Wednesday 9 December 2009

On our way!!

Great news in the PBR! The Government are to establish the Social Investment Bank with an initial capitalisation of £75m from unclaimed assets. This is a hugely significant step for our third sector. And a real pre Christmas present for me and ACEVO members.

There have been many behind the scenes battles on this and I did wonder if we would make it. And I am delighted that the Government ignored the rather silly calls for the Bank to be set up by using money from Futurebuilders. Robbing Peter to pay Paul was always an absurd policy position. What we needed was new investment money not relabelling tins!

So it's a start. We need a bigger investment pot. Indeed our position has always been all the Banks unclaimed assets should be given over to the new Bank as Ronnie Cohen argued seven years ago in his seminal report. But I suspect we will get them. And the Tories have made clear they will hand over all those assets. The Bank will be able to work on leverage with commercial banks to secure bigger funds. The great thing about this investment fund is that it is money that will come back into the sector again and be re-loaned creating a virtuous circle of growth. Ronnie Cohen and the visionaries who promoted this idea have our thanks and gratitude for a truly revolutionary step forward, and whilst the sum may seem small now in a decade I suspect we will have a billion pound loan fund for the sector. And that's real money talking.

Access to capital is the big new frontier for our sector. This step is a proud legacy project. I sent a text to Liam of congratulations. I also told Stephen Timms MP the same when he phoned about the PBR in the afternoon (enquiring solicitously whether I was up a mountainside!).

So good news. And I hope more to come on family matters. I've had fingers crossed for the Twins; my nephew and niece Oliver and Miranda. It's the week of their Oxford interviews. Miranda hopes to read English at Worcester and Oliver, History and Economics at Brasenose. Poor Oliver had an unfortunate start, as the message from my sister told me, Oliver had come home from school with a raging temperature and had fainted in bathroom hitting head on radiator so much blood. Still he managed with great Bubb fortitude to get up to Oxford this morning. We can only hope for the sympathy vote. Though I'm sure not needed!

And as for me I'm flying back from Aberdeen for my 7.30 am date with the knife tomorrow.
A last drink called for!

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