By KLTV Newsdesk –
The UK government has announced that the expanded Dormant Assets Scheme will unlock £880 million of forgotten money to fund organisations tackling social problems in their communities.
Social enterprises and charities will benefit from the much-needed investment, which will help them address the broader cost-of-living crisis.
The decision follows an extensive public consultation held last summer, which saw a broad coalition from across the social, business, and investment sectors come together to propose the Community Enterprise Growth Plan.
The plan aims to support social investment to reach places and communities that have not benefited to date.
The Community Enterprise Growth Plan, if fully supported by dormant assets, would create jobs, boost growth, and address regional inequalities by unlocking new investment for community enterprises – the community-based businesses, social enterprises, and trading charities taking entrepreneurial approaches to tackling social problems.
Social investment has enabled many organisations nationwide to grow their impact and help more people.
Examples range from a social enterprise which intercepts wasted food to provide affordable meals in Sheffield to a Birmingham enterprise assisting ex-prisoners in finding meaningful employment and a Doncaster-based scheme providing cheap furniture to low-income families.
The announcement creates the opportunity to implement the Community Enterprise Growth Plan by confirming that social investment will continue as a recipient cause of the scheme alongside youth, financial inclusion, and a new cause, community wealth funds.
Nick Hurd, speaking on behalf of the Community Enterprise Growth Plan coalition, said: “The Government’s announcement is good news for communities up and down the country.
“The long-term flow of further dormant assets will provide the finance charities, and social enterprises need to help those most in need, including in some of the places most affected by long-term economic decline and most at risk from the cost-of-living crisis.
“Over the last decade, in a large part due to the pioneering investment from Dormant Assets, the amount invested in UK charities and social enterprises has grown tenfold with more than £7.9 billion invested in thousands of mission-led organisations working to tackle social and environmental challenges in our communities.
“There is now the opportunity to build on this – through the delivery of the Community Enterprise Growth Plan – expanding the tools and support available to charities and social enterprises and using the social investment infrastructure built over the last ten years in new ways.”
In addition to the £880 million of unlocked funds, the government has also announced £31 million of immediate funding from dormant assets to help social enterprises and charities with the rising energy cost and increased demands due to the broader cost-of-living crisis.
The funding injection will enable community and social enterprises to install energy-saving technology in their buildings and help them meet the growing need for their services.
The announcement has been welcomed by social enterprises and charities across the country, who have long been calling for more investment in their services to address the social problems affecting their communities.
The government’s decision to unlock dormant assets is seen as a positive step towards creating more inclusive and sustainable communities across the UK.
Speaking on the announcement, Tim Davies-Pugh, CEO of Power to Change, said: “The allocation of Dormant Assets funding could be a game changer for the 11,000 community businesses working to support vulnerable people and communities in England.
“More than 6,300 community-owned spaces contribute £ 220 million to the economy every year, and 56p of every £1 spent by a community-owned asset stays in the local economy.
“Community businesses are a vital part of the social economy and include diverse organisations like B-Inspired in Leicester – that provide intensive business support, helping the local community become self-sustaining, generate social value and deliver services in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.
“As a member of the Community Wealth Fund alliance, and supporter of the Community Enterprise Growth Plan, we are pleased that the government has listened and recognised the need for investment at the community level and provided much-needed energy resilience support for community organisations.
“Power to Change will continue to offer our evidence and experience of working with community businesses to maximise the impact of Dormant Assets funding in the places that need it most.”