to build the next stage of the social investment market in the UK."

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of BSC, used his foreword to the annual review to warn that developing the social investment market to its full potential could take decades – as reported by Third Sector when the organisation filed its accounts at Companies House last month.

- This story was amended on 19 May 2015 to make it clear that the £255m was made available through BSC and its co-investors.

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