Communities to benefit from dormant bank account funds

10 Aug 18

Funds from dormant bank account and inactive charitable trusts will be released to fund a range of community-focused and led initiatives, according to the government’s Civil Society Strategy.

The strategy, the first for 15 years, was published yesterday and proposes putting people, communities and charitable organisations at the centre of decision-making. It is intended to complement the industrial strategy, which was released last year, and aims to boost and rebalance the economy.

Among the specific actions included in the strategy is unlocking £20m from dormant charitable trusts (those that spend less than 30% of their income) and using it to support community organisations over the next two years.

An independent organisation will be set up to distribute £90m from dormant bank accounts to schemes that get young people into work.

A separate organisation will also use £55m from dormant bank accounts to fund work tackling financial exclusion and lack of access to affordable credit.

Culture secretary Jeremy Wright said: “These ambitious plans will harness the expertise of volunteers, charities and business to help people take a more active part in their local areas.”

Civil society minister Tracey Crouch added: “Civil society is the bedrock of our communities. It is made up of the volunteers, youth workers, charities and innovative businesses that work to improve lives and make areas better for all.

“Our strategy builds on this spirit of common good to help create a country that works for everyone. I want people, organisations and businesses to feel inspired to get involved and make a difference.”

Other measures in the strategy include some democracy pilots, which will trial ways of letting people take a more direct role in decision making, whether through citizen juries or mass participation via online polls and apps.

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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