Fund manager - Bristol and Bath Regional Capital
City Funds is an impact fund that focuses on key issues in Bristol such as social inclusion
- 15% Percentage of Bristol residents living in the 10% most deprived areas in England
- 70400 Number of people living in income deprivation in Bristol
- 21% Percentage of Bristol's children living in low-income families
Bristol is a vibrant city, but like many in the UK, has communities affected by inequality and disadvantage with starkly different health outcomes, educational opportunities and employment. At the same time, there’s been a lack of coordination to address these issues. This has left organisations – working to meet the needs of the city – unable to find support to sustain and grow their impact.
Under Bristol's ‘One City Plan’ – a council-led common vision for a fair, healthy and sustainable city – we were invited to work with local partners to co-develop City Funds. The project used research, design-led thinking and local intelligence from key organisations and representatives from a range of communities to understand the challenges in Bristol that could benefit from repayable investment.
Along with other partners, Quartet Community Foundation, Power to Change and Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC), we worked to create a structure to connect capital to enterprises looking to make a positive impact within their communities. Launched at the end of 2019, City Funds is a £10 million impact fund managed by BBRC, with aligned grant programmes and infrastructure, that focuses on key issues such as promoting economic inclusion.
The priority themes of the Fund will be economic inclusion, community initiatives (to build resilience) and environmental transformation. In its first year, City Funds committed £1.85 million to support these themes.
As part of the impact measurement approach, City Funds is collecting a range of data, and working together with the Centre for Thriving Places to help develop a framework that captures these changes across the city, and for the key community stakeholders. As part of an ongoing programme of learning, we’ll learn from this framework, and replicate key aspects and lessons in other projects across the UK.