Latest SSEF funding for Cheese and Grain

July 22, 2019


The Frome Cheese and Grain is the latest charity to secure a social investment from Somerset Community Foundation’s Somerset Social Enterprise Fund, enabling them to expand their café to increase revenue for the charity and invest in IT upgrades.

While the Cheese and Grain is perhaps best known as a performance venue, at its core is a locally-run community centre that o

rganises and hosts a range of accessible social, cultural, health, educational and training opportunities, reaching hundreds of local people every year.

The charity is almost entirely funded by its own social enterprise activities, including its hospitality enterprise and by acting as a regional ticket-office serving multiple venues, festivals and shows.

Steve Macarthur, General Manager at the Frome Cheese and Grain, said: “Carefully targeted investment is the key to our long-term sustainability and growth. Rigorous assessment and support from Somerset Community Foundation has ensured the investment is entirely right for us as an organisation. It will transform our kitchens and café, hugely enhance our digital infrastructure and increase our overall sustainability.”

The social investment includes a blend of loan and grant funding, funded by Somerset County Council and the Growth Fund, an initiative of Access – the Foundation for Social Investment in conjunction with The National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive of Somerset Community Foundation said: “We are delighted to have been able to offer this social investment to the Cheese and Grain. It illustrates perfectly the benefits that a social investment programme can offer local charities, enabling them to grow and become more independent on a sustainable basis.”

In the past four years over £700,000 of blended social investment has been awarded or agreed in principle to seventeen organisations.

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, added: “Social entrepreneurs play an important role in Somerset. Frome Cheese and Grain plays a key role in the local community and, with the right support, can grow and flourish from the firm foundations that have been established.”

If you are thinking about growing or increasing your organisation’s sustainability and independence and are interested in finding out how social investment could help you achieve your goals, please contact Justin Sargent on 01749 344949 or email




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