Capacity Builders to review the future of the hubs

The six 'national hubs of expertise', part of the Government's £70m ChangeUp voluntary sector infrastructure programme, are to go through a complete review.

The Government officially handed over responsibility for ChangeUp to an arm's-length agency, Capacity Builders, on Monday.

One of the first acts of the new body will be the open-ended review of the hubs - partnerships of umbrella bodies covering areas such as finance, ICT, volunteering, governance and performance.

Simon Hebditch, chief executive of Capacity Builders, said the review in the summer would examine the best ways of providing guidance to groups at a local level. "It could be one agency or devolved out regionally and locally," he said. "Equally, you might say that, with a bit of tweaking, the national hubs are the right way of doing things. I don't know the answer to these questions - it will be an open review."

A conference in Birmingham to introduce the hubs' services attracted 270 voluntary sector delegates last week.

Capacity Builders' two-year strategy includes targeted grant programmes to improve the infrastructure of marginalised groups such as BME organisations or those representing refugees or migrants.

The 130 local consortia that already receive funding from ChangeUp through the Government Offices in the Regions will continue to receive money from Capacity Builders. Additional funds will also be made available.

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