Key appointments for funding organisation

Former minister Chris Pond and Simon Hebditch, director of external affairs at the Charities Aid Foundation, have been appointed as chair and chief executive respectively of Capacity Builders, the new agency for funding voluntary sector infrastructure.

From next April, the 'arm's-length' organisation, with a separate office and staff of about 20, will be in charge of the £150m ChangeUp programme, which is currently run by the Active Communities Unit in the Home Office.

Pond, a minister at the Department for Work and Pensions until he lost his seat in this year's election, told Third Sector that ChangeUp had stimulated valuable partnerships but that these had made too many demands on the organisations involved.

"We are rationalising the partnership approach and making sure the voice of the sector is properly heard," he said. "It's important that independence runs through this organisation like the word Blackpool through a stick of rock."

Hebditch, assistant director of NCVO before joining CAF in 1994, said the Government had done the right thing by passing ChangeUp to "a body steeped and involved in the sector".

He said: "Having got the programme running, it recognised the benefit of ensuring that it is part and parcel of what is going on in the sector, and not simply imposed by government."

Pond will be paid £18,000 for 60 days a year and Hebditch's salary is between £75,000 and £90,000.The six other members of the board include Caryl Agard of the Social Business Company, David Baxter, a former BT director, and Margaret Bolton, formerly of the Arts Council and NCVO.

The others are learning and skills consultant David Harbourne, Roger Singleton, departing chief executive of Barnardo's, and Margaret Talbot, head of the Association of Physical Education.

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