Social investor celebrates £1m milestone thanks to bag tax

Asdasis 1

Alastair Davis

Partnership has helped award small grants to Scotland's communities 

26th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scotland’s 5p carrier bag tax has helped fund £1m in small loans to communities across the country.  

Asda Community Capital, a fund set up in partnership between Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and Asda, and which uses proceeds from the Scottish Government’s plastic bag charge, announced the milestone this week.

The mark was passed with the approval of a £40,000 loan to childcare provider Klas Care, based in the Renfrewshire towns of Linwood and Johnstone.

Set up in 2010 by local mums Kirsty MacKenzie and Lesley Compston in response to a severe lack of local affordable childcare, Klas Care will use the money to convert and renovate new premises which have they just recently acquired.

Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the passed the £1m mark for Asda Community Capital. The fund has been instrumental in supporting local groups across Scotland who were struggling to gain access to capital through traditional routes. 

“By offering loans free from interest payments for the first year, these organisations have been able to focus their energy on increasing local community impacts and making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Asda Community Capital was established in 2014 following the supermarket’s pledge to invest half of the funds from the bag charge to support innovative social enterprises and community projects across Scotland.

The partnership with one of the UK’s leading responsible finance providers SIS, the first of its kind in the UK, has allowed Asda to distribute half the proceeds through loans, ranging from £10,000 to £50,000.

Klas Care's Lesley Compston said: “We are delighted to receive £40,000 from the Community Capital Fund. The support we have received from SIS has been fantastic the team are so supportive and have had a positive effect on our future plans.

“This funding will enable us to progress with our refurbishment plans and make our aims and objectives a reality bringing additional child care spaces and much needed community space.”