Some of the challenges we face
The cost of living is rising much faster than earnings growth
Many households are still worse off than they were pre-recession
Wealth disparity between the regions is getting wider
The richest 10% of households earn ten times more than the poorest 10%
How are we helping to solve this problem?
Since 2002, our Underserved Markets focus has led us to invest in businesses, property developments and social sector organisations that are seeking to create jobs, broaden opportunity and provide higher-quality, more accessible services in less affluent areas – from healthcare to low-cost fitness to vet care.
Wholebake is a manufacturer of great tasting gluten-free energy bars, under its own brand 9BAR and for third party brands. 9BAR uses natural ingredients, with each bar packed full of seeds which are high in natural protein and fibre, and are aimed at the healthier segment of the snack market.
Current production and distribution facilities are located in the top 15% and 22% most underserved markets in the UK, with the majority of employees drawn from the local area of North Wales. Since Bridges’ investment in 2014, Wholebake’s workforce has increased by 30%. Over half of those hired were formerly unemployed.
In July 2015 9BAR relaunched with a new brand identity and with recipes for its range of bars reformulated to further reduce sugar and fat content. As part of the re-branding 9BAR has partnered with SolarAid, a UK-based charity seeking to eradicate the kerosene lamp in Africa by 2020. 9BAR is working with SolarAid so that every 9BAR sold will provide a night of light to a family that needs it, or “Good Energy, Twice”.
The Old Vinyl Factory
Bridges acquired part of the Old Vinyl Factory site in a joint venture with HUB. The site is located within 400 metres of the connecting station of the Crossrail route linking central London to Heathrow. Planning consent has been gained for over 200 new homes in two buildings.
This development forms part of a large project to regenerate a 17 acre site that was once the EMI factory, but which has been derelict for 40 years. The full development will invigorate the local community through local employment opportunities and the creation of new communal areas and leisure opportunities. It will also provide much-needed housing to the London market.
The two buildings will be also constructed to a BREAM Very Good level, and Code for Sustainable homes Level 4. The superstructure will be constructed from cross-laminated timber, which has zero emissions if disposed of appropriately.
Some examples of our impact
Of all investments are located in the most deprived areas of the UK
New residential units providing affordable and relatively affordable accommodation for around 2,400 people
Previously unemployed back in work