City Bridge Trust to launch improved grants plan

The City Bridge Trust, the grant-making arm of the City of London Corporation, has announced a new raft of programmes that will provide £15m a year for charities in the capital.

The eight programmes are part of the trust's five-year grant-making plan, launched yesterday.

Among them is an altered version of the trust's Strengthening the Third Sector programme, which will focus on giving charities guidance on strategic and financial management.

Three of the programmes - those focusing on improving Londoners' mental health, helping people during major life transitions and enhancing community cohesion - are completely new.

Another three - helping disabled people get better access to buildings, protecting London from environmental damage and helping older people - are versions of existing programmes.

The trust is also setting up a 'special edition' project to help young people and their parents tackle violence in collaboration with the Mayor of London's drive to cut knife crime.

Clare Thomas, chief grants officer at the trust, said: "We've looked at what's going to happen in London in the next five years and what other grant-makers are doing, and taken account of the operating environment."

Applications to the anti-violence programme close at the end of October, but charities can apply to the others at any time over the next five years.

"If you have closing dates, people very often produce hurried applications," said Thomas. "We take pains to advise people and explain what we would expect to see in a good application."

Thomas added that the trust would place a strong emphasis on sharing knowledge. "Grant-making foundations have not necessarily always been very concerned with recycling or promoting lessons learnt," she said.

The trust will also continue its existing service, Greening the Third Sector, which provides an audit facility for charities keen to reduce the impact they have on the environment.

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