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Creating a STIR in Wolverton


How Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is supporting Future Wolverton’s efforts to raise investment to create employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities

Ethex is delighted to be supporting The Old School – a project of Future Wolverton’s. Future Wolverton is currently raising investment via its withdrawable shares offer to renovate and transform a heritage building for use as a guesthouse, community space for hire and a café run by students from Slated Row school who have a range of learning disabilities, enabling them to develop work related and independent living skills.

Over the course of the last several decades, Wolverton’s fortunes have been on a steady decline. Initially developed in the 1830s as a railway town, complete with engine works, workers housing, a church, schools and market etc., by 1974 this historic railway town was engulfed by Milton Keynes and its fate was sealed.

Recently however, a regeneration process has been underway, which has resulted in Wolverton being designated as a Conservation Area, alongside a multi-million pound development of Wolverton Park, and further subsequent development of new housing and leisure facilities in the West End of the town. As part of this process, Future Wolverton was established in 2004 and has been instrumental in changing the way in which Wolverton is perceived within wider Milton Keynes, from an area ‘down at heel’ to one which is leading the way on critical issues such as sustainability and community cohesion.

What’s great about the latest project from Future Wolverton – The Old School, is that it has just qualified for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). For those of you who aren’t completely au fait with the latest government taxation acronym, let me provide you with a quick overview

What is SITR?

The Government introduced SITR relief in 2014 to support the growth of social enterprises and it can apply to both debt (for example loans or bonds) and equity (or shares). It is designed to support investment in charities and social enterprises. The organisations that can offer SITR need to have a defined and regulated social purpose that helps people or communities. It is a great way to fund things you care about while receiving tax benefits too.

For investors, if you make an investment in a product with SITR, most tax payers (depending on their status) can deduct 30% of the cost of your investment from your income tax liability. This can either be for the tax year in which the investment is made or in the following year. The investment must be held with a minimum period of 3 years for the relief to be retained. You will also be exempt from any capital gains tax or profit made on the investment.

Another plus is that if you have chargeable capital gains in a particular tax year, you can defer the gain if you invest the gain in a qualifying social investment. Tax is then payable when the social investment is sold or redeemed. You don’t pay capital gains on the investment itself, although you pay income tax in the normal way on dividends or interest on the investment.

For the latest information on SITR check out HMRC’s latest factsheet.

SITR has managed to generate additional levels of investment to some of the most socially impactful projects in the in the UK, two of these include: Stockwood Community Benefit Society and Southville Community Development Association.

SITR eligibility for Future Wolverton’s Old School share offer is likely to have a significant impact, particularly as the project is looking to provide much needed employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities within the Milton Keynes areas, alongside urban regeneration of Wolverton.

Find out more about Future Wolverton’s current SITR eligible share offer and see how you can help support the provision of much needed local services, whilst generating a financial return.

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