A social business in west Wales is the first to complete the repayments on a social investment loan allowing these funds to be reinvested into the third sector.
Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan is the first social business to
complete the repayments on a loan from Communities Investment Fund
(CIF), part of WCVA's Social Investment Cymru portfolio. Previously
an EU funded project, CIF is now in its third iteration and
continues to make loans via the funds repaid from investments such
as that made to Theatr Mwldan in 2011.
With over £6.5m loaned out directly by Social Investment Cymru
at WCVA, over £3.5m has already been repaid and made available for
further loans to help social businesses generate new income streams
and create local employment through enterprise that has a positive
CIF's aim is to lend where others will not and as such it
specialises in helping social enterprises and charities access
loans that they wouldn't be able to obtain from commercial
Theatr Mwldan, a charitable arts centre based in Cardigan had
initially approached numerous loan providers for financial
assistance. Where other lenders turned them away, CIF was able to
make a loan of £80,000 to contribute to the £450,000 project of
expanding its workforce and installing new digital projection
equipment in order to combat the adverse impact of a newly opened
multiplex cinema in the area.
The new screen - Mwldan 3 - was equipped with high quality
digital projection which made it possible to present live satellite
broadcasts and digital 3D making it the first independent all
digital three screen cinema in Wales.
The new screen saw a 38% boost in admissions and increase of
screenings, making their programme more flexible and
Reflecting on the project, Dilwyn Davies, Chief
Executive at Mwldan, said: 'We are delighted to have
completed the loan repayments to WCVA. Without their support on
this project, we would have been unable to expand the facilities,
turnover and employment. It has been a vital investment in the
history of Mwldan and in the community. The company is now in a
position of much improved sustainability as a result.
'The fact that our repayments are now being reinvested in other
excellent projects across the voluntary sector in Wales is a
fantastic initiative that will benefit many communities. It really
makes our project feel even more special and worthwhile.'
Matt Brown, Head of Social Investment Cymru
commented 'Theatr Mwldan has been a model borrower and not
just because they made all their repayments on time! The social
impact of our investments is a key consideration for us and it is
very rewarding to see what has been achieved within the local
community, partly through the use of this money. They have been a
real success story and helping put them in a position to compete on
quality within a highly competitive commercial market is part of
'One of the aims with CIF from the outset was to create a
self-sustaining loan fund for the third sector, to take the right
risks in support of service delivery. We are reliant on
organisations like Theatr Mwldan to make that aim a reality by not
only delivering those services, but also to share the benefit of
the growth in their business by repaying our investment. That means
we can carry on lending and help the next organisation looking to
have an effect on people's lives thanks to people like Dilwyn and
his team, we're very much still open for business and looking for
more loans to make.'