Futurebuilders, the pioneering social investment fund launched in 2004, has now had over half of the original loans repaid. The fund, managed by Social Investment Business, provided £117m of loans and £28m of grants to 369 organisations between 2004 and 2010. Over £58.5m has now been repaid.
One of the organisations to have paid back their original loan is StreetScene, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity. Founded in 1989, they provide primary and secondary rehabilitation care to those suffering from addiction or eating disorders from three properties in Bournemouth and Southampton.
In 2006 they received a loan of £396,500 and a grant of £15,000 to part-finance a new property so they could offer treatment to more clients. The Futurebuilders investment was one part of a larger lending package. StreetScene has now repaid its original investment after refinancing the loan.
“For the past ten years StreetScene has consistently helped people into abstinence based recovery and been recognised by the CQC as an excellent service. We now have too many ex-clients to count living in recovery and getting on with their lives. None of this would have been possible without the original Futurebuilders investment.”
Tessa Corner, Chief Executive, StreetScene
Futurebuilders was originally set up to try and encourage the voluntary and community sector to make greater use of repayable finance to help bid for, win and deliver public service contracts. A Boston Consulting Group evaluation of the Fund in July 2015 found that it had delivered better than expected results but that significant lessons should be learned to help move social investment forward.
“Futurebuilders showed us that social investment could work and that there was demand for repayable finance from social sector organisations. The fund offered simple finance while pioneering the mix of grants and loans to make the investments more affordable. Futurebuilders is a great example of how social investment can be designed to meet the demands of social sector organisations such as StreetScene.”
Caroline Forster, Deputy Chief Executive, Social Investment Business
The fund is owned by the Office for Civil Society and the money that has been repaid is now being used to fund new initiatives, such as the Capacity Building programmes from Access – The Foundation for Social Investment.
“Futurebuilders was one of the building blocks of social investment in the UK market and helped pave the way for the world leading ecosystem we have today. It is great to see that over 50% of the fund has now been repaid allowing the money to be used again to fund new and exciting programmes such as Access”.
Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society