What is the UCIT Building Change Trust Loan Fund
The Trust's Nigel McKinney (Right) at the launch of the UCIT Building Change Trust Loan Fund.

What is the UCIT Building Change Trust Loan Fund

24 October 2016

In conjunction with UCIT, we recently launched a loan fund. Here’s a bit of background.

Why? 

In response to the need to develop and widen the provision of social finance to voluntary, charity, community and social enterprises in Northern Ireland, Building Change Trust and Ulster Community Investment Trust have put in place a £350,000 finance initiative to ensure third sector organisations are not held back because they cannot access finance.

We appointed Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) to manage and deliver the fund. 

UCIT has been in operation for 15 years, stimulating economic growth and job opportunities in areas of deprivation through the provision of a loan fund for charities, community and voluntary organisations and social enterprises which are unable to access mainstream bank finance. 

Since the drawdown of UCIT’s first loan in 2001, it has assisted over 400 third sector organisations with loan commitments totalling over £60 million. The Trust is a charitable organisation, and profits are re-cycled into the social enterprise and community sector.

What is it?

A £350,000 loan fund which will assist eligible voluntary, charity, community and social enterprises operating in Northern Ireland.

Loans will be available from £1,000 - £25,000 and will be provided on an unsecured basis. Interest rates will typically be around 6% on a reducing balance basis. 

The term of the loan will be determined by the circumstances of the client but will range to six years (seven years by exception).

Who is it for?

The Loan Fund is open to eligible voluntary, charity, community and social enterprises operating in Northern Ireland including arts and heritage organisations, health and social care, enterprise and workspace, sports clubs, faith-based organisations, education and training initiatives and community organisations and services. 

What do we hope to achieve? 

The fund will aim to:

  • Expand the activities of voluntary, charity, community and social enterprises operating in Northern Ireland;
  • Create and safeguard jobs within these sectors;
  • Create a greater degree of financial independence and sustainability. 

What are loans available for? 

  • Working Capital: money required to meet the day to day costs of running the organisation
  • Development Finance: money required to expand the organisation’s reach, for example marketing;
  • Buildings- (deposit, improvement, investing in renewable energy efficiencies)
  • Equipment - (deposit, tooling, installation, training)
  • Funding shortfalls in a larger grant project
  • Increasing sales, new contracts
  • Stock Purchases 

For more information, please contact UCIT.

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