Designs For Life Smashes Crowdfunding Equity Record

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

Grand Designs TV presenter Kevin McCloud has set a new equity crowdfunding record by collecting £1.9 million for his eco-homes firm.

McCloud shattered his £1 million target with oversubscriptions of 90% through Crowdcube.

The presenter of the hit Channel Four property programme wanted the cash to grow his Hab Homes company.

“I am really pleased with support people have given to my company,” McCloud said on Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) web site

“At times we thought the business would not succeed and wondered how we would go on, but now feel vindicated with the brilliant backing from investors.”

The crowdfunding deal offered shares plus preferred terms on a Hab Home to investors.

As a result, 649 came forward and dug deep to buy the shares in blocks worth £100 to £150,000.

McCloud is also promising a 5% dividend on the firm’s profits by the end of 2016.

Pub pulls in the cash as well as pints

Drinkers have bought their own pub thanks to SEIS and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax breaks.

A community campaign to raise the cash for The Tally Ho in Hungerford Newtown, Berkshire, has so far raised £200,000 – although another £30,000 is needed to complete a refurbishment.

Local accountants tipped the group off that the tax breaks were open to investors buying pubs or restaurants to help ease the deal through.

“The pub trade qualifies for SEIS and EIS reliefs, but not many investors are aware that they are available,” said Chris Lee of accountants James Cowper, according to

Investors gained capital gains tax exemption on any asset disposal to raise cash for their investment, plus income tax reductions on up to 50% of the value of their investment.

“The rules can be complicated and not all leisure sector businesses qualify, but investors can benefit from capital gains and income tax reliefs when buying pubs and restaurants,” said Lee.

Investment ebbs to 60 year low

Meanwhile the TUC has hit out at government initiatives to boost the economy as official figures showed investment as a share of total spending has collapsed to the lowest level in around 60 years.

The figures were released by the Office of National Statistics.

The TUC claims the only manufacturing sector to climb to pre-recession levels is car making.

The unions claim tax incentives like SEIS and EIS and other government initiatives are only generating low paid or low activity jobs and failing to make a dent in investment or exports.

“The promise was to revitalise the economy and everyone, including the unions, gave widespread support on that basis,” said TUC general secretary France O’Grady told

“But despite all the promises, people are earning less and not spending or investing, which means in the long-term. Nothing is improving.”

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