Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) has increased its financing commitment to HCT Group, the UK’s leading community transport operator, by investing a further £2.05 million to accelerate its growth. It follows a first investment of £500,000 made in 2015.
Founded in 1982, HCT Group has grown to become one of the leading social enterprises in the UK, with a turnover of £60m. It helps tackle social isolation by providing transport and training services for marginalised people and communities, which is paid for by the revenues of commercial bus contracts.
SASC is one of the largest investors in the junior tranches of the £17.8 million funding package and was instrumental in helping HCT Group to increase that element of the capital structure above the original target.
Since its last fundraising round HCT Group has grown by over 40 per cent and the new funding will be used to accelerate organic and acquisitive growth.
Ben Rick, Managing Director of SASC said, “We support the long-term development of social enterprises like HCT Group who are doing such important work. Our second investment will enable HCT Group to continue its ambitious growth plans and increase its impact to provide more community transport services to those who really need them, enabling access to jobs and education services.
“Since we first invested in HCT Group it has demonstrated its commercial ability and the big difference its transport services are having on people’s lives. HCT Group is on track to become the largest social enterprise in the UK in the next five years and we are fully behind them on this journey.”
The introduction of the Bus Services Act in April 2017 is expected to open significant franchising opportunities across the UK and help change public transport to meet the needs of communities.
On the back of this more favourable legislative environment and its recent success in winning new business, HCT Group expects to grow turnover to over £100m over the next five years.
Dai Powell, HCT Group CEO said, “HCT Group is committed to a whole place approach providing mobility, were we can put people at the heart of services. Having social investors like SASC who share our values, our commitment and our vision are critical in the development of services for the public.”