The Clifton Community Arts Centre Ltd (CCAC Ltd) trading as Wellington Orbit, is a social enterprise which provides art and cultural facilities in the town of Wellington, Shropshire.
Focus areaSocial lending
Investment typeEnterprise debt
There is currently a lack of funding to art and cultural facilities in the UK, especially outside of main cities. The residents of Wellington, Shropshire, were conscious that their town lacked such facilities, especially since the creation of the New Town of Telford. Older people particularly felt the absence of a ‘local hub’ where they could meet friends and feel part of the community.
The Clifton Community Arts Centre (CCAC Ltd) is converting a vacant bank building in the town into a community arts centre, trading under the name of Wellington Orbit. The company used a mixture of grants and loans, including the Social Investment Tax Relief scheme, to transform the once derelict building into a vibrant social hub for people within the community. The initial phase of the project has now been completed, meaning the centre now has a 63-seat cinema and café bar. The next phase of the project will see various multi-purpose rooms being built for art galleries, exhibition areas, meeting rooms, dance studio and rehearsal rooms.
The organisation has received approximately £180,000 in grants (mostly from Telford & Wrekin Council) and has just under £330,000 in loans and shares using Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR).
Wellington Orbit generates income from the purchase of cinema tickets and refreshments from the café/ bar. This is then reinvested into the arts centre.
The town of Wellington itself has a population of 26,500, however the immediate catchment area is 80,000 and the borough has a population of 169,000 people, all of whom have local access to the centre. The centre not only helps people to feel part of the community by visiting the cinema and meeting friends at the café; it also helps to alleviate social isolation by offering plenty of volunteering opportunities.
Social impact investment has allowed us to fund the first stage of our project. We have a mixture of grants and loans and the tax benefits have persuaded investors to invest in our project.
Ray HughesChief Investment Officer