Good causes set to receive extra £44m from Dormant Assets Scheme

The additional funds bring the total generated to almost £850m over the past 10 years

(Photograph: Expect Best/Pexels)
(Photograph: Expect Best/Pexels)

Communities and good causes have been allocated an additional £44m from the Dormant Assets Scheme, bringing the total generated through the programme over the past decade to almost £850m.

The funding, which will be distributed to social investment bodies by the National Lottery Community Fund, will go towards tackling youth unemployment, expanding access to investments for charities and social enterprises and helping people in vulnerable circumstances get fair, affordable loans. 

The Dormant Assets Scheme releases funds from bank and building society accounts where no transactions have been carried out for the past 15 years.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said that of the £44m,  £20m would go to Access – The Foundation for Social Investment to provide finance for up to 1,000 charities and social enterprises, particularly in more deprived areas. 

A further £20m will go to the Youth Futures Foundation, which explores how to improve access to employment for disadvantaged young people, and £4m will go to Fair4All Finance, which offers affordable consolidation loans for people in financially vulnerable circumstances. 

Nigel Huddleston, the charities minister, said the allocation would “make a real difference to people’s lives in communities across England”.

Seb Elsworth, chief executive of Access – the Foundation for Social Investment said: “Communities need the support that charities and social enterprises can provide, creating vital jobs and addressing entrenched social problems. But too often, they can struggle to get the finance they need to innovate or grow. 

“The additional £20m from dormant assets will help us and our partners to deliver the small-scale loans that most charities and social enterprises need and further target investment into places and communities that have been previously overlooked.”

He said the funding would support the work of the charity’s growth fund, which has supported charities and social enterprises in the country’s most deprived communities. 

“Drawing on what we have learnt to date, we will target this additional investment in the best way possible, increasing the availability of smaller-scale unsecured loans for charities and social enterprises,” Elsworth said. 

The Dormant Assets Scheme has generated more than £800m in funding over the past 10 years, including £150m that supported the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Dormant Assets Bill, which has almost completed its way through parliament, could potentially unlock a further £880m across the UK, according to the DCMS, by enabling a wider range of dormant assets to be transferred into the Scheme from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors.

David Knott, chief executive of the NLCF, said: “The money unlocked through the Dormant Assets Scheme will be widely welcomed and comes at a challenging time for communities.

“This vital funding will have an impact on people’s lives and support them towards a more prosperous and thriving future.”

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