The Belong Limited Retail Charity Bond has raised €56.9m (£50m) and closed early due to high demand from investors. The proceeds will be used to further Belong’s charitable objectives as well as to develop additional Belong villages. The company currently operates seven villages, providing a home for over 530 residents in the North West of England. Two more sites in Chester and Birkdale have been acquired, with planning permissions already secured, and development is expected to start on these in 2018.
The Belong villages provide 24-hour dementia and nursing care in bespoke households, as well as apartments for independent living, within a community village setting. The company's model provides for a full spectrum of care, from respite care to end of life care, enabling the Charity to continue to support older people as their needs change.
Tracey Stakes, CEO of Belong, commented: “Belong villages offer a pioneering approach to later-life care that’s led by an individual’s needs rather than an institutions’ restrictions. As the number of people in the UK living with dementia continues to increase, so too does the demand for innovative solutions to where they can live and be cared for in a safe community environment. We’re therefore delighted to see such strong support for Belong’s business model, with the success of the bond enabling us to welcome a greater number of older people into more of our villages.”
Phil Caroe, Director of Social Finance for Allia said: “The success of this latest Retail Charity Bond – one of our largest issues to date - is a powerful endorsement from the market of the quality of Belong’s business and demonstrates the continuing strength of demand for ethical investment opportunities. Allia’s Retail Charity Bonds platform has again proven an effective means of raising funds, connecting charitable borrowers to mainstream investors and creating access to an attractive source of unsecured loan finance."