Kevin Curley welcomes government plan to fund infrastructure groups

Navca head says more councils for voluntary service could merge as a result

Kevin Curley
Kevin Curley

More councils for voluntary service could merge if government plans for a new infrastructure fund go ahead, according to Kevin Curley, chief executive of the local infrastructure umbrella group Navca.

The Office for Civil Society last week said it wanted to establish a fund to help infrastructure organisations "modernise and become more efficient and more entrepreneurial".

Curley said the idea, which is contained in the consultation document Supporting a Stronger Civil Society , would "address the needs of many Navca members".

He said many local infrastructure groups wanted to restructure, either by merger or other forms of collaboration.

"There has been a steady trickle of councils for voluntary service merging," said Curley. "We think that will be accelerated by this fund. Where that produces economies of scale and efficiencies without reducing local access to services, it is of benefit."

Curley also said he was "thrilled and delighted" by another OCS pledge to continue matched funding of local endowments.

The commitment, which is subject to this week’s spending review, is contained in the OCS strategy document Building a Stronger Civil Society, which was also published last week.

"The growth of community foundations across the country is a vital part of securing more resources into the sector," said Curley, who described the pledge as an unexpected surprise in the tight funding climate.

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