The North East is a region with a distinct series of social needs, and a range of different challenges across different localities. At the same time, the social enterprise and charity sector in the North East has an underdeveloped range of funding options available to it.
The fund and its investment options have been co-developed with the Northern Rock Foundation, an organisation that has been embedded in the region for a number of years, and with a deep understanding of the local voluntary and social enterprise sector and the challenges it faces. The fund is managed by Northstar Ventures, which operates locally with two offices in different parts of the region. By increasing the amount and range of social investment in the North East, and enabling local management, a greater number of charities and social enterprises will be able to access the investment required to help them increase their impact with those people who are least well served.
Northstar Ventures monitors and reports the social impact of its investment to the North East Social Investment board and the NESIF investors, which will be published in a social impact report describing the social change the fund is enabling.
Our investment of up to £6,500,000 into a North East-focussed fund will see more money channelled into a particularly underserved region to help address its social issues. The long-term and relatively patient nature of the investment the fund will provide will become a sustainable source of funding over the next ten years, and an ability to re-invest the initial returns will multiply the impact created.
The fund is the first regional fund that Big Society Capital has invested into in England, seeking to develop a model for locally based funds investing to meet local issues which could be replicated elsewhere. Alongside the North East Social Investment Fund, we have also helped establish the North East Social Investment Company as the fund’s board, but whose role will be broader, being a strong champion in the North East for creating social impact through investment.
As the Northern Rock Foundation winds its operations down, the fund will also play its part in ensuring the foundation’s legacy endures in the region.
- Big Society Capital's investment: £5,250,000 (up to £6,500,000 subject to match).
- Total fund size: £9,000,000 (up to £11,500,000)
- Co-investors: North East Social Investment Company with funds from Northern Rock Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
- Manager/Arranger: Northstar Ventures