Community Development Foundation to run £80m Community First scheme

Programme to fund local projects in England will work with partners such as the Community Foundation Network, the Social Investment Business and Asda

Community Development Foundation
Community Development Foundation

The Community Development Foundation will run the £80m Community First programme, it was announced yesterday.

The programme, initiated by the Office for Civil Society, will fund local community projects in England and consists of a £30m small grants programme and a £50m endowment programme.

The CDF will work with a number of partner organisations to deliver the project, including the supermarket chain Asda, which will provide fundraising and support for local projects, and will use its staff to identify local priorities.

Other partners are the Community Foundation Network, which is the umbrella body for community foundations, the investment house CCLA, the Social Investment Business and the community umbrella body Locality.

Under the grants programme, the CDF will work in partnership with local authorities to identify about 850 deprived areas and set up 'community boards' in those areas made up of community representatives. Those boards will advise on who should receive funds.

The grants will involve match funding for other giving, but this will consist not only of giving money, but also of volunteer time, goods, services and facilities. Applications for grants are likely to be open later this summer.

The endowment programme involves match funding for a group of 50 endowments known as community foundations, which act as grant-makers to local projects. The government will match the funds raised by the community foundations.

"This is an innovative way to work with communities that brings together a range of partners," said Alison Seabrooke, chief executive of the CDF. "We aim not to be prescriptive in what we fund but to back solutions that meet local needs.

"We want to get this money out to people quickly."

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