The first payments from the £100m Transition Fund that will provide vital support to charities have been announced today by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society.
It will provide grants to many organisations to allow them to prepare for the future opportunities opened up by the Big Society.
The Transition Fund is recognition of the important role civil society organisations have in supporting people and communities, from providing shelter to homeless people, to delivering meals for the elderly, to training for the unemployed.
Even though 75% of charities receive no funding from the state, some organisations have become highly dependent on funding from public bodies and are now being affected by the reductions in public spending.
The money will fund the crucial changes that these organisations need to make to take advantage of the new opportunities available to them from opening up public sector contracts; these changes may include restructuring, scaling up or merging or diversifying income streams.
Francis Maude said:
A key part of the Big Society is encouraging a strong, independent voluntary sector and the one of the best ways to support this is to open up new markets for civil society organisations to deliver public services. There will be enormous potential for civil society organisations in the future, but the transition to these new funding streams will not happen overnight.
The Transition Fund is not intended to be a substitute for public funding cuts, made necessary by the deficit we inherited, but it will help to ensure that valuable civil society organisations will have some support from the state prior to the opening up of public sector markets.
Nick Hurd said:
I am pleased to be able to start offering immediate support from the £100m Transition Fund. The funding we are announcing today will play a key role in helping organisations to prepare for future opportunities that will be opened up by public service reform.
“The organisations that we are awarding funding to today are the first of many such awards and reflect the incredible diversity of the civil society sector, showing an innovative approach to the challenges they face - from setting up social enterprise arms to re-designing public services to proposing mergers.
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the BIG Lottery Fund said:
Working closely with the voluntary and community sector we understand the pressing and important need for this fund. We have used our grant making expertise to ensure that the Transition Fund money can make a difference to these organisations and enable them to respond to their new operating environment as quickly as possible.
This is just the start of the awards, there will be many hundreds more over the coming months. Government is keen to get this transitional support to frontline organisations as soon as possible.
Notes to Editors:
- A total of £1.7million has been awarded to the following 18 organisations.
Bede House Association
Shire Training Workshops Limited
Isle of Wight Law Centre Limited
Newport, Isle of Wight
Somerset Youth Volunteering Network
Disability Action In Islington
Living Options Devon
Domestic Violence Integrated Response Project
Building Futures East
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Middlesbrough Environment City Trust Limited
Islington People’s Rights
Incest and Sexual Abuse Survivors
North Yorkshire Youth Limited
Thirsk, North Yorkshire