Three-year grant programme providing vital investment for the city

Forty-nine local organisations have been successful in bids for three-year grants under the city’s latest Third Sector Commissioning (TSC) programme.

The TSC programme is designed to make sure grant awards in the city help deliver maximum value for money by building community wealth, meeting community need and supporting the city’s community and voluntary sector effectively. 

Despite budget cuts, the council has been able to keep funding for the grants at £5.8 million over the three-year period – the same level as when the new approach to commissioning was introduced in 2017. 

The programme also receives funding of £150,000 from the Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

The secure three-year funding enables organisations to plan and increase their capability to deliver services.

Building a stronger city

Twenty partnerships involving 49 community and voluntary sector organisations working in the city were successful in the applying for funding through the programme.

The TSC programme is structured around a number of key objectives, including working with people with complex needs at risk of exclusion, creating safe and inclusive communities, and delivering inclusive cultural opportunities.

The partnerships cover a diverse range of organisations and include services providing advice, supporting homeless people, tackling poverty and improving access for people with disabilities.

There are also services working to improve mental health and support people with HIV.

There is also a focus on supporting organisations delivering community banking services and those building strong infrastructure support for the city’s community and voluntary sector.

We received a total of 46 partnership bids for the funding, and these were judged against a robust set of criteria based on the key objectives. Unfortunately, we were not able to fund all the proposals.

We will continue to work with all the organisations whose bids weren’t successful, including supporting them with alternative sources of funding.

These include the city’s Communities Fund, which will include ring-fenced funding for projects taking action towards the city becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Reviewing the commissioning process

Last year, we ran a number of sessions with community and voluntary sector organisations in the city to get feedback on the first round of the programme. 

We spoke to more than 180 organisations about what worked well and what didn’t to see what we could improve in the second round. 

We were also keen to get more organisations involved in the process, and this round saw bids from organisations who had not bid previously.

Vital investment for the city

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee, said: 

“The Third Sector Commissioning programme is a vital investment for the city’s communities. It’s important that we’ve managed to sustain funding levels for the programme, in spite of government cuts of over £100m to council funding over the last 10 years.

“I’m pleased to see the programme fund some very exciting new projects to help make Brighton & Hove a fairer city with a sustainable future.

“The stability of the funding supports organisations to connect with communities and help many people who otherwise struggle to access services.

“It‘s given organisations the breathing space to develop new activity and secure additional funding, which has helped provide a stronger and more sustainable community and voluntary sector in the city.

“The approach has had a very positive impact on the city’s community and voluntary sector over the last three years and many residents have benefitted.

“The many strong bids we received is testament to the city’s vibrant and thriving community and voluntary sector. 

“While we’re regrettably not able to fund them all, one aim of the funding is to help build stronger support across the sector and we’ll continue to work in partnership with them all to identify further funding opportunities.”

For more information, visit our Third Sector Commissioning Prospectus webpage.

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