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Clann Credo reaches €100 million social investment milestone

A milestone of €100 million investment in Ireland’s community and voluntary sector was reached today (Thurs July 5th) by Clann Credo - Community Loan Finance. The occasion was marked with a cheque presentation by Mr Paschal Donohoe, TD, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform to Tipperary-based based CRES (Community Renewable Energy Supply). This loan brings Clann Credo’s total investment to date to €100,020,000.
 
The €100 million milestone celebration comes amid a rapid rise in demand for Community Loan Finance, and Clann Credo today also announced that it is on track to approve a further €50 million in lending over the next two years.
 
Since pioneering the concept of social finance in Ireland in 1996, Clann Credo has been at the forefront of developing innovative investment models for local community development.
 
Unlike traditional lenders, it takes account of the impact that a project will have on the community, and, to date, it has invested in over 900 community, charity and social enterprise groups.
 
Mr Paschal Donohoe, TD, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, who attended the Clann Credo event in the newly refurbished Irish Social Finance Center in Inchicore, welcomed the increased take-up of social finance by community organisations countrywide.
 
“Clann Credo has built up a wealth of experience and expertise with specially tailored social finance services that support community projects across Ireland.
 
“The ongoing development of the social finance sector, which provides finance for investments that yield a social as well as a financial return, has been supported by my Department since the launch, by one of my predecessors, of the Social Finance Foundation in 2007 with an initial €25 million seed fund provided by the banking sector.
 
“The Government remains committed to further promoting the development of social finance, supporting sustainable local initiatives and social enterprises that deliver jobs and services in the community,” he said.
 
Speaking at the cheque presentation, Clann Credo CEO, Paul O’Sullivan said “Clann Credo operates on the principles of equality, inclusivity and empowerment. Communities are best placed to identify their own needs. CRES in Tipperary is an excellent example of such a model, both increasing renewable energy production and assisting local communities by keeping the energy spend within their local area.
 
“We have seen a rapid rise in demand for Community Loan Finance since 2015. As part of our target to approve a further €50m over the next two years, we are seeking expressions of interest from community-based groups and charities that can demonstrate a positive social impact and are committed to reinvesting surpluses in their community or social purpose,” he said.
 
Gregg Allen from CRES said ‘It is clear that communities have a vital role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy. We are delighted that Clann Credo is committed to supporting this work. CRES offers a sustainable, community-owned alternative to existing power supply companies whilst encouraging communities to take some of the responsibility as well as reaping the benefits of renewable energy generation’.
 
Minister Donohoe also had an opportunity to see the recently refurbished Irish Social Finance Centre which is now Clann Credo’s National Headquarters. This Art Deco style building was a former AIB branch, built in the 1940’s. A protected structure in the heart of Inchicore, it has been brought back to life as a shared office space for over 60 workers.
 
For more information on CRES go to their website:  http://cres.ie/




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