Warwickshire infrastructure bodies ponder merger to cope with funding cuts

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and Warwickshire Children and Voluntary Youth Services are engaging in due diligence and speaking to stakeholders

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and Warwickshire Children and Voluntary Youth Services
Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and Warwickshire Children and Voluntary Youth Services

Two Warwickshire infrastructure bodies are exploring the possibility of a merger in response to anticipated reductions in funding in the years ahead.

The boards of Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action and Warwickshire Children and Voluntary Youth Services have begun due diligence on each other's organisations. The charities will also be speaking with members and other stakeholders, many of whom deal with both organisations, according to a spokesman for WCAVA.

The spokesman said the two charities were expecting cuts to their funding from various sources in the next few years, including Warwickshire County Council, and the combined organisation would be in a better position to bid for money from a new third sector infrastructure support contract from the council, which was expected to be put out to tender this year.

WCAVA’s income for the year to 31 March 2014 was just less than £1.1m, its accounts show, down from £1.3m the year before and £1.8m in 2010.

Slightly less than half of its 2014 income came from the council – the previous year the council had accounted for marginally more than half its income. WCAVA had 47 employees and 28.4 full-time equivalents in 2013/14, the accounts show.

WCVYS had an income of £214,301 in the year to 31 March 2014, which was higher than £129,636 in the previous year or its income in any of the previous five years. Its accounts for 2014 show a grant from the council of £62,619 – £800 higher than the year before. Victoria Jones, chief officer of the charity who is on long-term secondment from the council, said WCVYS had three staff, including her.

Judith Morley, chair of WCVYS, said: "Our trustees believe that it might be in the best interests of our members that we explore merging with WCAVA to safeguard the continuation of high-quality support and information to county and district-wide voluntary organisations that empower children and young people."

Joanne Shine, chair of WCAVA, said: "We are delighted that the opportunity to work alongside WCVYS in designing a new model of delivery across the county has arisen. WCVYS has a very strong reputation and, by combining our resources and strengths, I am confident that we can secure a long-term future that safeguards support for voluntary and community sector organisations and groups."

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