Social fund delivers £2.2m of cash for organisations

An investment fund dedicated to working positive change in communities in the North West has delivered £2.2m worth of help since it was launched 12 months ago.

And Invest for Impact still has £1.8m left to give out to organisations.

Six groups across the region have already received a combined £800,000 from the fund.

The fund is managed by First Ark Social Investment (FASI), which is part of a social business based in the Liverpool City Region.

Invest for Impact is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

The latest round of funding applications saw a diverse range of organisations awarded funding.

The six organisations are a mix of charities, social enterprises and community interest companies. The full list of is:
• The Rare Trust, a performing arts school in Liverpool
• Liverpool Lighthouse Ltd, an urban gospel music and arts centre
• Raise the Youth Foundation CIC, a specialist youth and education provider in Bolton
• Manchester Community Solicitors CIC, a not-for-profit law firm which provides legal advice to those on lower incomes
• Changing Lives in Cheshire, a social enterprise devoted to improving the lives of local residents
• Birkenhead Gymnastics Academy, a British Gymnastics affiliated club
Manchester Community Solicitors will use its investment to cover operational costs and deliver more services to those in need.

Rise the Youth Foundation will be opening a second facility in Oldham, enabling them to help more children access education.

With £1.8million of its £4m total left to invest in social organisations across the North West, businesses are being encouraged to apply before the next round of applications will be approved in mid-January.

Social organisations that feel they need some support to be investment ready can apply for the Reach Fund.

The funds are available as ‘blended capital’, a mix of grants and loans, and FASI also provide support to applicants throughout the whole process.

Hannah Jones, group head of onvestment at First Ark, said: “Invest for Impact is about enabling social organisations to do more of what they do best, delivering positive change in communities across the North West.

“This is a significant moment as we cross the halfway mark in terms of the investment funding and I want to encourage any social organisation that is thinking of expanding to get in touch.

“Businesses can apply for up to 150,000 which, as we have already seen, can make a huge difference to those organisations and the communities that they work in.”

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