First awards made for staff-led public sector spin-outs

Government gives out £85,000 from Mutual Support Programme; Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says a valuable knowledge-sharing database will be built

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office

The government has made the first awards from its £10m programme to support public sector spin-out companies led by their staff.

The Cabinet Office announced the first three grants, totalling nearly £85,000, from the Mutual Support Programme.

A planned spin-out from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, called 3BM, will provide support services to schools and get £55,852 to spend on legal advice from the law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse on tendering for a joint-venture partner.

A youth services organisation that proposes to spin out from Blackpool Council will receive £10,000 to spend on planning its business with help from the consultancy Social Purpose Business Partners.

Hazlitt Arts Centre, which plans to spin out from Maidstone Borough Council in Kent, got £18,927 for business support from the law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "Fledgling mutuals will get professional expertise and advice that they would otherwise be unable to access. And we will build a valuable knowledge-sharing database of what works, as well as what does not, from which other mutuals can draw."

Andy Rennison, assistant director for school support services at 3BM, said: "The process for mutualisation is challenging and the support from the Mutual Support Programme fund has been a tremendous help."

Mandy Hare, management team representative at Hazlitt Arts Centre, said: "We are delighted with the support we have received through the fund."

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