The government’s £30m Transforming Local Infrastructure programme created many successful projects, but did not share the lessons learned among participating organisations effectively, according to a new report.
Analysis of Transforming Local Infrastructure is published today by the Navca. The local infrastructure body was commissioned by the Cabinet Office to assess the success of the TLI programme, which gave grants to infrastructure organisations to help them collaborate and develop new ways of working.
The programme awarded funding to 74 partnerships, which ran projects that operated between March 2012 and September 2013.
The report says that the project created significant lasting change and supported projects such as the merger of 10 voluntary sector support organisations in Suffolk to form Community Action Suffolk.
"TLI allowed organisations to test new ways of working, to develop new products and services to increase their own sustainability and to better support local charities and community groups," the report says. "Some of these ways of working were very successful, others were more limited and for others impact and returns on investment may be seen in years to come."
But it also says that the lessons learned could have been better shared among participants. "The focus was on transformation within a geographical area," the report says. "There are examples of duplication of work and also many examples where success could have been achieved and increased by working across areas."
The report says that the project was "relatively short". It adds: "Many TLI partnerships felt that although benefits will continue after the period of TLI funding, much of the work would have benefited from being able to be continued for a longer period. This was especially the case for work based on building relationships."
Brooks Newmark, the Minister for Civil Society, said in a statement: "The £30m TLI grant fund has shown that by enabling providers to work together, new and innovative ways of meeting the needs of front-line charities in their local community are generated.
"We now want to see many more charities take inspiration from this and work together to modernise and enhance their services so that front-line community groups can continue to benefit from their services."