New Dormant Assets Provide Urgently Needed Investment To Tackle Social Issues

N News

March 09, 2023

The government has announced that the expanded Dormant Assets Scheme, which will unlock £880 million of forgotten money, will fund much needed investment into organisations tackling social problems in their communities including social enterprises and charities. In addition, the government has announced £31 million of immediate funding from dormant assets to help social enterprises and charities with the rising cost of energy and increased demands as a result of the wider cost of living crisis.

This decision follows an extensive public consultation last summer. A broad coalition from across the social, business and investment sectors came together to feed into the consultation and propose the Community Enterprise Growth Plan –  with the goal of supporting social investment to reach places and communities that have not benefited to date. The 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.


Stuart Andrew, Minister for Department for Culture, Media and Sport said, “The public consultation on dormant assets funding provided people with the opportunity to name how money that will be unlocked should be spent, and I’m delighted to announce our plans to introduce a community wealth fund as a new cause. The creation of a community wealth fund will give local residents in some of the more deprived areas of the country the power to improve where they live and invest in what’s important to them.


This 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. The £31 million funding injection, allocated under the current scheme, will enable community and social enterprises to install energy saving technology in their buildings and help them meet the growing need for their services as a result of cost-of-living pressures.


Stephen Muers, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital said, “This is an important step and we welcome the commitment from the government to continue to supporting the enterprises and communities that are helping those most in need at a critical time. The social investment infrastructure is already in place, meaning we will be able to deploy funds at pace. And because it catalyses private and philanthropic investment alongside, we can make this money go much further. For example, every £1 from the dormant asset scheme to-date spent on social investment has unlocked another £3 from other investors.” 


Social investment has enabled a vast range of organisations across the country 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 helping ex-prisoners find meaningful employment and a Doncaster based scheme providing affordable furniture to low-income families.


Julie Young, Head of Impact and Alternatives at NCM Fund Services said, “I am delighted to see the announcement on the Government’s recent expansion to the Dormant Asset Scheme. The expansion of the scheme into other sectors such as pensions and securities will see an additional £880m of forgotten money provide much needed support to charities and organisations that are tackling a wide range of social and environmental issues within the community.  The immediate release of the £31m to help such organisations with their increased cost of living expenditure can’t have come at a better time and will give relief to so many important projects during a time of financial crisis.  The work that Big Society Capital and Access – the Foundation for Social Investment do in ensuring worthwhile Social Enterprises, charities and organisations access the funds they need to make long term systematic change in the community is invaluable.”


SOURCE | Big Society Capital and UK Government