Government grants worth £368,201 given to charities in the North West

December 16th, 2009

communityIn total 39 charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in the North West have today been awarded £368, 201 in grants between them to help provide vital services during the tough economic times.

 Today’s awards were the final grants to be allocated by phase two of the Government’s £16.5 million Modernisation Fund. The fund has provided 48 charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in the North West grants worth £452,681.00 in total since phase two was launched in September.

The Modernisation Fund, which was launched as part of the Government’s Real Help for Communities Action Plan, was set up to help frontline voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises be more resilient and efficient through the recession.

The fund helps strengthen organisations that provide services to those worst hit by the economic downturn by supporting them to collaborate with others, merge, or develop in other ways to respond to difficult times.

Minister for the Third Sector, Angela Smith said:

“I am really pleased to be able to announce that over 400 charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises have received grants worth £10,000 each to help them become more resilient and efficient in tough economic times.”

“This vital funding will not only strengthen these organisations by helping them with the cost of mergers and partnership working, but also helps them continue to provide services through difficult times.”

The Modernisation Fund Grants programme is delivered by Capacitybuilders. The first phase of the programme offered grants of £1000 to frontline organisations working in areas of importance to communities affected by the economic downturn. The grants were for organisations to access advice and support, focusing in particular on the benefits that organisations may gain from collaboration or merger.

Following this organisations who received a grant could from September apply for a second phase of grants of up to £10,000 to make further progress towards collaboration or merger.

Ray Barwick, Manager of the Croydon Appliance Reuse Centre, which provides work experience and training opportunities for the long-term unemployed and those with learning disabilities, said:

“We want to be fully self-sustaining. Instead of trying to get public funding we want to concentrate on getting new contracts and after our advisory sessions (funded through phase one of the programme) we feel that collaboration is the best way forward. We’re now looking for a consultant to support us in our communications with the other partner and help bring everything to a successful conclusion.”

The Fund also includes a loans programme delivered by the Social Investment Business to charities and voluntary organisations with existing plans for mergers and collaboration or who wish to take forward other activity to help their business prepare for difficult times.

The Modernisation Fund is part of the £42.5 million package of measures announced in the Government’s Real Help for Communities Action Plan in February 09.

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