Access was created by The Big Society Trust, working in collaboration with Cabinet Office, Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital, following extensive consultation with the sector. The Cabinet Office relationship has since moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Each of these organisations shares the same vision to expand the reach of social investment, and each organisation brings its own resources and expertise to support Access in delivering on its mission.
The Big Lottery Fund’s support for Access through the Growth Fund sits alongside other Big Lottery Fund initiatives to ensure that, where appropriate, social investment can support charities and social enterprises of all shapes and sizes to create more sustainable social impact.
The Big Lottery Fund is committed to developing the social investment market in England in a way that supports charities and social enterprises to better serve those most in need. Its programme Big Potential, which provides investment readiness support for organisations seeking finance up to £500,000 complements the work of Access. The Big Lottery Fund is excited to be partners in Access and share in its mission.
Access is funded in part by an endowment of £60 million to be spent over ten years. This endowment funds our investment readiness capacity building activities . The endowment was originally given by the Cabinet Office and is now continued by DCMS following the relocation of The Office for Civil Society in 2016.
Big Society Capital is committed to supporting this part of the social investment market. Big Society Capital worked closely with the Office of Civil Society in the Cabinet Office (not at DCMS) to help The Big Society Trust establish Access and to invest funds alongside Access, rather than directly in Access. Taking Access and Big Society Capital together, these two organisations help charities and social enterprises throughout their development to achieve greater social impact.
What is The Big Society Trust?
The Big Society Trust has a board made up of members with broad experience in the social and financial sectors. It is the company which ensures that Big Society Capital remains true to its social mission and is the sole member of Access. The Big Society Trust established Access, working in collaboration and consultation with the social investment sectors, in particular with Big Society Capital, the Cabinet Office (now DCMS) and Big Lottery Fund.
The Articles of the The Big Society Trust ensure that decisions are made independently of Government.
To view details of the members of The Big Society Trust and to download the latest available Board Meeting Agenda and Minutes click here.