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24 April 2023

Charities set to benefit from improved access to Recovery Loan Fund

The Recovery Loan Fund has reopened for new applications from charities. The announcement comes in the wake of the British Business Bank’s decision to exempt charities from a requirement to have significant levels of trading income, which hindered a significant number from previously accessing the fund. Social investor leaders had pressured the government to loosen the eligibility rules for charities, given how many rely on non-trading income for their activities.

The Recovery Loan Fund provides vital financing between £100k and £1.5m to social organisations based in England, Wales and Scotland. In total, over £4m of new funding is available to help charities to sustain and grow their activities.

The programme was established by Social Investment Business to make an existing Government guarantee scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme, more easily accessible to the social sector.

Rob Benfield, Director of investments at Social Investment Business:

“The reinstatement of the charity exemption by government is great news for the charity sector as many charities can afford repayable investment with non-trading income such as grants and donations forming a natural part of their revenue mix.

“This news comes at an important time as we are currently seeing strong demand for funding from charities navigating the cost-of-living crisis.”

Since its inception last year, the Recovery Loan Fund has approved more than £7 million to 24 organisations supporting a wide range of organisations. Some examples include:

  • Fair for You used the Recovery Loan Fund to ensure it could keep up with high levels of demand for zero-interest loans through the Iceland Food Club scheme.
  • SPID Theatre used the Recovery Loan Fund to finance the renovation of the theatre and to increase green space near their facility.
  • Contento Homes used the Recovery Loan Fund to purchase their first property, which is used as a permanent refuge home for women facing homelessness.
  • Project Cosmic used the Recovery Loan Fund to rapidly scale up their organisation and increase their ability to provide digital skills training in Devon.

The Fund is being run by Social Investment Business, with the initial investment from them and the Fusion21 Foundation – the charity parent and social investor of social enterprise and public sector procurement provider Fusion21.

In January 2022, The Archbishop’s Council, Big Society Capital, MFS Investment Management, and Treebeard Trust were announced as further investors in the Recovery Loan Fund. 

Social Investment Business is continuing to work with Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, The Ubele Initiative and Create Equity to provide grant and support funding alongside the Recovery Loan Fund to support Black and ethnic minority-led charities and social enterprises based in and delivering impact in England.

How to apply

Further details, including full eligibility criteria, product details and FAQs, visit: Recovery Loan Fund