Local foundations will distribute Grassroots cash

Community foundations are to be given responsibility for distributing the overwhelming majority of a £130m grants fund for small community groups.

The Office of the Third Sector sent letters last week to organisations that were successful in bidding for a share of the Grassroots Grants fund, the government scheme established to provide local community groups with access to small grants.

The fund is split into £80m of small grants for community groups and a £50m endowment fund, which will be used to attract match funding from private sector companies.

About 95 per cent of the endowment pot and 87 per cent of the grants fund have been offered to members of the Community Foundation Network, according to Stephen Hammersley, chief executive of the network, which represents the UK's community foundations.

The network has predicted that the £50m endowment fund could be turned into as much as £1.5bn (Third Sector Online, 1 February).

Neil Cleeveley, director of policy and communications at Navca, the umbrella body for community groups, urged community foundation members to work with local infrastructure organisations in deciding how to allocate the money.

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