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Consultation on our Main Grants Programme 2022-2025

Despite intense financial pressure on the Council, we have committed to continue investing in our voluntary and community sector (VCS).

Supporting these groups remains a core priority for us and we want to make sure that we are providing resources that help to strengthen the VCS.  We are now consulting on our proposals for the support we will provide in the coming years. Through the consultation, we are seeking views on our proposed priorities for grants and the process for letting them. 

The proposed new priorities, in line with the Council’s overall approach to recovery, are:

  • An economically sound future
  • A healthy and well future
  • A future we all have a part in.

Cllr Jonathan Slater, Cabinet Member for the Community Sector, explains the change to funding and how we plan to work with partner organisations to safeguard the future of the sector.

“It’s no secret that we face an immense financial challenge, in common with many councils across London. Following historic reductions in cash available from central Government and the unprecedented costs of COVID-19, we must find savings of £40 million over the next three years.

“As part of this, we are having to reduce the annual Main Grants – the pot of money that voluntary and community sector organisations can bid for – by £800,000.

“However we fully appreciate the vital role that these organisations play in supporting some of Lewisham’s most vulnerable residents. We are really proud that, in spite of the very difficult financial circumstances, we will continue to invest more than £2.3 million per year through this programme, in partnership with the NHS.

“Our support will include capacity-building to equip voluntary and community groups to succeed when financial challenges and opportunities arise in the years ahead.

“Organisations have for some time followed a familiar process for Main Grants funding from the Council. While this might have some benefits, it can also foster reliance on a particular source of income.

“We believe the Government is seeking to diversify funding options for the community sector – and it’s important that our local organisations are geared up to take advantage of opportunities that emerge.

“For this reason, we are investing in officers to support local voluntary and community groups to become more self-sufficient in fundraising – as organisations in other sectors have had to do.

“Our proposals focus on supporting groups to develop stronger organisational infrastructure and better coordination with their partners, with the aim of building the sector’s ability to raise money and share resources.

“We propose to provide some level of project funding but that greater relative weight is given to services that strengthen the sector and allow it to benefit from the wider funding landscape across London and locally - for example through our newly-announced £900,000 borough-wide Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL). Find more information on the NCIL and the application form.

“We are seeking feedback on our proposals, which include new priorities in line with the Council’s overall approach to recovery, following a thorough review of all available evidence on the impact of COVID, and the recovery needs of the borough.

“It’s really important that we find the best way to meet the needs of our community. I would encourage anyone who thinks they are likely to be affected by the changes to find out more and participate

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