Covid-19 recovery loan fund hands out £28m to charity sector

Charities and social enterprises have been handed £28m through a government backed fund over the last year, to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) was launched in April last year to make the existing government loan scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, more accessible to charitable organisations.

It closed to new applications at the end of March. Over its year of operation 77 charities and social enterprises have benefited, with £24m handed out as loans and more than £3.9m through grants.

The RRLF is run by Social Investment Business (SIB), through investment from Big Society Capital and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment.
SIB says that a successor loan fund aims to launch this summer, adding “more information will become available on this over the coming weeks”.

Charities to receive funding include Autism Plus, Big Issue, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and the Royal Society for Blind Children.

“We are hugely proud of the successes of the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund,” said SIB chief executive Nick Temple.

“We established the fund in record time, got money rapidly to organisations who needed it most across the UK, and worked in true collaboration throughout.”

He added: “We have learned a great deal from the Fund, and we will be using those insights in designing the successor loan fund, as well as building on the partnerships that have helped us achieve so much in the last 12 months. This will mean continuing to support charities and social enterprises with patience, flexibility and responsiveness in the post-Covid recovery.”

Big Society Capital chief investment officer Jeremy Rogers said: “We are delighted to see how many charities and social enterprises have been able to access this funding at a time when they faced huge challenges as a result of the pandemic.”

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