AFFORDABLE homes provider Torus is set to invest £12m directly into local community initiatives over the next two years to overcome inequalities highlighted during the coronavirus crisis.
The investment will be gifted to Torus’ charitable arm, Torus Foundation, to make sure the funds support the people and places in Warrington that need it most.
The majority of the investment will be spent on critical support for older and vulnerable people and those struggling financially in the economic downturn. However, the money will also be used on innovative programmes designed to build skills and improve the employability of local people. The aim is to help Torus tenants through the pandemic and support them to unlock lasting potential in the long term and build more resilient communities.
Torus has been committed to helping its 74,000 customers overcome substantial inequalities since long before the current crisis. The group’s mission of “growing stronger communities” means improving and regenerating neighbourhoods is the priority. At a time when other businesses are having to cut back, Torus says it is increasing its investment on the back of long-term commercial success.
Group chief executive Steve Coffey said: “As a social entrepreneur, our operating model is designed to generate surplus though our commercial businesses, HMS and Torus Developments. This income is then reinvested into meaningful social initiatives through our charity, Torus Foundation.
“Every property we let, every new home we build, every contract we win – every penny we make is reinvested in our communities to improve lives and life chances.”
As with businesses across the country, Torus’ operations were impacted at the height of the pandemic. Commercial subsidiaries HMS – and Torus Developments were most affected.
But the urgent need to respond to their tenants and communities in crisis meant that a short-term solution built around the flexibility of the group’s operating model received wholehearted board support.
Mr Coffey said tenants had never been Torus more. They had already pledged £5m a year through Torus Foundation and over the next two years there would be an additional £2m to address the most pressing problems.
Over the next two years, the group would also invest £200m building genuinely affordable homes and spend a similar amount in the local supply chain
Mr Coffey added: “As a group, we are determined to step up at what is an unprecedented time of need for people. Our commitment to growing stronger communities has never been more important than it is right now.”
Any Torus tenant needing support with employment, finances or skills should contact torusfoundation.org.uk