- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
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MIKE HEDGES AM WELECOMES SUCCESS OF INNOVATE TO SAVE SCHEME
Speaking from the Assembly, Swansea East AM said… ‘I have long believed in the need for an innovate to save scheme which encourages people to find new ways of working and new solutions to old problems. I was pleased therefore when the Welsh Government introduced such a scheme in February 2017. Now that the scheme has been operating for 2 years it is important to have an update on its progress.
I am pleased that the three projects mentioned by the Minister have been successful and are doing well; it remains important that lessons and good practice learned from these projects are shared as widely as possible. It is also important that any successes are up scaled so that the savings already identified can be increased.’
Mike Hedges AM – Invest-to-save has been successful over a period of time, but it mainly involves safe investments, certain, or almost certain, of producing savings. Alongside it, a more ambitious programme of innovate-to-save has been introduced—something I asked for over several years. Will the Minister provide an update on the effectiveness of the innovate-to-save scheme, and on whether any projects have been so successful that they have been taken up by other bodies?101
Rebecca Evans AM 14:32:11
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I thank Mike Hedges for raising that; he’s long been a champion of both invest-to-save and innovate-to-save. The innovate-to-save initiative between the Welsh Government, Nesta, Cardiff University and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action launched in February 2017 with a budget of £5.8 million. In March of this year, we added an additional £0.5 million to the budget, to take it up to £6.3 million. It does differ from invest-to-save in that the payment is non-repayable grant funding for projects selected to go through the research and development phase. Non-financial support is available in project management from Nesta, and research support available from Cardiff University. There is a real focus there on ideas that are at different stages to invest-to-save. These are projects that need to be researched and tested to assess whether or not the anticipated outcomes are likely to be achieved. Round 1 of the programme saw three projects being approved for loan funding, one of which was Leonard Cheshire, who were awarded £1 million to roll out their new model of care for people in receipt of direct payments. Fabric, in Swansea, has begun purchasing properties for implementing their semi-supported step-down accommodation for young people over the age of 18 who are leaving the care system. Llamau are also in negotiations with public sector partners to put in place a new and more sustainable funding model for the benefit of the people who they serve. Certainly, there are projects there that we could look to be upscaling in due course, and we’ll be learning very much from the work that those projects are undertaking at the moment.