Carrier bag cash goes to five worthy enterprises
Cash raised from Scotland’s carrier bag charge is set to kick start five community-based social enterprises to the tune of £156,000.
Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has awarded the loan cash thanks to money raised in the first six months of the charge being implemented by supermarket giant Asda.
The partnership between SIS and Asda follows the supermarket’s pledge to donate half of the funds from the bag charge to support innovative social enterprises and community projects across Scotland.
The five groups that will receive investment include real bread bakers – Breadshare, West Lothian Artistic Gymnastics Club, Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise, conservation group Green Aspirations Scotland CIC and North Highland Radio.
We want the carrier bag charge to have long-term social – as well as environmental – benefits - Kevin McBride
Each of the organisations will receive investment capital of between £10,000 and £50,000 to help them continue delivering positive social impacts within their local communities.
SIS chief executive Alastair Davis met with directors and employees of Edinburgh-based Breadshare to see how the funds would be put to use.
He said: “As a community bakery, Breadshare is an excellent example of a third sector business playing an increasingly crucial role in fostering thriving communities through local job creation, community engagement and economic development.
"As well as providing real bread for sale at wholesale and retail outlets, the organisation strives to involve all members of the community in this process and also supports several other local businesses through their delivery contracts as well as selling their goods.
“We are delighted to support this worthy organisation with their franchise based expansion plans.”
The cash will be delivered to the groups via loan finance – meaning it is to be paid back but with preferential terms and conditions with no interest being charged in the first year.
Kevin McBride, Asda’s senior director for Scotland, said: “At Asda, we want the carrier bag charge to have long-term social – as well as environmental – benefits. Our partnership with SIS is about using the scale and expertise of Asda to make a real difference to the third sector and help nurture more resilient communities."