Asda Community Capital will distribute the proceeds of the new plastic bag charge generated by Asda in Scotland, and will seek to deliver a lasting social impact in communities in Scotland. In what is a UK first, the partnership with SIS will see half of the proceeds distributed through loans, helping third sector organisations who would otherwise find it difficult to get access to funding.
Investment will be available from £10,000 to £50,000 for a period of up to 6 years. Interest will be charged at 5% fixed from year 2 to year 6 (i.e. for 5 years), however no interest will be charged in year one. In fact, an investee will not have to pay back anything in year one (neither interest not capital), and no interest will be accrued during this period. Further to this, social enterprises will be able to pay back the loan early, with no penalty, should they be in a position to do so.
The other half of the funds will be donated to Foundation Scotland to be distributed in small grants of up to £2,000.
Lauren Scott of Morton Fraser said:
"We've acted for Social Investment Scotland for several years now, and it is fantastic to see it continue to develop its offering to the third sector in Scotland. The new partnership with Asda fits neatly with SIS's ambition of connecting more capital with communities. A few months ago, before we were instructed, I didn’t expect I would become so au fait with The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations but that's what keeps our work interesting and we are delighted to have helped SIS with this project".
Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: "As Lauren says we are now experts on plastic bags! SIS is delighted to be working with Asda to deliver this innovative new fund. We hope that this may be the first of many new partnerships with corporates as they seek a new approach to corporate social responsibility. We were delighted to yet again work with Lauren and the Morton Fraser team on the finer points of the proposal".
So, the next time you find yourself buying a 5p bag in Asda, rest assured that the money is going to reputable organisations which will ensure the money is used to benefit worthwhile causes in Scotland.
For more information on Asda's Community Capital Fund and how to apply, click here.