Set up in 1981, Ecology Building Society offers mortgages and loans to properties and projects that have a positive impact on the environment and communities. As part of the new agreement, the building society will lend £500,000 to Co-operative and Community Finance, who will use the money to stimulate enterprises in deprived areas under the terms of the Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) programme.
Co-operative and Community Finance acts as a revolving fund, to which money is repaid and lent again. It is the oldest Community Development Finance Institution in the UK and has been lending to co-operatives and social enterprises for over 42 years. The two ethical finance organisations have worked together in the past, jointly funding housing co-operatives and community-owned shops. Co-operative and Community Finance has £4m to lend to member-owned enterprises. Lending for the group in 2014 reached £632,000, a record for the organisation, which witnessed an increased demand for lending.
Ian Rothwell, development manager at Co-operative and Community Finance, said: “When we realised that we may need additional funds to meet the demand for our ethical finance it made sense to approach Ecology Building Society. We share similar values and are keen to invest in the same projects and enterprises.” Mr Rothwell participated in the Ecology Building Society’s annual general meeting in Liverpool.
The CITR scheme was designed to encourage investment in disadvantaged communities by giving tax relief to investors who back businesses and other enterprises.
Paul Ellis, chief executive of Ecology Building Society, said: “We are pleased to be strengthening our links with Co-operative and Community Finance who have an excellent track record in working with start-ups in the community sector. We strongly believe in finance organisations pooling their respective skill-sets for the common good, enabling us to amplify our impact. This collaborative approach is something that our members welcome.”
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- co-operative and community finance
- Community Development Finance Institution
- community finance
- Ecology Building Society
- ethical finance organisations
- finance organisations
- Paul Ellis
- Social enterprise
- Social enterprise lending
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories