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Animal Shelter given extra year to repay £500k loan

Animal Shelter given extra year to repay £500k loan

Wednesday 08 July 2020

Animal Shelter given extra year to repay £500k loan


The JSPCA has been given an extra 12 months to repay the remaining half of the £500,000 loan it was given by the government while it was fighting for its survival.

The loan was originally due to be repaid last month, but now the charity will have until June 2021 to pay it back.

A Government spokesperson said the charity’s financial situation has improved since it took out the loan in December 2018 and it has already repaid £250,000.

The loan was one of a number of measures taken by the animal shelter as it sought to plug debts totalling £1m, which Express revealed in 2018.

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Pictured: Two years ago, the JSPCA was carrying debts of nearly £1million.

The financial difficulties came to light nearly one year after the charity’s former CEO, Major Stephen Coleman abruptly left the charity shortly before the Police launched an investigation into its finances.

In February this year, Coleman was jailed for seven years after he admitted embezzling money from the charity to fund “extravagances” including firearms and sports cars as well as luxury holidays and escalating mortgage payments.

A confiscation order was also made by the Royal Court in the sum of £228,210.84 - from the sale of his assets, including half of his equity share in his house – and used to pay back the JSPCA. 

In October 2018, the charity appointed local businessman Kevin Keen as interim CEO on a volunteer basis.

Among the measures introduced by Mr Keen was the closure of the JSPCA’s dog boarding facility, which was operating at a loss, and a £500,000 loan from Channel International Limited on 21 December, which Mr Keen described as a "safety net" rather than a sum already earmarked for spending. 

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Pictured: Kevin Keen was appointed interim CEO in October 2018.

The charity also took out a half-a-million secured loan with the Government, which was due to be repaid last month.

The charity has so far repaid £250,000 of the loan. The Treasury Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, has now agreed to give the JSPCA an extra 12 months to repay the remaining £250,000 in the wake of the pandemic, which has impacted the fundraising activities of many charities.

“A thorough and robust assessment of the JSPCA’s ability to repay the extended loan under the terms proposed has been carried out and the Minister is satisfied that repayment will be made within the conditions of the loan terms,” the report accompanying the Ministerial Decision for the extension noted.

“Since the original loan of £500,000 to the JSPCA was approved in December 2018, the financial position of the charity has stabilised and improved and they have repaid £250,000 of the original sum borrowed,” a Government spokesperson told Express.

“The charity requested that the final repayment be extended to 30 June 2021, to enable them to fully understand the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. There have been no other changes to the conditions of the loan.” 

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Posted by Ben Shenton on
From Ben Shenton - President JSPCA
We were delighted to be in a position to be able to repay £250,000, and are pleased with the loan extension granted. It is only prudent financial management that led to a decision to ask for a small extension, as the covid-19 situation has lead to a lot of uncertainty. We have not sought assistance from the taxpayer during the lockdown.
We offer a vital service and I'm sure that all animal lovers shall be delighted to learn that we are on the road to recovery, after a very difficult period. The support of the public has been much appreciated and I am confident that we shall go from strength to strength - supported by a generous Island, the majority of whom - like me - have a strong affection for all animals and are appalled by cruelty and neglect. Thanks to everyone that have supported us, it really is appreciated.
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