The Bank Referral Scheme’s second-largest ever loan has helped save a Surrey-based development trust, the Caterham Barracks Community Trust (CBCT) from possible closure.
The £1.1m funding lifeline, conducted through the Alternative Business Funding (ABF) with funder Triodos Bank UK, will enable CBCT to continue serving its community.
CBCT was formed in 1999 with the aim to create places and services that would benefit locals, while saving ex-Ministry of Defence land and buildings from being sold exclusively to developers and simply used for private housing.
The charity owns three major buildings and land that are used by a range of community groups, businesses and families. In one building, the Trust operates a community hub called The Arc, which contains a multi-purpose studio, gallery, gymnasium, children’s soft play and a café bar.
The old NAAFI building and Officers’ Mess now houses traditional lets and serviced offices to local businesses including start-ups. CBCT is also responsible for the village green which has played host to several cricket clubs and supports the training of some of the 32 junior teams run by Caterham Pumas Football Club on a local football field provided by the trust
Robin Clements, vice chair and a founder member of CBCT commented: “After losing our mortgage funding, and then being declined by a high street bank, we were beginning to resign ourselves to the fact that we were going to have to sell a building and lose charitable services. All in all over 10,000 local people that benefit from our facilities were going to be affected by the closure of The Arc and CBCT operated buildings, not to mention the 18 local businesses including a nursery who would have to find new premises from which to run their enterprises.”