Funding news

£28.5 million repaid from Futurebuilders loans - 27 August 2012

More than £28 million repaid by charities to the Futurebuilders England fund is being held in bank accounts while the Cabinet Office decides what to do with the money.

The Futurebuilders fund opened in 2005 to provide loans and grants to third sector organisations wanting to win public sector contracts. It closed in 2010, having agreed loans and grants worth £155m of its initial £215m budget.

All loans repaid since it opened are being held by the Social Investment Business, the delivery arm of the Adventure Capital Fund, which took over management of Futurebuilders England in 2008.

A spokeswoman for the SIB said it was holding all the repayments received so far, totalling £28.5m.

"The Futurebuilders England money is paid back to us and we hold it in current and deposit accounts," she said. "The Cabinet Office is still deciding what it would like to do with the funds."

The SIB had initially envisioned that, once it received sufficient repayments, it would reopen Futurebuilders and reinvest those repayments in the sector. But the coalition administration, when it came to power, said repayments to the fund would not be used for new Futurebuilders lending to the sector.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in 2010, while leader of the opposition, that the money would be used to fund the community organisers programme.

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said: "Any returns from the Futurebuilders fund will be reinvested into building a bigger, stronger society. We will update further on our plans in due course." She declined to give any further details about what the money would be spent on, or which department would be responsible for spending the money.

About £85m of further loans are still outstanding from the Futurebuilders fund.