A consortium led by the Adventure Capital Fund (ACF) has been appointed to deliver Communitybuilders, a £70 million government programme which aims to help build more cohesive, engaged and active communities through investment in community-led organisations looking to develop long term viability.
Communitybuilders is designed to help organisations work towards long-term financial stability and away from grant dependency so they can continue to meet the needs of their communities for future generations. Organisations will be able to apply for loans and grants and have access to expert support and mentoring services.
Caroline Forster, Communitybuilders Director at ACF, commented:
"We are delighted to be heading the consortium delivering Communitybuilders. The delivery team combines ACF's track record as a leading investor in community anchors with Futurebuilders England's fund management expertise and the Community Alliance's grassroots understanding and support for community organisations."
"ACF has helped create some brilliant enterprises, firmly rooted in their communities. Communitybuilders means that we have much more substantial funding to do this which is extremely exciting for us."
"We are putting the team in place now so we are ready to deal with applications as soon as the programme goes live, and we are planning a promotional campaign to reach out to potential investees."
ACF will be delivering Communitybuilders in partnership with Futurebuilders England and the Community Alliance (Development Trusts Association, bassac and Community Matters), on behalf of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Office of the Third Sector (OTS). ACF has also secured a commitment from Unity Trust Bank to provide up to £40 million match funding for the programme.
Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector said:
"The Government's £70m investment in Communitybuilders is an exciting new funding approach that will support third sector organisations in the current economic climate and help them to emerge stronger. These organisations empower local citizens, providing a place to meet, holistic services and a voice for their communities. I look forward to working with the ACF to make a difference to so many local community organisations."
A statement from Communities and Local Government reflects Angela's comments. CLG said: "We are pleased to have secured an experienced national partner for Communitybuilders. The combined expertise of Adventure Capital Fund and the Community Alliance is formidable, bringing as they do their unique blend of financial know-how and real insight into what makes communities tick. This will bring a real result for community anchors across England."
Communitybuilders will be open for applications later this summer. However, those organisations who wish to register an interest in applying for the fund or would like further information can call 0191 261 5200.
For further information, please contact Karen Keany at Futurebuilders on 0207 842 7726
Department for Communities and Local Government enquiries should be referred to Sian Williams on 0207 944 4613
For more information about the Adventure Capital Fund, please contact 020 7488 3455
For more information about Community Alliance, please contact 020 7336 9491
Notes to editors
About The Adventure Capital Fund (ACF)
The ACF has a portfolio of investments in community enterprises and offers a range of investment tools and support services to organisations looking to develop income streams that enable them to stand on their own two feet.
In addition to helping organisations that are ready for investment, the ACF also offers business development grants and support to help organisations to plan and develop their enterprise ideas.
For further information visit www.adventurecapitalfund.org.uk
About Futurebuilders England
Futurebuilders England is the largest social investor in the UK. Its aim is to substantially improve the financial and strategic capability of the Third Sector so that it can play an ever greater role in improving the lives of the people and communities it serves.
For more information visit www.futurebuilders-england.org.uk
Communitybuilders is specifically aimed at helping strengthen the financial resilience of organisations that are often known as ‘community anchors'. Such organisations include, but are not limited to, development trusts, settlements and multi-purpose community organisations.
The programme will be open for applications later this summer - details will be announced once finalised.
It is hoped that through Communitybuilders investments community organisations will be able to make a real and lasting difference to their local communities. Communitybuilders will assist organisations to change the way they operate so they are able to run enterprise activities such as managed workspaces, conference facilities or take on public sector contracts and establish themselves as successful community businesses.
Independent community-led organisations, including community associations, community centres, development trusts and settlements, that create a hub for activities and services in their neighbourhood and are able to respond in a holistic way to local problems and challenges are eligible for funding.
About Community-led organisations
Community-led organisations are at the heart of their communities and able to respond in a holistic way to local problems and challenges, by empowering local people. They know their communities inside out and from this knowledge devise tailored activities, services and support.
They offer anything from vocational training for young people living in inner city areas to volunteer taxi services for isolated older people in rural villages. Local people from the community manage and run these organisations, and very often work or volunteer in them as well.