The Office for Civil Society will not reinstate the strategic partnership funding of the equalities groups that lost out when the programme was cut back, according to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.
In an interview with Third Sector, to be published in full next week, Hurd said there was no chance that he would reinstate their strategic partnership funding. "We've taken our decision and we're going to stand by it," he said. "We ran a robust process of choosing our strategic partners."
Hurd said, however, that some of the groups that lost strategic partnership funding might be able to receive OCS funds for new projects. "I've held some money back to commission specific work and we'll be discussing with the equalities groups how they might benefit from this," he said. "But they will receive funding only if they can demonstrate that they will provide an outcome."
In March, the Office for Civil Society announced that it would provide strategic partnership funding to 17 charities in 2011/12, compared with 42 the previous year.
None of the 17 was an equalities group, which meant the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations, Voice for Change England, the Women's Resource Centre and the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Voluntary and Community Organisations all lost their strategic partnership funding.
Earlier this week, Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, wrote to Hurd asking him to consider giving strategic partnership funding to a consortium of equalities groups.