Scotland’s leading funder for the third sector, Social Investment Scotland, has secured a £16M in principle matched investment commitment from Big Society Capital and the Scottish Government to create a Social Growth Fund for Scotland.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, Social Investment Scotland has successfully bid for £8M in funding from Big Society Capital, the independent financial institution set up to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK. The investment has been matched with £8M from the Scottish Government. The Social Growth Fund will facilitate continued development of Scotland’s third sector focusing on funding and delivering projects which create measurable social impacts.
Big Society Capital’s planned investment in Social Investment Scotland is the first of its kind in Scotland since its formation last year, and will increase Social Investment Scotland’s funds under management by a third. It will be the largest investment in SIS for twelve years and the largest ever investment by an external organisation.
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) was established in 2001 to provide a new finance model for Scotland’s charities and social enterprises. Since then it has invested over £43m in almost 200 organisations across Scotland, becoming Scotland’s largest Community Development Finance Institution. Projects that have benefited from the funding are worth in excess of £60 million and tackle a range of social issues including employment and training, health, arts and culture, care and the environment.
In September 2013 SIS launched its new five year strategy – A Framework for Growth – which set out a series of commitments for the organisation, grouped within five main themes, aimed at connecting more capital with communities.
Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “SIS aims to grow its funds under management significantly over the next five years and this new Social Growth Fund represents a substantial step in this direction. The investment is recognition for the considerable social impact achieved by our work to date, and will go a long way to helping us achieve our strategy for growth, making a real difference to more lives in communities across Scotland.”
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital, added: “Social investment delivers the money needed to make positive changes in communities. Social Investment Scotland’s exceptional track record, matched with its knowledge of the needs of the community means that they are ideally placed to make sure this significant planned investment really makes a difference”
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government will be able to support Social Investment Scotland with up to £8 million from the Scottish Investment Fund, which will match Big Society Capital’s commitment. This is an exciting opportunity for third sector organisations in Scotland, and I look forward to the Social Growth Fund opening to applications shortly.”
Nick Kuenssberg, SIS chairman, said: “CEO Alastair Davis and his team are now seeing their ambitious plans maturing, permitting SIS to add significantly to its potential for connecting communities and capital. We would like to thank both Big Society Capital and the Scottish Government, and John Swinney in particular, for making this possible.“