A new £100m fund to help charities and social enterprises that are vulnerable to spending cuts will be opened in November 2010.

A new £100million fund to help the charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises that are most vulnerable to public spending cuts will be opened at the end of this month and will be managed by BIG Fund, Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd announced today.

This government has an ambitious agenda to build a Big Society which will open up unprecedented new opportunities for civil society organisations to deliver public services and drive social action.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd, said:

We are facing the largest peacetime deficit in our history and civil society cannot be immune from the necessary reductions in spending. The Big Society agenda will give charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises more opportunities to secure stable independent funding. But we recognise that this will not happen overnight.

To help address this problem, we have worked quickly to open a £100million short-term fund to help charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises make the transition to becoming providers to public of services, to work with us to build a Big Society and make the most of the opportunities it will bring for them.

Already public service reforms like supporting entrepreneurial front line public sector staff to form co-ops and mutuals to take over and run the services they provide as well as new Welfare to Work and Free Schools policies are increasing the diversity of civil society involvement.

The government is also developing a Big Society Bank that will use money from dormant bank accounts to help capitalise the sector and build capacity. This is on top of around £470million, including the £100million transition fund, announced in the spending review to directly support the sector. 

Peter Wanless, CEO of the BIG Lottery Fund, welcomed this new opportunity to support the sector:

BIG is delighted to be working with the OCS in administering this hugely important fund.  We will work with them to ensure that this money helps excellent organisations throughout England prepare effectively for the future.  We will be drawing on relevant expertise from ACEVO, and CapacityBuilders, among others, to achieve that.

CAB 192/10

Notes to editors

  1. BIG Fund is the non-lottery funding arm of the Big Lottery Fund. It will deliver the government’s £100m Transition fund over for the next 13 months. The fund will be open to organisations with an income of between £50,000 and £10 million who are most vulnerable to short term reductions in public spending.  Detailed eligibility criteria will be available shortly and we expect applications to open at the end of this month.
  2. The Transition fund was first announced in the spending review. Organisations can express an interest in the fund by emailing their contact details to transitionfund@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk
  3. For Cabinet Office press office contact details, visit the press office page.

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