Volunteer Centre Edinburgh has moved to new premises on Leith Walk thanks to a 100% loan finance deal
Volunteer Centre Edinburgh has opened new premises in central Edinburgh after receiving a loan from Unity Trust Bank and Big Issue Invest Scotland.
The Centre, which was previously based in the west end of the city, has purchased 540 square metres of property and office space at 222 Leith Walk.
Volunteer Centre Edinburgh supports people in the city who are looking to volunteer and organisations seeking volunteers. The move is a result of the proposed demolition of its previous rented accommodation.
Harriet Eadie, chief executive at Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, said: “We recruit and place one in four of all volunteers in Edinburgh, who all donate their time to not-for-profit organisations, councils, health boards and the NHS.
“The new offices are a superb new base for Volunteer Centre Edinburgh and will have a big impact on how we continue to support and develop volunteering in the city, as well as enabling us to become a more sustainable organisation.”
The 100% loan finance scheme with Big Issue Invest Scotland is an example of how funders can work together to create positive social change – Gordon Allan
Having recently transferred its banking to Unity Trust Bank, a specialist bank for organisations and businesses that offer community, social and environmental benefit, Volunteer Centre Edinburgh met with Unity’s relationship manager for Scotland, Gordon Allan, and Big Issue Invest Scotland’s David Cousland, to discuss the property acquisition.
The centre did not have sufficient immediate resources to complete the project on its own but thanks to a partnership between Unity and Big Issue Invest Scotland, the social investment arm for the Big Issue magazine group in Scotland, the Volunteer Centre was able to access a 100% mortgage financing package, whereby Unity lends up to 70% of the purchase price and Big Issue Invest Scotland provides the balance.
Gordon Allan, Unity Trust Bank relationship manager for Scotland, said: “Organisations like Volunteer Centre Edinburgh are at the heart of Scotland’s third sector.
“Owning this new building increases its ability to support community development in Edinburgh in the long term and the 100% loan finance scheme with Big Issue Invest Scotland is an example of how funders can work together to provide flexible borrowing options and enhanced support to create positive social change for our customers.”
David Cousland, general manager, Big Issue Invest Scotland said: “We are delighted to be working with Unity Trust Bank to find innovative and flexible solutions that enable valuable projects like this to happen.
“In this case we were able to fill a gap in Volunteer Centre Edinburgh’s funding requirements, enabling it to purchase its building, providing stability and a permanent base from which it can focus on front line delivery of its services. We are looking forward to working with the centre to support them in delivering even greater impact to benefit society.”