A £10.5m grant fund to help voluntary organisations take over local services has opened for applications from today.
The Community Right to Challenge Grants Programme will be managed on behalf of the Communities and Local Government department by The Social Investment Business, together with the umbrella bodies Locality and Acevo.
It will support local groups that wish to exercise a new right under the Localism Act, which allows them to apply to run local authority services they feel they can deliver more effectively and came into force on 27 June.
Organisations that can demonstrate a "strong potential" to compete for public service delivery contracts can apply for feasibility grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to help prepare an expression of interest or compete in a procurement process.
Organisations that are not yet at this stage can apply for "pre-feasibility" grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 to build the capacity to do so.
Another £1m will be spent on support for organisations going through the process, including an advice line for interested charities.