When COVID-19 hit, Hope Church feared its new community centre refurbishment would be stalled significantly. But with the help of Charity Bank, a loan and grant from the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund has meant the centre was able to open sooner than hoped.
Hope Church has been established in Ipswich for over 40 years, offering both a place of worship and striving to do good in the community through a range of groups, activities and support services. The charity is in the process of refurbishing its new premises in central Ipswich, which will be called the Hope Centre and will aim to extend its reach and support even more members of the community.
In 2018, Hope Church purchased the iconic former Odeon cinema building in central Ipswich with the help of a £542,000 Charity Bank loan. The new, larger premises will enable Hope Church to accommodate its growing initiatives and better serve the needs of the community. An extensive refurbishment of the centre was underway when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. The wider economic impacts of COVID-19 meant that funds for this project, which came almost entirely from donations, were affected and it was feared the project would have to be paused indefinitely.
Charity Bank introduced Hope Church to the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) and helped the charity complete a successful application for a loan of £360,000 and an additional grant of £140,000. This enabled the refurbishment to continue and meant the center was able to open to the public on 17th October 2021.
“We have felt really well supported by Charity Bank over the last year. They’ve been in regular contact, have shown genuine interest and concern about how we’ve been doing and have been active in trying to help us. Introducing us to the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund and guiding us through that process, ultimately enabling us to secure not only a loan but also a grant, has meant we could continue our refurbishment plans."
“Without Charity Bank’s involvement and support, this opportunity would have completely passed us by and the project would have undoubtedly stalled. Instead, we can see the completion date fast approaching and are excited about being able to roll out plans for the Hope Centre and continue helping more people from the local community.”Ian Little, Chair, Hope Church Ipswich
About Charity Bank
Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.
The Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is managed by Social Investment Business (SIB) who make the ultimate lending decision. Charity Bank was one of eight social organisations who delivered this fund. RRLF is not appropriate for all organisations and eligibility criteria applies. Borrowers remain 100% liable for the debt.
Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.