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July 29, 2009

£100m for anchor organisations – in England

A central plank of LPL’s strategy for community empowerment calls for investment in Community Anchor Organisations – which is why we feature one with each of these Briefings. So far we have been unable to convince the Scottish Govt. of our position – whereas in England, where the community sector is better organised, a Community Builders Fund has been created specifically for Anchors.

Herpreet Kaur Grewal, Regeneration & Renewal

The long-awaited Communitybuilders fund is intended to help third sector organisations gain long-term financial stability and move away from grant dependency.

Organisations will be able to apply for loans and grants and have access to expert support and mentoring services. Communitybuilders is specifically designed to strengthen the financial base of “community anchor organisations” such as development trusts. The fund will open for applications later this summer.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has picked ACF to lead the scheme in partnership with third sector fund Futurebuilders England and third sector consortium the Community Alliance.

ACF has also secured a commitment from Unity Trust Bank to provide up to £40 million match funding for the programme.

The Communitybuilders fund was first announced in July last year by then communities secretary Hazel Blears.

However, earlier this year the Conservative Party attacked the DCLG for the length of time it had taken to start the fund (R&R, 1 June, p6).

Third sector minister Angela Smith said the fund would support community organisations through the recession and help them to “emerge stronger”.