Changes to community support funding announced

Published on 04 November 2015

LEICESTER City Council has announced plans to change the way it funds work with local organisations to support different communities and promote equality.

Following a lengthy review and consultation, the council will replace ongoing contracts with a new project-based fund, while providing ongoing support for information, advice and guidance services.

The new VCS Engagement Support Fund will make £100,000 available per year. Organisations will be able to bid for a share of the fund, up to a suggested maximum of £25,000 per annum, for projects or activities that help tackle discrimination, promote equality and foster good relations between different groups.

In addition, The Race Equality Centre (TREC) and the Somali Development Service will continue to receive combined funding of around £113,000 per annum to provide information, advice and guidance services.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The voluntary and community sector has an important role to play in helping promote community cohesion in Leicester.

“Introducing this new support fund, and making it available to a much wider range of organisations, will help ensure that this money offers the greatest benefit to a broad range of communities right across the city.

“With council finances under increasing pressure, it is vital that we make sure that this funding is supporting the right groups on the right issues, and that we keep pace with the changing demographics of the city.”

The changes mark the end of a two-year review of services that the council commissions from the voluntary and community sector.

The city council previously spent £286,000 per annum on contracts with the African Caribbean Citizens Forum, The Federation of Muslim Organisations; the Gujarat Hindu Association; Leicester Council of Faiths; The Race Equality Centre; and the Somali Development Service.