Aims, Objectives and Mission
Investors in Lincoln (Investors) was established in 1991 by the City of Lincoln Council to help deal with a national problem of ‘hollowing out’ where engineering companies (frequently the mainstay of local economies) were closing or moving and leaving behind them derelict land and buildings that might remain an eyesore for decades to come. The initial mission therefore focused mainly on land and buildings, but as the company matured the remit broadened.
To promote economic regeneration and the development and expansion of industry commerce and enterprise of all forms for the benefit of the community in the county of Lincolnshire with a particular emphasis on the Greater Lincoln area”
Investors aims to achieve its Mission by supporting and helping others, not competing with them. In some instances the company might take direct action to develop land and buildings, particularly when others have failed to do so, the development of the unit housing the Wagamama restaurant on the Brayford being a good example. On other occasions Investors might act as a facilitator or catalyst to enable others to take forward projects.
Investors in Lincoln is a private company limited by shares. It currently has 13 Shareholders that are organisations, rather than individuals. The income source comprises rental streams from three investment buildings, these being Welton House (currently leased to the NHS); Greetwell Place Managed Workspace (currently leased to the City Council); Wagamama Restaurant (currently leased to Wagamama).
The annual income stream from these investments supports the projects outlined in the Strategic Plan. The company also currently holds cash reserves.
Investors in Lincoln has never distributed profits to its Shareholders and has no plans to do so…any excess funds are reinvested into the local community by way of the activities outlined in this Strategic Plan. The company’s ‘Investments’ are in People, Places and Communities, not financial structures.
A New Social and Community Action Fund (SCAF)
Over the last 25 years Investors has funded activities to support a wide range of community organisations and voluntary groups. This activity continues in the development and operation of a Social and Community Action Fund (SCAF).
Based on the Community Chest (previously funded by LEAP, Investors and the City Council) and operating in Park Ward, the Community Chest awarded over 50 small grants between 2017 and 2022. SCAF will operate across the Greater Lincoln area, with a particular emphasis on those areas suffering greater deprivation as identified by the City of Lincoln Council.
The New SCAF, launched in 2023, will be administered by the City of Lincoln Council funded in part via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The operation will be based on the very successful administration of the Community Chest by the Park Ward team with details still to be agreed.
The SCAF will be promoted via a refreshed website and via relevant Elected Members, perhaps as part of a ‘Neighbourhood Board’ (where operating)…again to be discussed and agreed with the City Council.
An annual budget as a percentage of the company’s operating surplus will be allocated as part of the annual Operational Plan at the January/February Board meeting each year.
Projects to encourage business development by College and University graduates.
A recurring theme in the development of the University of Lincoln in the 1990’s was a need to encourage graduates with business ideas (or particular skill-sets…e.g. medicine) to remain in Lincolnshire after graduation. Investors in Lincoln will support both the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste (BGU), as well as Lincoln College, in developing suitable programmes.
Investors will support local universities and colleges to develop additional support mechanisms to encourage retention of key workers and entrepreneurs.”
A major strength of Investors over the years has been the ability to respond quickly to developing issues…a recent example being making a valuable contribution to the appointment of a Project Manager for establishing the Lincoln Medical School. In providing greater structure via the development of a Strategic Plan we have been careful not to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and have included what we have termed a ‘Flexibility Fund’ in the strategy…in essence a willingness to at least consider any proposals that contribute to our mission. Requests for support and/or ideas for projects might come from a range of sources given the broad Shareholder base of Investors. Given the nature of this Fund it is best not to restrain it by imposing an annual budget, but instead consider any proposals on their merits given that we do hold cash reserves and have the possibility of raising loan finance.