Finance News: Unity loan enables Leeds-based drug treatment service

A new community-based drug treatment service is to open in Leeds this week following a £280,000 loan by Unity Trust Bank.

The charity Barca-Leeds borrowed the money last year to purchase premises for the project, which has been undertaken with two local primary care trusts.

The loan will be serviced by contract fees paid to the charity by the trusts. Barca-Leeds director Mark Law said: "We did consider renting, but realised we'd be spending almost as much in rent as we would on a loan."

The project involves GP surgeries providing prescriptions to drug users and the charity supplying addiction therapy.

"One advantage of working in partnership with Primary Care Trusts is that we can influence the quality of outcomes for our clients," added Law.

Unity Trust issued loans worth £5.5m to charities and community groups last year, and has pledged that half of its future lending will be to the voluntary sector.

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