Capacitybuilders announces long-awaited hub replacements

Navca, the NCVO and Ruralnet UK will share almost £2m of Capacitybuilders funding over the next three years for workforce and ICT development projects. The projects will indirectly replace the ICT and workforce ChangeUp hubs, which will close in April.

Nine national support services to replace and build on the work done by the hubs were announced last year (Third Sector Online, 7 September and 21 December), but ICT and Workforce were not included. Capacitybuilders decided to fund work in these areas after protests from charities, including the NCVO, which was heavily involved in the ICT and Workforce Hubs.

Umbrella body Navca was the biggest winner from this latest announcement. It will receive £1.1m to establish regional ICT champions and a further £550,000 towards its SKiLD programme, which promotes learning opportunities for development workers. Rural regeneration charity Ruralnet UK will receive £150,000 in 2008/09 to boost the local provision of ICT support.

The NCVO will receive £112,000 for 2008/09 towards influencing the development of skills and qualifications for voluntary sector workers. Money is limited to this timescale because a voluntary sector workforce development council may be set up in future to oversee these areas.

Capacitybuilders has set aside a further £550,000 for providing support in the area of human resources over the three-year period, but has not decided how this will be spent. The funding is on top of the £4.6m that will be ploughed into the nine new national support services, which will replace the six hubs of expertise in April.

Simon Hebditch, chief executive of Capacitybuilders, said: “Our overall aim is to bring about a real change in the effectiveness and efficiency of the sector, constantly seeking to drive up standards. These national priorities, working alongside our new national support service programme, will add significantly to these objectives.”

Capacitybuilders has also announced an independent review of the Third Sector Leadership Centre, which it currently funds. A statement said the review of the centre, which receives management support from the NCVO and Acevo and promotes leadership development, was part of an already announced wider examination of investment in leadership across the sector.

“The review will assess the contribution of the Third Sector Leadership Centre, which Capacitybuilders is committed to fund until the end of September 2008,” the statement said.

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