Former charities minister Nick Hurd appointed as chair of Access

12 Feb 2020 News

Nick Hurd

Official portrait from Wikimedia Commons, by Chris McAndrew

Nick Hurd, a former minister for civil society, will become chair of Access - The Foundation for Social Investment (Access) later this year.  

Access launched with government backing in 2015 to help charities become more financially resilient and diversify their income through a mix of loan and grant funding. 

Hurd takes up the role on 23 April, replacing John Kingston who was the founding chair.

Hurd was minister for civil society for four years during the coalition government. He was also MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner until the election in December, and entered parliament in 2005. He has held a number of other government roles since 2010, including minister for climate change and industry, minister for policing, and minister for London.

As minister for civil society, Hurd oversaw developments in the social investment landscape, including the creation of Access’s sister organisation Big Society Capital. He also oversaw programmes to support social impact bonds, and initiatives to support the sector to build its capacity to take advantage of the new products such as the Social Incubator and the Investment and Contract Readiness funds.

'I am pleased to rejoin the collective effort'

Nick Hurd said: “I am pleased to rejoin the collective effort to make it easier for our charities and social enterprises to access the capital they need. Access fills an important gap and I am a great admirer of both what they do and how they do it.

“I am excited by the opportunity to help build on the great work of John Kingston and the team over the last five years. In this critical second half, we have to make sure that our investment and learning makes a long term difference. 

“Access supports charities and social enterprises across England with programmes to develop earned income through trading and enterprise and to access smaller scale simple loans. During its ten-year life it will commit over £120m in funds to the sector. Last month it announced the six places in England in which it will deliver its latest programme, Local Access.”

Annika Small, senior independent trustee on the Access board, said: “Nick was the outstanding candidate from a strong field to lead the board of Access moving forwards. His passion for the work of the sector is clear and his varied experience across government will give us an important new perspective. He is highly regarded across the sector from his time as charities minister. We are all looking forward to working with him.”
Hurd will also chair the investment committees for Access’s major blended finance programmes. He will take up the role for an initial term of three years. 

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