A BOLTON charity has defended its investment in a care home company with links to one of its trustees.

Urban Outreach subscribed to an £85,000 bond used to fund a Woodlands Care project.

The money was used to build a 55-bedroom care home in Westhoughton which specialises in the provision of care to those with dementia.

Sam Lancaster, the charity's chair of trustees, was a director of Woodlands Care Group Ltd at the time, as well as being a director of the bond company, Coefficient Care Bonds Ltd.

But Urban Outreach's chief executive Dave Bagley told The Bolton News Mr Lancaster was not involved in the decision.

He said: "He had no involvement in it. It was nothing to do with him. It was all very much above board and in line with our investment policy.

“We have an investment policy to be able to use our reserves in a way that yields for us. And we also chose to use that in an ethical way and in a way that’s local, in a way that creates employment and offers care for people with dementia."

Mr Bagley explained that every charity is required to carry reserves in order to demonstrate its financial viability.

Rather than keeping this money in a bank, Urban Outreach put its money into the bond.

He said: “It did everything that our money is there to do. It created employment, provided care and we had a return on it."

Urban Outreach received more than a quarter of a million pounds from Bolton Council last year and tens of thousands more from council-owned arms-length organisations.

In addition to this, the charity spent £103,874 on behalf of the town hall for local welfare provision.

This money goes towards the relief of poverty and is used to pay for food, gas and electricity.

The £85,000 bond which was used to fund the £3m building project in Westhoughton has now been repaid. The care home employs around 40 people.

Russell Heaton, director of Woodlands Care, praised the fundraising initiative which many organisations in the borough contributed to.

He said: “It was great that the people locally did it and it enabled a great care home.”

Mr Lancaster is no longer a director of Woodlands Care.