Government announces details of dormant assets scheme expansion

The government has announced further details of plans to allocate an additional £44m to the charity sector and good causes through dormant assets funding.

As part of its Levelling Up agenda, the government revealed earlier this month that and extra £44m in dormant assets will be made available to charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals.

This week it has confirmed that the extra money will be made available through the Dormant Assets Scheme and will focus on tackling youth unemployment, expanding access to investment for charities and social enterprises as well as improve the “availability of fair, affordable loans to people in vulnerable circumstances”.

The extra funding is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) and includes:

• £20m to support the Youth Futures Foundation to test and evaluate initiatives to address barriers to work for disadvantaged young people
• £20m will go to Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, to provide finance to 1,000 charities and social enterprises, with a focus on those in more deprived areas.
• £4m to Fair4AllFinace, to provide affordable loans to those in financial difficulties.

In announcing the measures charities minister Nigel Huddleston said the money aims to “make a real difference to people’s lives in communities across England”

“As well as helping young people find jobs, it will also provide financial support to those that need it the most,” he added.

New dormant asset legislation

Legislation will also be brought in to expand the Dormant Assets Scheme, which the government says “could potentially unlock a further £880m across the UK”. This would be through transferring a wider range of dormant assets, from across the insurance, pension, investment, securities and wealth management sectors.

“The money unlocked through the Dormant Assets Scheme will be widely welcomed and comes at a challenging time for communities,” said NLCF chief executive David Knott.

Access Foundation for Social Investment chief executive Seb Elsworth added: “Communities need the support that charities and social enterprises can provide, creating vital jobs and addressing entrenched social problems.

“But too often, they can struggle to get the finance they need to innovate or grow.

"The additional £20 million from dormant assets will help us and our partners to deliver the small-scale loans that most charities and social enterprises need and further target investment into places and communities that have been previously overlooked.”

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