Commissioning in London and North West for July 2019

Our strategic approach to commissioning debt advice lays out the order in which new commissioning strategy projects will be phased between 2018 and 2023. The order in which different regions will be considered reflects:

  • levels of over indebtedness;
  • our analysis of supply and need;
  • aggregated quality information; and,
  • regional client outcomes data.

Based on these factors, London and the North West have been identified as priority regions where our new strategic approach to commissioning will begin in 2018, with a view to mobilising new service agreements from July 2019.

A key commitment in the commissioning strategy is to work in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders and delivery partners in each region to commission services which best meet client needs and build links with related and supporting services.

*Please note the updated timelines below.

Register your interest

If your organisation is interested in any way in the commissioning projects taking place in London and the North West, please register your interest using the form below to ensure you are involved in any communications as the individual projects develop.

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London & the North West Events

The Money Advice Service (MAS) send thanks to those stakeholders who attended the events held in May and June across the London and the North West.

The events were attended by over 130 people. A range of providers were represented including housing associations, local authorities, business service providers, independent advice agencies, local citizens advice bureaux and national debt advice providers. There was also attendance from the private sector and levy payers with an interest in how the commissioning intentions will be delivered.

Commissioning debt advice in London & the North West Slides

Current funding in London

In London, MAS has been providing grant funding to Toynbee Hall for the provision of debt advice for over five years. On average, we fund around £4 million pounds per annum.

Toynbee Hall has distributed our funding to enable the Capitalise partnership to deliver free face-to-face debt advice through twenty-eight independent advice agencies. To date, the Capitalise partnership have helped support over one hundred thousand over-indebted people in London with our funding.

The UK’s over-indebted population has increased from 7.9m people in 2016 to 8.3m people in 2017. We have seen similar proportional growth in the over-indebted population in London, an increase from 1.14m in 2016 to 1.19 – this reflects a 4% increase.

Demand analysis shows that the proportion of people that seek advice in London has also increased from 19% to 21%, an increase of around 26k additional people seeking advice in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Current funding in the North West

MAS currently funds F2F services in the North West through two lead organisations, the Greater Merseyside Money Advice Partnership (GMMAP) and Citizens Advice. 29 participants provide almost 27,000 face to face advice sessions under current agreements for 2017/18.

We have seen proportional growth in the over-indebted population in the North West, an increase from 880k in 2016 to 964k – this reflects a 10% increase in the number of people that are over indebted.

Demand analysis shows that the proportion of people that seek advice in the North West has also increased from 19% to 21%, an increase of around 17k additional people seeking advice in 2017 compared to the previous year.


The projects begin with an initial phase of analysis, before moving on to planning. In the analyse phase, the team plans to complete activities including:

  • Review the market,
  • Analyse client need,
  • Analyse internal and external research,
  • Align the objectives of the London and North West commissioning projects with the intentions from the commissioning strategy;
  • Carryout an equalities & impact assessment, and,
  • Produce a stakeholder engagement plan to ensure we are working collaboratively with stakeholders

Following our recent stakeholder events, MAS has reflected on feedback relating to the commissioning timelines for London and the North West and has amended the timeline as follows:

Debt commissioning London and North West revised timelines version two

This revised timeline maintains the same date for the issuing of the tender in July but allows a further one month for potential bidders to work on their bids and respond to the opportunity.

We are also extending the mobilisation phase by two months to mitigate any potential risks in this phase which means the new service commencement date will be in July 2019.

Funding for debt advice in the North West and London 2019-22

On 31 July 2018, MAS opened applications for debt advice funding in the North West of England and London for 2019-22, with up to £7.5 million in the first year available to potential partners.

MAS is looking to fund organisations who will work in partnership to deliver high-quality free debt advice to over-indebted people in London, in line with our strategic approach to debt advice commissioning.

Funding is open to applications from all types of organisations, which may apply as a single applicant or as part of a wider consortium. The deadline for applications is 12:00 pm on Wednesday 31 October 2018.

Organisations wishing to apply should register on the MAS eSourcing portal in order to access information relating to our funding for debt advice, including application forms. This can be accessed here: