Capacity: The Public Services Lab has entered its third year in businesses with £800,000 of investment secured from social investors Big Society Capital. The additional investment signifies clear intent from Big Society Capital who initially backed the organisation following its success in the Business Impact Challenge in 2015.
Christine Chang, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Big Society Capital, commented: “In a short space of time, we have seen Capacity: The Public Services Lab go from strength to strength. Since our first investment in early 2017 Capacity has begun to make progress in altering perceptions of the way public services should be delivered. Capacity is building the credibility of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector as providers of public services with social investment. We look forward to seeing the outcomes from the next stage of their development.”
Founded by partners Catch22, Interserve, Big Society Capital and Amberside Advisors, Capacity: The Public Services Lab exists to help community based organisations to deliver public services which provide freedom to frontline workers, bringing together the best of the private, public and charity sector to produce better outcomes for communities.
Since its launch, Capacity has worked with over thirty voluntary, community, social enterprises (VCSE) and charity organisations in the North West of England and Wales. Key achievements to date include:
Procurement of a total of £38.5 million commissioned contracts and £600,00 grant funding for charities and VCSEs.
Nomination as ‘preferred provider’ in the re-design of three GP services in North Wales to transform healthcare delivery for over 20,000 people.
Assisting two Liverpool Primary Care networks to secure over £300,000 funding, enabling the re-design of primary care services in South Liverpool.
Capacity Chief Executive, Chris Catterall said: “I am delighted we have successfully navigated our initial start-up period and that Big Society Capital has agreed to support us during the next stage of our development. Since its inception, Capacity has secured £38m of contracted income and investment for charities and social enterprises and this additional investment from Big Society Capital will allow us to continue to do that at scale.”
The organisation will use the funding to expand incubator and accelerator services for community organisations. It will give them the flexibility to recruit staffing resource ahead of growth and to invest in joint venture partnerships with social enterprises and charities.
Catterall added: “Capacity will continue to help community organisations to secure funding and help reform public services, through our recently awarded contract with Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council to re-design Childrens’ Services Early Help and our work with GPs re-imagining and re-organising primary care on Merseyside.”