Government invites rival bids to run Futurebuilders Fund

Futurebuilders England is facing a fight to continue to run the £215m Futurebuilders Fund after the Government revealed it will invite new tenders to operate the programme.

The Office of the Third Sector announced it will be inviting bids from organisations to allocate the remaining £65m of the fund from April 2008 until March 2011.

A spokesman for the Office of the Third Sector said it was keen to explore streamlining the process.

“The fund is currently run on a tri-partite arrangement,” he said. “One of the things we want to look at is a bi-partite arrangement and look at having a single fund manager.

“If you have one fund manager that has ownership of the fund and the responsibility for applying it, that is obviously a more simple arrangement.”

Futurebuilders England, which operates the Futurebuilders Fund, was set up by a consortium led by Charity Bank and involving the NCVO, the Northern Rock Foundation and Unity Trust Bank.

Campbell Robb, director general of the Office of the Third Sector, said: “As the initial phase nears its conclusion, the fund must evolve and build on the lessons of experience to date so it can continue to enhance the third sector’s ability to transform people’s lives.”

Futurebuilders England immediately declared its intention to bid and chief executive Richard Gutch said it was confident of winning the business.

“We intend to bid to deliver the second phase of the Fund so we can continue the good progress we have already made, and we are confident that Futurebuilders England is in the best position to win,” he said.

The Government will be placing adverts for the role in the Official Journal of the European Union.

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