Amberside’s skills and experience in relation to bidding and investment, along with the fund management expertise of our affiliate company, Amberside Capital Ltd, are particularly suited to assisting ambitious social sector organisations who wish to build scale and increase their involvement in government contracts for public services.

In partnership with public services provider Interserve, and social business Catch22, in 2015 we were chosen by an expert panel of innovative business leaders and social entrepreneurs as the inaugural winners of the Big Society Capital’s Business Impact Challenge. This challenge was established to find a high-impact investment idea that generates strong business and social value in the UK. The Business Impact Challenge panel assessed ideas from corporates based on their social impact, business model, and ability to deliver.

The value of this idea was further recognised in October 2016 as the Public Services Lab won the inaugural Innovative New Idea at the 5th Finance for the Future awards, founded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales and HRH The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability project.

Our proposal is to create a Public Services Lab – a social business which will support community organisations, charities and social enterprises in ways which will enable them to deliver public service contracts at scale.

Big Society Capital has fully approved its seed £1m investment, premises at Cunard House, Liverpool have been secured and Chair and Chief Executive appointments were recently announced.

Chris Wright, CEO, Catch22: “In the current financial climate, it is more important than ever for the voluntary, community, public and private sectors to come together to develop creative solutions to the challenges facing public service provision. We’re delighted to have found forward-thinking partners to make this happen. Winning these competitions encourages all of us – Interserve, Amberside, Big Society Capital and Catch22 – to press forward on this exciting journey.”