The Invest to Save Budget

Recent Case Studies

The Invest to Save Budget (ISB) is the Treasury's grant programme, set up in the late 1990's to promote innovation with long term savings.  Sarah has been closely involved in three, widely disparate and successful ISB bids. Each of these pieces of work in themselves has been relatively small.  Collectively, they are a valuable track record in this complex bidding regime.  They also illustrate Sarah's ability to work across a wide range of topic areas with many different organisations, and to present highly technical information in an effective way.

This ISB process might be called the über-bidding round.  Most programmes create their own guidance, referring to the Treasury Green Book.  For the ISB, it is simply the technicalities of the Green Book itself.  The bids are a strictly space-constrained form, with a significant emphasis on issues of risk management and long-term financial implications.  There is no room for obfuscation or imprecision, and little space to sell the many exciting projects which might qualify under the broad remit of the programme.

Missions Models Money is the innovative cultural partnership established by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Accenture, Arts Council England and others and including an Action group of leading arts management practitioners from the Barbican, Manchester International Festival, the South Bank Centre and many others. Mission Models Money (MMM) is a national action research programme   and a campaign for change. Its purpose is to address the challenges   faced by individual arts and cultural organisations and their funders  in developing mission-led financially sustainable businesses.

Through a through workshops, think-tanks, research, exemplar projects and detailed case studies MMM aims to promote new approaches and new solutions to the key issues that affect sustainability and   explore the scope for and challenges of introducing new business models and ways of funding., Although the bid for ISB resources was relatively small at £250,000, this is a complex and difficult project to describe, and one where the potential paybacks are hard to confirm or quantify.

Sarah took a significant role in preparing this bid, working through all elements of the proposal in a series of drafts subject to consultation, recasting and clarifying all the financial information and completing a comprehensive risk assessment.

Clare Cooper, Co-Founder and Co-Director of MMM, says "Sarah's work was seminal.  We would not have got the money without her guidance and her input. MMM has been a successful intervention into the arts and cultural sector at a time when it is facing great challenges and will go on to seed further new ideas in the sector as a result.  The ISB grant was almost half of what it cost to run MMM and the imprimateur of HM Treasury gave us a status we would not otherwise have had.

Sarah acted as adviser to ethical investors, the London Rebuilding Society.  Their ISB scheme addresses the problem of elderly people who are equity rich and cash-starved, living in very run-down property but unable or unwilling (often for religious reasons) to borrow. The market has failed this sector, often only offering products which are poor value-for-money and high risk for owner-occupiers.  LRS has created a powerful and successful alternative model; the home improvement package is being rolled out in Newham, with the first property completed in April 2007.  In order to pump-prime the scheme, the Treasury was asked for £5.7m in support.

On this very large bid, Sarah advised on risk assessment and overall presentation.  The risk assessment element was of particular importance for LRS, and crucial to success for a bid of this scale.

Sarah also provided support to London Community Recycling Network, who won resources to establish a recycling-based local economic development project in Stockwell, South London.  For this bid, Sarah advised on the presentation of the financial information to meet Treasury expectations, on the risk assessment issues and elements of the management structure.