NCVO to receive about £420,000 of Assist Programme funds

Umbrella body will use the money to run and market the £6m scheme, which will support local infrastructure organisations


The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will receive about £420,000 for running the Big Lottery Fund’s £6m Assist Programme, which supports infrastructure organisations.

The BLF announced earlier this month that the NCVO would run the scheme, which will provide support to local infrastructure organisations.

The three-year programme, which is due to be launched in October, will feature a website and a list of support providers who will offer expert advice to local infrastructure organisations.

The BLF said that of the £6m that the NCVO will manage, about 7 per cent, or £420,000, will cover the cost of administration and marketing over three years and a further 8 per cent, or £480,000, would be spent on subcontracting the development of an online market and rating platform and an independent evaluation.

The remaining £5.1m would go directly to support local and specialist infrastructure organisations, a BLF spokeswoman said.

The funding will be in the form of organisational assessments, credits to spend on buying support services from experts on the online menu and a peer-to-peer support service, which includes further support through a bursary and mentoring programme, she said.

"The contract is designed so that BLF funding is spent on infrastructure services based on demand, and not on services that aren’t priorities for the sector," she said. 

"In the competitive procurement process that led to the NCVO being selected to administer this initiative, we placed a strong emphasis on value for money."

Leesa Herbert, head of advice and support at the NCVO, said the funds it would receive covered the cost of administering and marketing the scheme.

"This comprises the recruitment and salaries of project staff, costs for running the independent panel to determine support providers, online maintenance and hosting costs and general administrative costs such as post, phone, photocopying and printing," she said.

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