A £ 65million fundraising mission for the future of the Dartington Hall Estate has been launched.
The charity plans to raise up to £ 20million by asking investors to pay at least £ 1,000 each in retail bonds.
The Bonds, to be issued by Dartington Hall Estate Bond PLC, are guaranteed, have a term of 10 years and bear a coupon of 4.3% per annum, paid semi-annually.
The rest will be raised through ethical bank financing, an increased fundraising program and philanthropy.
Managing Director Rhodri Samuel said: “This is a bold step for us. Social businesses are looking for a lot of ways to raise money and it seems like a very appropriate avenue for us as a charity.
“We are not just waiting to receive money and the directors have been very bold not only to endorse this vision, but also to support this innovative way of funding it.”
Mr. Samuel has headed Dartington Hall Trust since September 2015 and has been tasked with creating a new vision and transformation strategy for the trust and its 1,200 acre estate.
Part of the five-year plan includes the renovation and relaunch of the Dartington Hall Hotel, Barn Cinema & Roundhouse Café and White Hart Restaurant, as well as the rejuvenation of the existing commercial space, the restoration of the prominent Modernist High Building Cross and the redevelopment of the Foxhole site, formerly Dartington Hall School, as a new base for learning and social justice projects.
Work has also started to transform the gardens with designs defined by landscape designer Dan Pearson.
The investment will be phased, focusing on existing assets within the estate as the first part of the site’s long-term future.
Samuel said it was a bold vision of trust that has been at the center of social innovation for almost 100 years.
He said: ‘We are creating a beautiful place in the countryside where people can come and contemplate the future of the company and it is part of our history, Dartington is where institutions such as the NHS and the Arts Council have emerged.
“We are reinventing the Dartington experience to create a project that integrates art, interpretation of social justice, community, agriculture and forestry.”
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Dartington reported total income of £ 14.1million, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
Charitable income rose 14% (£ 0.8million) to £ 6.9million. £ 0.5million of the increase was grant income, primarily through the Deer Park Wall Restoration Project.
Revenues from trading activities increased by £ 0.4m, particularly in its hotel and hospitality areas, reflecting the successful opening of the new Green Table cafe.
Dartington buildings and grounds were recently valued at £ 44million with a potential increase after securing an allocation from the local plan to £ 54million.
The bond offer closes on October 16, 2018.