First Ark Group boosts local communities by more than £22m, new analysis shows

First Ark is a £64m-turnover business with a number of divisions, including Knowsley Housing Trust, KHTS Development, KHT Services, Vivark, One Ark and First Ark Social Investment. Tony McDonough reports

MSIF has invested the whole of its £5m fund

 

Merseyside social impact business First Ark Group says it has delivered £22.5m worth of social value to communities in the city region and beyond in 2017 – double that of the previous year.

First Ark is a £64m-turnover business with a number of divisions, including Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), KHTS Development, KHT Services, Vivark, One Ark and First Ark Social Investment.

The much higher figure has been boosted by the organisation’s Social Investment Funds, launched in October 2016 to provide grants and loans to third sector and social enterprise organisations.

Social impacts are the results of an organisation’s activities, projects or policies and the effects these have on people’s lives. First Ark’s social impact measurement allows the organisation to recognise, govern and share the social value it generates.

Group chief executive Bob Taylor, said: “First Ark launched its Social Investment Fund at the Northern Enterprise Conference in Manchester, October 2016.

Through this £4m fund called ‘Invest for Impact’, the First Ark Group has invested into charities and social impact businesses to help them grow and continue to create ladders of opportunity.

“First Ark also became a Reach Fund provider this year, which is a fund that can support organisations to become investment ready.

“Our core business is about creating a number of social businesses to recruit, train, flourish and employ directly for and in the communities that we serve.”

Late last year a report by the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute said the £1.5bn social business sector had the power to transform the city region economy.

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotherham, added: “The social economy is a vital cog in the machine which keeps our society ticking over.

“First Ark is a beacon that is making great strides to support the community its serves and I am pleased to congratulate them on the great work that they are doing to help local people.”

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