Government consults charities over £7.5m fund

Charities are being invited to respond to a consultation on the Communities and Local Government department’s plans for a new £7.5m Empowerment Fund and an expanded Third Sector Partnership Board.

The establishment of the fund and board were announced in its Communities in Control white paper last week.

The three-year Empowerment Fund, to be offered in addition to a £70m Communitybuilders fund for community groups, will be available to sector organisations in England supporting local communities in a number of areas, such as leadership, involvement in planning and social enterprise.

Organisations are invited to comment on the areas and levels of funding.

The funding will be guaranteed until March 2011 and will not relate to specific projects.

CLG is also consulting on the role and membership of an enhanced Third Sector Partnership Board, aimed at giving the sector a forum to influence policy.  

The consultation document proposes that the board should be chaired by a CLG minister and its members should include the third sector minister, as well as representatives of a range of sector organisations, umbrella bodies and local government.

It says the sector is vital to achieving the CLG's goals regarding thriving communities. The document adds that engaging with the sector in a "consistent, coherent, strategic and timely manner" is a requirement to forming a culture of "confidence, trust and respect" between the third sector and the department.

Both consultations close on 30 September.

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