Office for Civil Society invites bids to run Community First

Six 'preferred providers' will compete to deliver £80m fund for groups in deprived areas

Office for Civil Society
Office for Civil Society

The Office for Civil Society has invited organisations to bid to run its £80m Community First fund and will announce more details about the programme this summer.

Under the programme, a successor to the Grassroots Grants scheme set up by the Labour government, there will be a £50m fund for local endowments and £30m in grants for community groups. The grants will be available only to groups based in deprived areas, which the government has not yet named.

The £50m for endowment funds will be awarded on the basis of match funding of local donations, although Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society said in January that match funding would not be "an absolute requirement".

The Community First programme will be administered by one of six organisations listed by the OCS in October last year as its preferred providers for the delivery of its grant funds.

The organisations, chosen after a competitive tender process, are the Big Lottery Fund, the Community Development Foundation, the Social Investment Business, the volunteering charity v, the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the consultancy company Tribal Education.

All six organisations have been invited to bid to deliver the Community First fund. A spokesman for the OCS said the successful bidder would be announced in June or July.

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