The government has now launched the Local Sustainability Fund, delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the Office for Civil Society. The fund aims to help Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations become stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient, in order to ensure they prosper and continue to support beneficiaries in future years.
It is expected that around 250 grants will be awarded. Grants will range from £20,000 to £100,000, though the average grant is expected to be around £70,000. The grant award will vary depending on your need. Medium-sized voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations based and working in England can apply now. To be eligible, applicants should also:
- Provide frontline services aimed at and provided to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in England
- Have a total income of between £100,000 and £1.5 million for the most recent year
- Be able to identify a local business or businesses that could offer advice on their plans for change
- Be able to provide information on how they plan to develop volunteering opportunities with local businesses
There are two aspects to the programme; a VCSE Diagnostic Tool and the Local Sustainability Fund. The Diagnostic Tool assesses your strengths, areas for development and initial eligibility to apply for the main fund – it takes about an hour to complete and is available here.
If you are successful, you will then be invited to apply for funding at the Local Sustainability Fund stage, at which point Big Lottery and the OCS have specified you will need to work with an advisor – this will be someone to advise and help you evaluate, plan, and deliver the change that is best for your organisation. Eastside Primetimers and our network of consultants have the experience and expertise to help you. We will be involved if you are invited to submit a full application, helping you design a change plan and write the application. If your application is successful and you are offered funding, as an advisor Eastside Primetimers will help you implement the changes to your organisation outlined in the application.
The deadline for applications is July 26th 2015.
Information can also be found on the Big Lottery Fund website.