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The RCB issue

RCB issued £18m of bonds for The Alnwick Garden Trust in 2020 to finance the construction of Lilidorei, the world’s largest play structure and village.

The 5% fixed rate Bonds are due 2030, paying a fixed rate of interest of 5% per annum, payable twice yearly. The Bonds are expected to mature in 2030 with a final legal maturity in 2032.

About The Alnwick Garden Trust

The Duchess of Northumberland first had the idea to transform the tired grounds of Alnwick castle into an inspiring visitor attraction back in 1996 – a story captured in the Channel 4 docuseries The Duchess and Her Magical Kingdom.

The vision was realised when the Alnwick Gardens opened to the public in 2001. Today, the gardens receive 300,000 visitors throughout each year, drawn by the world’s largest Japanese cherry orchard, the biggest collection of European plants on the planet, a Bamboo Labyrinth, a Poison Garden, a Grand Cascade, and the chance to dine in a treehouse restaurant.

This success has not only had a significant positive impact on the Northumbria economy. As a social enterprise, The Alnwick Garden Trust, the charity set up to run the gardens, reinvests profits into community outreach programmes delivering social impact for local people – these include projects tackling loneliness, substance misuse, unemployment and health inequalities.

https://www.alnwickgarden.com/

Bonds issued

The Alnwick Garden Trust 5% fixed rate Bonds due 2030 will pay a fixed rate of interest of 5% per annum, payable twice yearly on 27 March and 27 September. The Bonds are expected to mature on 27 March 2030 with a final legal maturity on 27 March 2032.

London Stock Exchange listing

Bond details

Issue date:

27 March 2020

Expected maturity:

27 March 2030

Final legal maturity:

27 March 2032

Amount issued:

£18m

Coupon type:

Fixed

Coupon:

5%

Frequency:

Semi-annual

Payment dates:

27 March, 27 September

ISIN:

XS2132997433

SEDOL:

BLCH351

LSE Ticker:

AGT1

Bloomberg ticker:

RCHBLN 5 03/27/2030

Bond documents

The RCB Bond

As a visitor attraction, it is vital to constantly evolve what’s on offer – this secures repeat visits, encourages people to come year-round and ultimately delivers more profit to be reinvested to deliver positive social impact.

It was with this in mind, the charity started exploring options to raise the funds to realise an ambitious vision for the world’s largest play structure and magical village, called Lilidorei.

Mark Brassell, Chief Executive at Alnwick Garden Trust, says: “We were all extremely excited about the project and looked at various sources of funding but we came across two main barriers: first was the cost of borrowing offered by banks because we don’t have many assets to put down as security.”

“The other barrier was values. Our values are all about community, inclusivity, accessibility and respect. You often find when dealing with some funders, like venture capitalists, the values aren’t necessarily aligned.”

Aligned values

These barriers, Mark says, meant the organisation was stuck for a few years, until they came across RCB. After showing the Allia C&C team around the gardens, they knew there was a natural alignment between the two organisations.

Mark says: “The Allia C&C team got us talking directly to funders and helped us every step of the way. There was a personal interaction that was important because this was always a people-focused project.”

“Right from day one our values were aligned in a way that they weren’t with other funders. Yes, of course RCB investors want a financial return, but they also want to know the money is aligned to their own values.”

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