By Anna Patton
7th March 2019
The first project Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) took on was a sports centre in need of repair and modernisation. BBRC ultimately helped secure nearly £1m of investment, paying for six state-of-the-art football pitches, among other things. But it may not have happened at all without the high net-worth individual who committed the initial investment.
“The first brick of funding is always the most difficult,” says Ed Rowberry, CEO at BBRC, which has brokered over £26m worth of deals to date. Many of these have relied on wealthy individuals to get the ball rolling – more than welcome, he says, but “not a systematic solution”. High net worth individuals are rare, after all, and not necessarily passionate about all the causes that deserve support.
Making that first ‘brick’ of investment more reliable is one of the objectives behind BBRC’s newest initiative, City Funds, which will make £10m (not counting physical assets) available to support local needs in Bristol. BBRC hopes the money they put down will also demonstrate strong local backing for projects, encouraging investors from further afield to jump in too.