Headlines: January 29th, 2008

The Adventure Capital Fund is set to take over the management of the second phase of the Futurebuilders fund, which was set up to help organisations in the voluntary and charity sector to deliver public services. The announcement from the Cabinet Office means ACF will be responsible for investing an additional 65 million pounds of government funds and for managing existing investments of 150 million.

The appointment of the charity, which was set up in 2002 to fund community enterprises by offering financial investments and expert support, followed a rigorous tender process. The fund takes over from Futurebuilders England, set up under a tripartite agreement between the Cabinet Office, FBE and Charity Bank.

Since 2004 the Futurebuilders Fund has provided loan and grant based finance to support charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises and other third sector bodies to strengthen their capacity to deliver better public services. The first phase focused on services in five key areas, children and young people, community cohesion, crime, health, and education. The broadening of the scheme was recommended in an Advisory Committee in March last year and the second phase will come into operation in April.

Phil Hope, the Minister for the Third Sector, reassured current investees and those organisations that have applications in the pipeline that there would be an orderly transition to the new fund manager. “It is important that third sector organisations who want to deliver public services have the opportunity to do so. Many have a unique focus, specialist knowledge and the ability to reach some of the most vulnerable people in society. The second phase of Futurebuilders will bring new challenges for the fund manager but ACF has demonstrated great ability and enthusiasm to take on this challenge,” he added.