- MaPS confirms grants to be offered to current MaPS-funded providers of community-based debt advice in England.
- New grants will be effective for a period of 26 months starting from 1 February 2023.
- £30 million annually to fund community-based debt advice, including face-to-face provision, as part of £76 million total funding for debt advice in England.
- Ongoing delivery of debt advice assured while MaPS continues work with the sector to develop longer-term thinking on community-based services.
In February 2022, MaPS announced its intention to offer further grants to existing providers of community-based debt advice, including for face-to-face appointments. Today, MaPS can confirm that it has now offered these grants to existing providers for a period of 26 months, effective from 1 February 2023, ensuring there will be no gaps in funding for community-based service provision after the current grants end on 31 January 2023.
These grants will total £30 million per annum, subject to the usual annual budget setting by government, and will enable people to access the life-changing benefits of expert debt advice each year via community-based provision alone.
The grants will run alongside contracts for the provision of national and business debt advice, and administration hubs for debt relief orders, which will collectively represent £76 million of funding per annum – 80% more than pre-pandemic. This will support people to receive life-changing debt advice across multiple channels and solutions. The outcomes of the procurement for national and business debt advice services, as well as debt relief order administration, will be announced shortly.
The 26-month grants for community-based provision will secure the ongoing delivery of debt advice services, including face-to-face, to those people who need them. People will continue to be able to find expert, free of charge advice through the MoneyHelper debt advice locator toolOpens in a new window
We recognise the vital role that debt advisers play in their community and these grants will provide certainty of funding for them to continue.
During the course of the 26-month grants, MaPS will continue to engage with debt advice clients, advisers, advice organisations and other stakeholders to identify the best ways to commission locally based services long-term. MaPS is currently in an evidence-gathering phase which will continue for at least the next year, followed by a formal public consultation in late 2023. Consideration of the needs of service users, the current funding landscape of the debt advice sector, the impact on people of the pandemic and increases in cost of living will be primary goals of this work.
MaPS will continue to engage directly with the adviser community, through a series of workshops, meetings and events, on aspects such as quality assurance and wellbeing. An adviser panel will be established in due course which will have broad representation from the sector to ensure that the views and experiences of those working with clients every day are taken into consideration.