Capacitybuilders launches local infrastructure grants

Capacitybuilders has opened the bidding for a £5m capital grants programme to improve resource centres for third sector organisations.

The Government-backed body will allocate cash in three programmes until March 2011 to invest in refurbishing and improving buildings being used by the third sector as local resource centres.

The first programme, worth £1m and open until 31 January 2009, offers established centres the chance to win grants of up to £30,000 to make small-scale improvements in areas such as access, accommodation, IT and equipment.

The second programme will give out £2.5m to support large-scale development. Expressions of interest are open until 31 January 2009, with up to 50 applicants invited to submit detailed business plans by July 2009.

The third tranche will invest £1.5m in around five flagship projects that will "develop or significantly expand" local third sector resource centres, offering capital grants of £200,000 to £500,000. Expressions of interest must be submitted before the end of March.

"This investment in capital grants will support initiatives that encourage collaboration and shared back room functions," said Julia Kaufmann, chair of Capacitybuilders' funding, policy and programmes committee. "It will help third sector organisations that own or run resource centres make the best use of assets in supporting frontline organisations."

The money is the last to be allocated under the Office of the Third Sector's £88.5m ChangeUp infrastructure programme, which will run until 2011. For more information visit www.capacitybuilders.org.uk/capital.

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