Find out how Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is helping one Community Benefit Society raise investment for a new community arts centre, the Wellington Orbit, and what it means for the local community.
April 2019 sees the opening of the Wellington Orbit, a new community arts hub owned by the community. In addition to an arts centre with various spaces that local artists and the community can use, the hub will also feature a new cinema and a café bar area.
The centre will be run by the Clifton Community Arts Centre, a Community Benefit Society that is using SITR to raise investment to fund the project. To date, they have raised £70,000 using Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) via a combination of loans and community shares.
Getting SITR in the news
Recently, BBC Midlands Today featured Wellington Orbit and spoke to Ray Hughes, the centre’s finance director, who shared more about the development. Speaking about the use of SITR, he said “Social Investment Tax Relief has been the most effective way in which we can actually raise the funds.”
Local artist, Loco Leo, is planning to use the centre to set up a circus school. So whilst the Wellington Orbit is a business in itself, it can offer small businesses like Loco Leo’s to have a base.
The BBC also spoke to local vet, Claudia Niehoegen, who is one of Wellington Orbit’s investors. She said that by investing into the social enterprise, she felt she is “doing something to achieve the dream of having an arts centre in Wellington.”
Individual investors who invest into a social enterprise or charity eligible for SITR can claim a 30% tax break on those investments. The incentive was introduced to encourage investment into social enterprises and charities and offsetting the risk of investing.
Ray also shared their story at a Good Finance Live event in Birmingham. He talks about:
- Why they chose to become a Community Benefit Society and what that means
- What SITR is and how they used it to raise finance from the community through shares and loans