A new office to provide social finance services to community and voluntary groups in Cork and the wider southern area was opened today (Friday, February 8th, 2013) by Seán Sherlock, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation. The facility is provided by Clann Credo – the Social Investment Fund, Ireland’s largest provider of social finance to assist in provision of local jobs, services and development by community and voluntary groups. In 2012 Clann Credo approved loans valued at €16.4 million for 137 community projects countrywide. Clann Credo works to promote innovative Social Finance products and services, contributing to inclusive prosperity and developing social capital in a way that benefits everyone. It is now the country’s leading provider of social finance. The Midleton office will be located Owennacurra Business Park and will be open Monday to Friday each week. Opening the office, Minister Seán Sherlock said that social finance plays a very important role in providing loans to community based groups that may have difficulty accessing mainstream bank funding. “Clann Credo is the principal social finance provider in Ireland. I am delighted to officially open this new office for Cork and the southern area here in Midleton,” he said. According to Susan Gallagher, Clann Credo Finance Executive based in Midleton, the office has been opened in response to the increased demand and contacts by communities for loan funding to assist with vital local projects. “We look forward to assisting local groups and organisations through provision of dedicated finance loans, support and advice through this new office,” she said.