Scope repays the £2m it borrowed through a bond issue in 2012

The disability charity was the first major charity to launch a bond programme, doing so in partnership with Investing for Good, a social finance intermediary

Scope: mulling over new bond issue

The disability charity Scope has repaid all of the £2m it raised through a bond issue in 2012.

Scope was the first major operational charity to launch a bond programme, in partnership with the social finance intermediary Investing for Good. The transaction allowed Scope to borrow £2m in unrestricted revenues in return for paying interest of 2 per cent a year to its investors, which also included Big Society Capital and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The charity initially said that the £2m bond would be the first tranche of a £20m programme, but it has not yet issued a successor bond. 

Big Society Capital, the social investment wholesaler set up with money from dormant bank accounts, said in a statement that the charity had repaid the £875,000 it had invested in the bond.

BSC said that the disability charity had used the capital raised through the bond to help open 20 new shops and increase its donor base by another 100,000 supporters over the past three years. The money had also been used to support a number of its projects, it said.

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of BSC, said in a statement: "This is the first BSC investment to be repaid and illustrates how charities and social enterprises can successfully use social investment as a tool to generate additional funding and increase their impact."

Peter Crowne, director of finance at Scope, said in a statement: "The money raised has made a very positive impact on the disabled people and their families that Scope supports. For example, it has helped to fund our Face 2 Face programme, a peer support scheme for parents of disabled children across the country."

A spokeswoman for Scope said a number of investors had indicated they would be interested in another bond issue and it was giving the idea careful consideration.

BSC estimates the charity bond market to be worth £78m. 

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