Government puts £400,000 behind four big society 'vanguard' areas

Decentralisation minister Greg Clark tells MPs that each of the projects will receive up to £100,000

Greg Clark
Greg Clark

The Communities and Local Government department has set aside up to £400,000  for the four areas the government designated as big society ‘vanguards’ last year.

In a speech made in Liverpool in July, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that Liverpool, Eden Valley in Cumbria, Sutton in south London and Windsor & Maidenhead would each be given an organiser and access to a team of civil servants to help them to set up projects that contributed to the government’s big society agenda.

Liverpool City Council has since pulled out of the project, claiming it was not sustainable because cuts to the local authority’s budget had forced it to cut funding for the voluntary sector.

Greg Clark, the decentralisation minister, told parliament earlier this week that CLG believed each of the projects would cost about £100,000.

A CLG spokesman was unable to provide figures on how much funding had so far been given to each of the projects, including how much was given to Liverpool before it pulled out of the scheme.

He said the department had set aside up to £400,000 of start-up funding for the four projects combined, based on an assumption that each would need between £50,000 and £100,000, and that this would be allocated to the projects as needed.

The big society vanguard projects include a local group in Cumbria that is attempting to take over its community centre. The project in Liverpool involved recruiting more volunteers to work in the city’s museums.

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