Plastic fantastic! Social Investment Scotland bags £300k+ from Asda

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has announced a healthy increase in its income – with a big chunk of it coming from the sale of plastic bags.

A 13% increase saw SIS's income rise from £1,174,000 in 2015 to £1,322,000 in 2016. The money has come from interest fees paid on loans, management fees, grants and transfers.

One of those management fees is for the Asda Community Capital fund, which consists of the money Asda makes following the Scottish government's directive to charge its customers for plastic bags. Asda has handed over £328,000 to SIS in the last year, which SIS has then used to get social enterprises investment ready.

SIS provides funding for social enterprises and community groups in the form of loans from £10,000-£1m. It was established in 2001 by the Scottish government with capital from four big commercial banks.

Social investment tax relief also proved a magnet for attracting income to SIS. Nearly a third (£399,000) of the total came from investors taking advantage of the tax break and investing in SIS’s Community Capital Fund in the last year.

SIS invested £4.3m in more than 50 organisations in Scotland in the last year, a drop from the previous year's total of £7.5m. The decrease was put down to the end of the deployment of funds from the Scottish Investment Fund, which was managed by SIS on behalf of the Scottish government. The fund was fully spent in 2014-15.

Alastair Davis, chief executive of Social Investment Scotland (pictured above, right, next to chairman Nick Kuennsberg), felt the income growth indicated that the social investment market was growing. “Despite another year of economic volatility, we have seen both a sustained demand for social investment and a growth in supply of investment capital from a range of sources," he said.