Government announces £1.7m support for public service mutuals

'This funding will deliver training, support programmes and mentoring to expand the high quality services mutuals provide to communities across the country'

The government has announced £1.7m in funding to help create new public service mutuals and strengthen existing ones.

A total of £1.2 million will be available to create new mutuals, or strengthen existing ones, by providing access to advice across areas including legal, financial, marketing, human resources and business planning.

The remaining £500,000 will be used to pilot support programmes such as partnership working to help mutuals collaborate with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and help others broaden the service they offer.

A mentoring scheme will allow newly formed mutuals to benefit from one-to-one experienced advice and support, as well as a peer support network which will bring aspiring mutuals together to share their experiences, challenges and successes.

Announcing the initiative, Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, said: “Mutuals are run under the influence of employees to support the delivery of public services and we want to help them thrive.

“This funding will deliver training, support programmes and mentoring to expand the high quality services mutuals provide to communities across the country.”

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The initiative, from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will be delivered by a partnership between mutual and employee-ownership consultants Baxendale, public service advisors Mutual Ventures, professional services consultancy BWB and legal services provider Bevan Brittan.

On its website, Baxendale said: “Mutualisation often results in public services becoming more efficient, innovative and having higher workforce engagement.

“Mutuals are driven by their employees – the very people that know the communities they serve best, and are freer to be agile in decision making, diversification and responding to the needs of the communities they serve.

“Having provided end-to-end support to the largest spin-out from central government (Remploy) as well as supported multiple Public Service Mutuals in everything from creating business cases to implementing cultural transformation, we’ve seen first-hand how mutualisation can revive and enhance public services.

“That’s why over 110 organisations – from health and social care right through to leisure services and education providers – have already chosen to leave the public sector and take more control over the design of their services.”

This round of funding will be available until March 2020 and follows the £572k that was awarded in 2017 to support mutuals.

Organisations can check if they are eligible for funding by writing to: mutuals@culture.gov.uk.

Baxendale is also welcoming queries: contact saimah.heron@baxendale.co.uk.

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