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Social Investment partners join forces to provide capacity-building support for heritage organisations

26 September 2019

Social enterprises and charities running historic buildings now have the opportunity to access RePlan, a new capacity-building support service available through the Heritage Impact Fund (HIF), it was announced today. The three-year service is funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and further supported by Historic England (HE). It will be delivered in collaboration with Social Investment Business (SIB).

RePlan is an integral part of the HIF initiative which launched earlier this year, a £7m UK-wide social investment loan fund that provides tailored loan finance, such as acquisition or working capital loans for charities and social enterprises to help them deliver economic and social impact from the re-use of UK's historic buildings. The service will be offered alongside the HIF from September 2019 and will run for three years, with the intention of continuing the service beyond this initial period. The need for capacity-building support had become apparent to the AHF over recent times through encountering a growing number of heritage organisations struggling to establish sustainable business models. To address this, RePlan will assist clients seeking funding through the HIF in a number of ways and at various stages of their lifecycle, providing targeted and bespoke advice and consultancy across areas such as governance, impact measurement and business planning. Assistance with financial systems and support for planning community investment-raising initiatives can also be made available. It is anticipated that RePlan will assist an average of five to ten organisations each year and support will be given for up to 12 months, with some organisations requiring briefer and quicker interventions. 

Following a tender process, SIB has been selected to support the delivery of RePlan alongside AHF. With a wealth experience, between 2004 and today, SIB has deployed and managed over £400m of loans and grants into over 2,000 organisations and enabled almost 1,000 more to get dedicated support through programmes.

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of AHF, said: “As the UK’s specialist lender to heritage-led community businesses and social enterprises, the Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to be partnering with Social Investment Business to deliver RePlan. This capacity-building and business support service is now available alongside our £7m social investment partnership fund - the Heritage impact Fund - which has already made loan offers well in excess of £2m since its launch earlier this year. The need for business support has been apparent to the AHF and our partners for some time and this new service will add a new source of advice and guidance to assist supported organisations to become more


Nick Temple, Chief Executive of SIB, said: “We are very excited to be collaborating with our partners on delivering RePlan with the Architectural Heritage Fund. Social Investment Business has a track record of providing finance and support to enable thousands of organisations to become more resilient and to make a bigger difference. Through that work, we also understand the crucial role that historic spaces can play in bringing communities together. We look forward to joining forces with AHF and using our knowledge and experience to provide the most effective support for heritage organisations and their communities.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Heritage Impact Fund is an exciting strategic partnership that is enabling National Lottery funding to work harder to deliver positive and lasting change for people and communities. With an impressive investment portfolio and experience to match, AHF and SIB will help deliver much need capacity support that will enable heritage organisations establish sustainable business models.”

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “The offer of additional expert support, advice and mentoring to applicants in order to support sustainable business change, and to help drive long-term social and economic impact, is a key part of delivering the ambition within the Heritage Impact Fund and one which HES is delighted to support. We are looking forward to our ongoing partnership with the AHF on this and other projects; delivering real impact to people through the reuse of our historic buildings.” 

Ends –

If you’re interested in applying for support from the Architectural Heritage Fund, please contact Andy Richardson – Head of Investment – on

For further information, please contact:

Miranda Love

Marketing and Communications Lead

Social Investment Business

Tel: 020 3096 7921

About The Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. They do this by providing advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-private profit organisations.

About Social Investment Business

Social Investment Business (SIB) helps impact-led organisations improve people's lives. They do this by providing the money and support they need directly, working with partners to support effectively, and using their knowledge to inform their own work and influence others. SIB has one of the largest social investment portfolios in the UK.

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