Finance news: Unity loan funds new drug centre

A Leeds community organisation opened a new drug treatment centre in the city last week after receiving a £280,000 loan from Unity Trust Bank.

The mortgage enabled Barca-Leeds to relocate its drugs services to a new building. The Leeds Drug Action Team covered the cost of the refurbishment.

Nigel Price, corporate relationship manager with Unity Trust, said: "Well-managed charities are increasingly willing to consider loans to finance their development. A property purchase such as this can help to build a solid future for a successful non-profit organisation.

"Barca's expanding service means benefits within the local community are really beginning to multiply."

Half of all Unity Trust's lending is to voluntary and not-for-profit groups.

Mark Law, chief executive of Barca, said: "This was a fantastic opportunity for us to develop a facility that will truly value our clients while increasing our asset base.

"The cost of the mortgage was about the same, if not less, than the cost of renting premises would have been. Thanks to the loan from Unity, the purchase of the property was able to go ahead and we now have several dedicated treatment rooms and a completely separate area for our needle exchange."

KEY POINTS

- Unity Trust Bank has made a £280,000 loan to a community organisation in Leeds

- The mortgage has enabled Barca-Leeds to relocate its drug treatment services to a new building

- According to the chief executive of Barca-Leeds, the cost of the mortgage is no more expensive than the cost of renting premises would have been

- Half of all Unity Trust's lending is now to voluntary or not-for-profit groups.

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