Social investment to be expanded under new plans

In a new strategy document, the Government has outlined how it will expand the use of social investment over the next five years, including the establishment of a new centre of excellence.

Social investment: a force for social change – 2016 strategy, published by the Cabinet Office, has revealed that over the next five years the Government will “use social investment to transform public services”, “grow the economy” and “strengthen the social investment market place.”

The Government will also partner with a UK university to establish a centre of research and technical excellence. Within the next year it is also expected that “at least two-thirds of central government departments [will] develop new models using social investment.”

In the foreword to the report, Rob Wilson Minister for Civil Society said: “Social investment represents a revolution in the way that public services are delivered and a huge opportunity for more people to use their savings and investments to change lives for the better.”

The report also said that the government will examine the “regulatory barriers” and look for ways to increase the effectiveness of Social Investment Tax Relief.

It is also clear that the government wants to make it easier for institutional investors and trusts to get involved and it will commission research to understand the potential for mass participation in social investment.

Over the last decade social investment has played a significantly larger role in the activities of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises and has helped them to raise capital that they may not be able to secure through conventional investment sources.

Social investment has also helped investors find organisations that deliver them a social as well as a financial return. However, seeking social investment is not always straightforward and having the help of an accountant can be extremely beneficial, through the tender and implementation stage.

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