PM to unveil £600m community enterprise fund
The prime minister is launching a £600 million community investment fund today, financed by leading banks and through money left in dormant bank accounts.
Big Society Capital, as the funding body is known, will allocate funds to organisations that provide affordable finance to social projects. These could include groups working with troubled families, unemployed young people, or the homeless.
The community schemes will be expected to generate revenue so the funding can be repaid over time, allowing it to be reinvested in other schemes.
The initial £600 million comes from two sources: the four largest UK high street banks – Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS – which are putting in £200 million between them, and £400 million from bank accounts that have lain dormant for more than 15 years.
David Cameron said: ‘Just as finance from the City has been essential to help businesses grow and take on the world, so finance from the City is going to be essential in helping tackle our deepest social problems.’
Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, added: ‘The social investment market is embryonic but it is real and we intend to grow it. As a result, savers in this country will have more opportunities to invest for good and back charities, social enterprises and community groups who want to make a positive difference.’
Seven million pounds of investment from dormant bank accounts has already been agreed in principle before the launch of Big Society Capital. Projects that stand to benefit include a scheme providing community-owned affordable housing in deprived areas.