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Resonance launches second regional fund

Resonance, the social impact investment company, has launched a social investment tax relief fund in the West Midlands.

The fund opened last week and is inviting investment that will be deployed to help social enterprises across the region to grow and increase their impact.

Social investment tax relief (SITR) was introduced in 2014 to encourage investment in social enterprises and allows investors to claim back 30% of the amount invested against their income tax bill.

This is the second of the organisation’s SITR funds, following a successful launch in Bristol in 2016.

The Resonance Bristol SITR fund has now raised £2.3m of its £5m target raise and has made its first six investments.

In its first year it invested in local newspaper group Bristol 24/7 to help it set up local hubs and train people, the South Bristol Sports Centre, which uses sport to engage young people in deprived areas of the city, and Bearpit Bristol (pictured), a group that has regenerated a city centre roundabout through food, retail and community events.

The fund’s stated aim in both cities is to contribute to dismantling poverty and inequality by providing social enterprises with flexible and affordable finance and investors with good returns.

Resonance also announced this week that it has received £15m investment from the Greater London Authority into its Homelessness Property Fund, which buys affordable housing for the capital’s homeless.

The GLA’s investment will go into the Real Lettings Property Fund 2, launched in January 2017 when Croydon, Lambeth and Westminster councils committed a total of £45m. The target for the fund is £100m, which will allow it to provide around 330 affordable one or two bedroom flats in the Greater London area.

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: ‘One person being homeless in London is one too many, and this project offers us an important chance to provide an affordable, stable home for those who need it, as well as easing the demand on local authorities.

‘We know many homeless people are ready to move on from emergency accommodation and want to live independently – this is the first step to supporting them into employment and making sure they are never left without a home again.’

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