Investing in Dismantling Poverty in Bristol – the First Year of Impact

Social impact investment company Resonance has published the first annual social impact report for the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund – the first impact investment Fund of its kind using Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to build a portfolio of investments into social enterprises in the region. The Fund is invested in by individuals, either directly or through their Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) or wealth manager, who receive a tax benefit and financial return on their investment, but can also see the tangible effects their investment is having on the complex roots of poverty in the region. 

In its first year, the Fund invested in five very different social enterprises:  South Bristol Sport Centre, PAPER Arts, Bristol 24/7, Bearpit Bristol and Chandos House.  At a launch event for the report held at “The Station” in Bristol, the social enterprises presented their achievements and also set out plans for their next stages of growth. The event was well attended by both existing and prospective investors as well as a number of leading IFAs and Wealth Managers. One of the highlights was a presentation from the FutureFives Youth Council, that talked about the direct impact that the investment at South Bristol Sports Centre has had in their lives.  The report includes a section on “Voices from the enterprises” which includes personal accounts from beneficiaries.

The report explains, that although the investments from this first year of the Fund’s operation are quite recent, all five social enterprises have increased their social impact or have made steps towards doing so.  As an example, the construction of six new five-a-side all-weather pitches at South Bristol Sports Centre with investment from the Fund has enabled large increases in participation and a comprehensive social inclusion calendar, reaching out to young people in that area of the city through sport.

The report concludes that there is much to celebrate in the first year of the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund:

  • Initial investment has been raised and the first investments into five social enterprises have been made;
  • These enterprises show alignment of both social impact and financial return;
  • Enterprises and investors speak very positively about the Fund and the professionalism of the Resonance investment team;
  • The Fund has built relationships across Bristol and beyond and influenced how people see social impact investment, providing inspiration for more social enterprises to grow their impact through investment;
  • Investee enterprises have increased their impact or are making steps doing so, with evidence that this has been increased by the Fund’s investments.

The Fund continues to raise investment on a roughly quarterly basis. It is committed to investing in social enterprises in Bristol and the surrounding areas for as long as there is a need for investment to help these organizations scale up their impact.

Key highlights from the Social Enterprises in the Social Impact Report – much more in the full report:

  • South Bristol Sports Centre:
    • 3,000-4,000 people are now using five-a-side pitches each week;
    • A comprehensive social inclusion calendar has been established including sessions for girls only, disability, inter-school and mental health.
  • PAPER Arts:
    • 24 extended work opportunities created;
    • 93 hours of one-to-one mentoring for young creatives, increasing confidence and building networks in the industry.
  • Bristol 24/7:
    • Uncovering positive stories of inspiring people and projects across the 14 wards of Bristol especially those from communities that are currently underserved and under represented;
    • Created work experience and career opportunities.
  • Bearpit Bristol:
    • Reducing antisocial and criminal activity by creating a safe and welcoming destination;
    • Providing a training programme that equips people who have struggled to access employment with skills and experience to better succeed in work.

Simon Chisholm, Resonance Investment Director said of the report: “We’re delighted with the evidence of how investment has already helped these amazing social enterprises to start scaling up their impact. This is about real investment in enterprises that are intentionally setting out to address some of the most complex social issues we face. It’s about individuals deciding to put some of their investment portfolio to work for a good return but also a purpose beyond that. We’re excited about what the Fund will be able to do with further investment it is seeking to raise over the coming year, and we’re already in advanced discussions with the next group of investees and many more social enterprises at an earlier stage.”

Other data:

  • £2.1m investment raised to date
  • First £900K invested into 5 social enterprises
  • So far the Fund has:
    • 70 investors
    • 10 wealth managers and IFAs whose clients have invested in the Fund
  • 57% of investors from Bristol or the surrounding area, 8% from wider South West, 25% from London & South East
  • Bristol is a diverse and growing city:
    • 7th largest city in England
    • 50 countries of origin
    • 91 languages spoken
    • 2021 census projection residents expected to increase by 10.5% (from 2011) by 473,000
  • 16% (69,000) live in the 10% most deprived areas in England, including 17,800 children and 10,500 older people
  • Bristol has developed a thriving social enterprise sector

If you would like to read more about the social impact from the first year of the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund, please visit the Resonance website:


Notes for Editors

Resonance is a social impact investment company.  Our mission is to connect capital with social enterprise:  something we have been doing across the UK for the last 15 years. 

Our Ventures team works with individual social enterprises to raise investment, from investment readiness through to deal arranging. Our Funds team creates and manages impact investment funds, focused on the capital needs of multiple social enterprises.  We have particular expertise in community-led projects, homelessness, education, health, social care, criminal justice, agriculture and renewable energy.  Resonance has just under £150m under management across its seven operational impact investment funds.

With offices in Launceston, Manchester, Bristol, London and Birmingham and a team of over 30, Resonance is helping to build the market for social investment in practice.


If you have any queries regarding Resonance please contact:

Sharon Smallworth, Communications Manager t/ 01566 457150


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