The Communitybuilders Fund will support organisations that work to improve community cohesion. It will be supported by cash from the Communities and Local Government department and the Office of the Third Sector.
Futurebuilders, which recently won the contract to run the Department of Health's £100m Social Enterprise Investment Fund, will be responsible for almost £400m of third sector investment cash if it wins. A spokeswoman for the organisation declined to comment.
Infrastructure quango Capacitybuilders also declined to comment when asked by Third Sector if it was in the running to operate the programme.
The Big Lottery Fund did submit a pre-qualification questionnaire to qualify for the tender process, but pulled out.
"It wasn't until dialogue commenced that a clearer picture of the programme emerged, and in particular how it fitted with our missions and values," a spokeswoman for the fund said.
"Technical issues arose during the dialogue process that led us to the decision to withdraw."
The tender winner is expected to be announced in June.