Finance: Futurebuilders to get extra cash

Futurebuilders, the investment fund to encourage voluntary sector public service innovation, will continue at least until 2008.

The extension to the lifespan of the fund follows the announcement last week by Home Secretary Charles Clarke of an extra £90m of government funding.

Launched in 2004, Futurebuilders was initially intended as a three-year initiative. But former Home Secretary David Blunkett voiced his intention at the time of persuading the Treasury to make the fund permanent.

The new capital has swelled the size of the Futurebuilders fund to £215m.

Richard Gutch, chief executive of Futurebuilders, said: "This new investment is a great vote of confidence in the voluntary and community sector. It is a sign that voluntary organisations are trusted to deliver excellent public services and that Futurebuilders is trusted to help them achieve their goals."

The fund says it plans to make 150 investments in spring 2006 and 2007.

The second application window for Futurebuilders investment opens on 1 June. A redesigned website will be launched next month.

The Futurebuilders model - a government-funded investment vehicle managed by a board drawn from the voluntary sector - is clearly favoured by ministers.

The same approach has been announced for the Government's £150m ChangeUp infrastructure, now renamed Capacity Builders.


- Futurebuilders will continue until 2008

- New government investment means the fund's capital now stands at £215m

- The fund will make 100 new investments this summer and 150 investments in 2006 and 2007

- The second application window for investments opens on 1 June.

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