The Foyer Federation will spend the money on brokering relationships between local authority commissioners and third sector groups. The foundation estimates that the investment will lead to a £1bn saving for taxpayers by changing the way youth services are delivered.
The investment comprises a £450,000 grant for initial development, which will involve making contact with commissioners, organising publicity events and research into methods of service delivery, and a £3.3m loan for implementation.
Once the development stage has been completed, Foyer will have the option to take £300,000 of the £3.3m loan interest-free to fund a pilot programme. It will take the interest-bearing part of the loan only if that succeeds. The project is scheduled to last seven or eight years.
"We are trying to develop a brokerage model with which we will coordinate relations between commissioners and third sector deliverers," said Jane Slowey, chief executive of the Foyer Federation. "Each foyer could be a hub for a range of services. At the moment, it's very patchy and ad hoc."
Richard Gutch, chief executive of Futurebuilders, said: "Jane Slowey is keen to develop the foyer network. We saw the opportunity to have a much greater impact, because this project is going to work across the country."
- See Feature, page 16.