News - 09 January 2015

Community lender celebrates double success with award nomination and grant funding

Derby Loans Trust Ltd is celebrating receipt of a £50,000 grant to expand its volunteer services which help provides training and upskilling for individuals, it can be revealed.

The East Midlands based organisation, which partners Midlands Community Finance (MCF Loans), has secured funding from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund to enhance the career support and skills training it provides to its customers to help them prepare for employment.

The grant will also enable the organisation to work in partnership with other organisations to improve financial inclusion, literacy and education.

The funding was announced as Midlands Community Finance also celebrated being shortlisted as a finalist in the annual Midlands Business Awards. The firm is in the running for the Midlands Corporate Commitment to the Community title which will be announced at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on February 20.

MCF is a community development finance institution (CDFI) which aims to promote social change through the delivery of affordable loans to businesses and individuals.

One of the key objectives of the business is to provide low income households with an alternative to payday loans companies, high-cost doorstep providers and illegal money lenders and reduce the burden of debt.

MCF has recently moved premises to Pride Point Drive on Pride Park in Derby, along with MCF Loans which shares its new office space, to enable it to expand its community-based services. MCF Loans is currently offering start-up loans of up to £20,000 for businesses which have been trading less than 24 months as part of a government initiative.  

Chief Executive Melanie Elliot said: “These are exciting yet challenging times for us and the move to Pride Park is very important for the next stage in our development. The additional funding we have received will enable us to continue to drive real social change and help more individuals improve their career prospects.

“We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for the Midlands Business Awards which is testament to the commitment and hard work of our employees.”

The £20 million Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) which is run by Derby City Council.  DEGF is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.  It aims to provide a catalyst for growth and job creation in businesses in the city and surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.

Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Regeneration Cllr Martin Rawson chairs the DEGF panel of industrial and financial experts who consider business applications.

“Training and support for unemployed people is crucial in the competitive jobs market and we are delighted to be supporting this worthwhile initiative.”

If anyone is keen to participate in the volunteer programme, gain skills in a financial environment and support their community please contact Lynne Simpkin on 0845 388 3998.

Applications for the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund continue to be accepted by Derby City Council. To find out more visit: www.derby.gov.uk/degf . Alternatively call 01332 641628 or email degf@derby.gov.uk .

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