Futurebuilders News: Futurebuilders reveals lucky 13

More than two years on from its conception, Futurebuilders, the £125m government-backed fund to expand voluntary sector public service delivery, has announced its first round of investments.

Thirteen organisations benefit from investment packages worth a total of £4.2m. They range from £9,750 to £1.3m.

The largest investment goes to national charity the Who Cares? Trust.

It will pay for the expansion of online services to children and young people in care. Local authorities will be the purchasers.

At the launch yesterday, chief executive Richard Gutch promised a voluntary sector alliance with the public sector for the benefit of the wider community.

"Futurebuilders' investments will transform the way public services are delivered across England," predicted Gutch. "Our groundbreaking approach to funding will unleash the potential of organisations working in fields as diverse as social care and crime prevention."

The most popular area to be funded is children and young people - six of the 13 organisations funded work in that field. Four education groups receive investment, while crime reduction and community cohesion receive one funding package each.

Not all of the organisations receiving funding are national in scope.

The Pecan charity in South London is to receive £189,000 to pilot a scheme to help ex-offenders into work after their release from prison.

Futurebuilders was conceived during the Treasury's 2002 review of the voluntary sector's role in delivering public services. It is governed by an independent board but will also be monitored by an advisory board appointed by ministers. Recipients must follow broad government public service priorities and find public sector buyers.

See Editorial, p22

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