Press release

Minister praises London mutual as ‘future of public services’

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new joint venture, 3BM, made up of staff across 3 London boroughs, has launched today. It will provide school services.

CAB 42-13

Entrepreneurial former council staff were joined at Hammersmith Town Hall today by Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, to launch their ground breaking new business – 3BM – which provides a range of critical school support services. The business is made up of staff from three London boroughs; Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. They are delivering services such as financial management, IT and building development to schools allowing them to focus on education.

3BM is the first ever mutual joint venture to spin out of local government. The business is owned by a partnership between the employees and another company. The employees own 75.1% of the business, giving them a controlling stake. Prospects, the education employment company, has a 24.9% share and brings capital and business expertise needed to make the business grow. As a result of 3BM spinning out, the local councils will see £1 million in savings over the next four years.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

You feel the energy that people have for this new fledgling enterprise 3BM – they’re excited about the possibilities now available to them that weren’t there before. Mutuals give frontline staff the power to make decisions and to innovate services in ways they could never do before.

These new businesses allow staff a much greater opportunity to show off their skills – and get more reward – while at the same time giving the taxpayer a better deal and providing growth to the economy. 3BM has shown the path for the future of public services, we know that when employees get a bigger stake and say in the way a company is run they can achieve greater efficiencies and success.

Andy Rennison, Managing Director for 3BM, said:

Being first at anything that involves people or business is always a challenge. This new agenda opens up new opportunities and we are excited to be leading the way, setting the benchmark for future ventures.

All this has been made possible with the fantastic support of the staff who are taking this big step out of local government. We’re also grateful for the support and input from our partner Prospects. This dynamic partnership has helped to create an employee led mutual that is extremely proud of its public sector heritage – we are committed to continuing to providing high level support services to schools, determined never to lose focus on what really matters. Hence our business statement - ‘we support, you achieve’.

The minister met with delegates from the new business as well as officials from across the three boroughs, who all helped 3BM reach its potential as a brand new spin out.

The launch of 3BM comes nearly a year after the government announced its first mutual joint venture spin out – MyCSP. My CSP provides pension handling services and has already won several new contracts in its first year of trading.

Notes to editors

  • Read information on Prospects winning the bid to work with 3BM.

  • Find out more about the launch of MyCSP.

  • The Cabinet Office has been supporting staff across the public sector who are looking to spin out of government control and set up their own businesses. This is why 3BM was awarded over £50,000 from the mutual support fund for business and legal advice as it developed. Any front line staff looking to form mutuals, mutual joint ventures, social enterprises or other business models can get information on the Mutuals Information Service website. There they can find details on how to become a mutual or how to gain access to some of the £10 million mutual support fund the government has put aside.

  • Photos from the event can be viewed on the Cabinet Office Flickr channel.