Back to Case Studies

Portsoy Community Enterprise

Portsoy Community Enterprise (PCE) is a social enterprise based within Aberdeenshire whose main venture is to run the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (STBF). Driven by the charity’s driven and enthusiastic volunteers, the organisation has brought about an array of events and offerings to the local community and to north-east of Scotland, keeping its heritage alive. The area of Portsoy is rich in maritime and rural culture and in 1993 celebrated its 300th anniversary of its harbour, one of the earliest on the Moray Firth.

PCE offers the chance for both the local community and visitors to Portsoy to take part in genuine cultural experiences which includes traditional music programmes and traditional boat building courses.

Although the STBF event is the charity’s chief project, PCE has grown and expanded in recent years in order to operate on a wider community level. Currently, it seeks to ensure ownership and restore local facilities for the good of its community.

SIS Community Capital, a pioneering social investment fund which raised £400,000 entirely from private investors, provided PCE with an additional £50,000 loan shortly after repaying a previous loan. The fund provided capital in order to support the transition from grant dependence to trading by taking on a new property: “The Sail Loft” bunkhouse, which was fully restored and opened in early 2017.

SIS Community Capital was the UK’s first Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) fund, allowing individuals to invest in a fund which provides both tax relief and also a social return on investment, by supporting the development of social enterprises. Tax relief for investors is provided in the form of a 30% relief on their investment from their income tax liability.

The fund provides investees with affordable unsecured finance over a six year term, enabling them to develop their business and focus on delivering social impacts before repayments of the loan capital begin.

“The loan contained sensible and practical conditions which reflected a true understanding of our sector”

Roger Goodyear, Chairman

In line with the variety of ventures that PCE operates, its social impact ranges from providing economic benefit to the community to furthering cultural development. Its boat-building programmes, undertaken at The Boatshed, provide individuals with meaningful activities; a chance to learn new skills; a support network; and enjoyment through participation in arts and sport. Engaging with local secondary schools and members of the community, PCE offers learning and skills development, facilitating career development and return to work of the long-term unemployed.