Image of the inside of a ceiling of a wooden-beamed building with circles of light and a window

Programme of Work

Innovate to Save

Innovate to Save aims to tackle some of the most complex issues facing public services.

Innovate to Save

We launched Innovate to Save in 2017 to find and support new ideas that improved services and made cashable savings.

Together with our partners, Welsh Government and Wales Centre for Voluntary Action (WCVA), we have supported fifteen projects through research and development. We have approved four interest-free loans totalling £2.8 million for those projects that can scale and reach more people with their improved service. 

Innovate to Save is a blended finance programme which combines non-financial support, grant funding and interest-free loan funding to help organisations delivering a public service.

Infographic created by Matt Joyce


Innovate to Save was not something that was in our usual comfort zone, so I'm proud that we took that step.

Jill Jones, Flintshire Council

We’ve given out £270,000 in grants while supporting projects to test and develop their ideas. Four of the fifteen have been approved for £2.8 million in interest-free loan funding to scale their work and reach more people. 


Image shows the Innovate to Save projects gathered together outside on the deck at a workshop venue. The weather is sunny and they are listening to Rob Ashelford speak about Innovate to Save.
Rob Ashelford speaks to project leads about the coming challenge at Down to Earth, Swansea, at a workshop in 2018.


Explore the collection of case studies below.  


The Innovate to Save Playbook

In 2019, we published our guide to Repayable Finance for Innovation  - our goal was to share lessons learned from running Innovate to Save to help others in governments around the world do the same.

Since then, we've learned more that we want to add to those recommendations and so we are publishing the Innovate to Save Playbook, a how-to guide to running a programme that blends grants and loans together with tailored support to enable innovation to happen in public services.