Home > News & Events > May 2004 > News Article

Investment partners make first loan in South Yorkshire.

Published: 20th May 2004

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From left to right, Key Fund's Andrew Atkin, Cawthorne Children's Centre Manager Anita Sharland and SYIF's Alan Wood with one of the children.

Key Fund (South Yorkshire) Ltd and South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) have made their first combined loan to a social enterprise in South Yorkshire. The deal is the result of the close working partnership between the two investors, arranged to process some of the larger financial proposals coming forward from the region’s social enterprises.

"This investment marks an exciting time in South Yorkshire’s Social Economy. The innovative package we have put together with SYIF for Cawthorne Children’s Centre (www.cawthornechildrenscentre.co.uk) reflects the creative way people do business in the sector and we are pleased to see even more loans being taken on by our clients." said Andrew Atkin, Business Manager of the Key Fund for the Social Economy.

"This is our first investment in the social enterprise sector and we are delighted to be able to support Cawthorne Children’s Centre with its ambitious plans. The Centre has a solid business plan, the potential to be self sustaining and make a substantial contribution in its communities – it is precisely the sort of social enterprise we are looking to support in South Yorkshire," said Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd.

Cawthorne Children’s Centre in Barnsley has secured an innovative finance package that is being seen as a first in South Yorkshire’s Social Economy. The Centre is building a new childcare facility within the grounds of Cawthorne CoE Primary School. The Key Fund has put together a finance package that includes a £20,000 grant £10,000 loan and £25,000 of venture capital. This investment will be paid off when income reaches £150,000 pa, or after two years, whichever is soonest, at an interest rate of 10%. To complete the package SYIF is providing a loan of £40,000; all of which forms part of an overall project costing £300,000.

The Children’s Centre has been in existence for 30 years in various guises the village of Cawthorne and is presently housed in a portacabin. Recently introduced regulations mean that the Centre must have its own building from where it will offer complete childcare facilities for children from 0 – 14. The finance is being used to build the new Centre, which will cater for up to 46 children at any one time when it officially opens in July this year.

"It has taken us five years to get to the stage where we are seeing bricks and mortar being laid, none of which could have happened without the finance from Key Fund and South Yorkshire Investment Fund. With the Centre being new-build it had to be financed on an unsecured basis, which is why SYIF’s terms suited us perfectly," said Children’s Centre Building Manager, Helen Morris.

The new Centre is a critical resource to many families in and around Cawthorne as there is no other childcare facility in the popular village or within a two-mile radius of its local schools.

Over the last two years the Key Fund for the Social Economy has assisted over 100 new, emerging and established Social Enterprises by providing more than £1,250,000 of grant/loan support covering pre-start, start up and ongoing activity to a wide range of enterprises and entrepreneurs operating within the Social Economy.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).