Posted by: the3rdi | December 8, 2011

New £50m scheme to build third sector business centres across Scotland

SCVO and Unity Trust Bank PLC are pleased to announce the creation of a £50m loan scheme available at £10m/year to create third sector business centres across Scotland.

The scheme will be open to SCVO members for the sole or joint purchase of new build premises or the refurbishment of existing properties, helping organisations to build up an asset base and generate savings from shared back office services.

“This £50m strategic capital investment scheme will help to secure the financial sustainability of the third sector and enable it to deliver more high quality, cost-effective services to people in Scotland,” said John Ferguson, Director of Development and Programmes, SCVO.

“Following the success of SCVO’s Brunswick House, a charity hub that opened in Glasgow’s Merchant City in May, the new scheme will allow more third sector organisations to focus on what they do best – delivering vital services to the people of Scotland – safe in the knowledge that they are building assets and operating in an efficient, cost-effective way.

“But more than improving charities’ balance sheets, ownership will empower them to tailor their offices and facilities to the needs of their staff and the people who use their services.

“This is also a prime example of the key contribution the sector can make to the Scottish economy.”

John Brooks, Executive Director, Unity Trust Bank, said: “As a socially-focused bank, Unity is delighted to bring this scheme to the sector with SCVO, which has a great track record of active participation with its members.

“Unity is committed to supporting organisations that improve communities and benefit society, and this scheme fits neatly with that core purpose. In the current climate, we know how difficult it can be for organisations to access finance, so we wanted to do something practical to show the sector that we’re here to help them – this scheme delivers on that.”

Welcoming the announcement, John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, said: “The third sector plays a vital role in delivering our priorities to support jobs and promote economic growth. The Scottish Government is committed to building the sector’s capacity and resilience and to strengthening its role in the design and delivery of public services.

“We therefore welcome this initiative by SCVO and Unity Trust Bank which will build on our support, helping to improve the capability of individual third sector organisation in delivering high quality public services and enhancing the sector’s economic contribution.”

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