Funding news

BIG to start give £5m to social investment projects in July on behalf of Big Society Bank - 21 June 2011

The Big Society Investment Fund will support around 5 social investment projects with £5m of dormant account funds while the Big Society Bank awaits approval from the European Commission. It will make the first investment as early as July this year.

It was announced last week that the Big Society Bank, which will be partly-funded with dormant account money, looks set to be delayed till next year while the government tries to get state aid approval from the European Commission to set it up.

In the Big Society Bank’s place, the Big Lottery Fund has been asked to distribute £5m raised from dormant bank accounts to social investment intermediary organisations based in the UK that will provide social investment products or services for social sector organisations that primarily benefit people in England. A BIG spokesman said it will not consider proposals from frontline social sector organisations or individual projects.

BIG has set up an Investment Committee (IC) as an interim body to manage the £5m through the Big Society Social Investment Fund.

Organisations, which fit the criteria, must apply for a minimum of £500,000. The first deadline for proposals is 4 July, with the IC expecting to announce one or two in-principle early investments by the end of July 2011.

The IC will be wound up once the Big Society Bank has been fully established and is in a position to start using dormant account money. The IC investment portfolio will be transferred to the Big Society Bank at that point.

For full details, see the BIG website and the governmentfunding scheme page.