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Applications invited for £80m Life Chances Fund

Applications invited for £80m Life Chances Fund

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has issued a call for applications for the second wave of its £80m Life Chances Fund.

The Fund has a two-stage application process, and is currently seeking expressions of interest from organisations working on projects supporting early years and young people with a deadline of 31st March. Successful applicants will be informed by 30th April, and will then have until 31st October to submit a full application.

The Life Chances Fund is a top-up fund with the objective of helping ‘those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives’, according to the DCMS’s call out form. It launched last July, with six funding themes: drug and alcohol dependency, children’s services, early years, young people, healthy lives, and older people’s services. The call out for the first two themes went out last July and saw drug and alcohol dependency projects allocated up to £30m of funding. The call out for the final two themes is scheduled for this June.

The funds have been committed by central government to contribute to outcome payments for payment-by-results contracts involving socially minded investors, such as towards Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), the number and scale of which it aims to increase. The contracts must be locally commissioned and must aim to tackle complex social problems, and the Fund aims to contribute around 20% of the total outcomes payments with local commissioners footing the majority.

Based on similar funds, the Fund expects to leverage a further £320m in outcomes payments from local commissioners, to create a total pot of £400m for outcomes contracts.

More information on the process and criteria for applications is available on the site.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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