Heritage and social investment partners join to provide capacity-building support for heritage organisations: See ‘RePlan’

Social enterprises and charities running historic buildings now have the opportunity to access RePlan, a new three-year capacity-building service funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF), The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), Historic Environment Scotland (HES), further supported by Historic England (HE) and delivered in collaboration with Social Investment Business (SIB).

AHF writes:

RePlan is an integral part of the Heritage impact Fund (HIF) initiative which launched earlier this year, a £7m UK-wide social investment loan fund that provides tailored loan finance, such as acquisition or working capital loans for charities and social enterprises to help them deliver economic and social impact from the re-use of UK’s historic buildings. The service will be offered alongside the HIF from September 2019 and will run for three years, with the intention of continuing the service beyond this initial period. The need for capacity-building support had become apparent to the AHF over recent times through encountering a growing number of heritage organisations struggling to establish sustainable business models. To address this, RePlan will assist clients seeking funding through the HIF in a number of ways and at various stages of their lifecycle, providing targeted and bespoke advice and consultancy across areas such as governance, impact measurement and business planning. Assistance with financial systems and support for planning community investment-raising initiatives can also be made available. It is anticipated that RePlan will assist an average of five to ten organisations each year and support will be given for up to 12 months, with some organisations requiring briefer and quicker interventions.

Following a tender process, SIB has been selected to support the delivery of RePlan alongside AHF. With a wealth experience, between 2004 and today, SIB has deployed and managed over £400m of loans and grants into over 2,000 organisations and enabled almost 1,000 more to get dedicated support through programmes.

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of AHF, said: ‘As the UK’s specialist lender to heritage-led community businesses and social enterprises, the Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to be partnering with Social Investment Business to deliver RePlan. This capacity-building and business support service is now available alongside our £7m social investment partnership fund – the Heritage impact Fund – which has already made loan offers well in excess of £2m since its launch earlier this year. The need for business support has been apparent to the AHF and our partners for some time and this new service will add a new source of advice and guidance to assist supported organisations to become more sustainable.’

Nick Temple, Chief Executive of SIB, said: ‘We are very excited to be collaborating with our partners on delivering RePlan with the Architectural Heritage Fund. Social Investment Business has a track record of providing finance and support to enable thousands of organisations to become more resilient and to make a bigger difference. Through that work, we also understand the crucial role that historic spaces can play in bringing communities together. We look forward to joining forces with AHF and using our knowledge and experience to provide the most effective support for heritage organisations and their communities.’

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘The Heritage Impact Fund is an exciting strategic partnership that is enabling National Lottery funding to work harder to deliver positive and lasting change for people and communities. With an impressive investment portfolio and experience to match, AHF and SIB will help deliver much need capacity support that will enable heritage organisations establish sustainable business models.’

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: ‘The offer of additional expert support, advice and mentoring to applicants in order to support sustainable business change, and to help drive long-term social and economic impact, is a key part of delivering the ambition within the Heritage Impact Fund and one which HES is delighted to support. We are looking forward to our ongoing partnership with the AHF on this and other projects; delivering real impact to people through the reuse of our historic buildings.’

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For more background to the HIF see the NewsBlog

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