Funding & Income

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The Coalition government has stepped up its process of decentralisation and devolution of power to local authorities and their communities. Local authorities will have the liberty to make decisions about allocation of resources free from central government guidelines. An increasing role for the VCS to deliver public services is expected. VCS organisations are expected to have a key role to play in identifying needs as well as delivering services. This page deals with policies that have an impact on funding, commissioning and procurement for the VCS.

Contribute to One EM response to Big Lottery Fund consultation

One East Midlands is coordinating a response to the Big Lottery Fund's Building Capabilities for Impact and Legacy discussion paper, which is aimed at VCS frontline and infrastructure support and development organisations, setting out their approach to building capabilities within voluntary organisations.

£150million Community First endowment fund launched

The Community First endowment fund, which aims to raise £150million of investment to deliver around £12million in annual returns to provide grants to local community and social action projects from 2015 onwards. has been launched.

Law changes to enable VCS to join credit unions

VCS groups will be able to join a credit union from 8 January under changes made to the Credit Unions Act 1979. Previously, only individuals were able to be members of credit unions and use the financial services they provide. However, last November, a Legislative Reform Order was passed by Parliament, under the Credit Unions Act 1979, meaning that credit unions will be able to:

Opportunity to manage High Energy Costs through One EM Group Buying

One East Midlands is offering our members the opportunity to benefit from our joint buying power to reduce their organisations" energy costs. This scheme has already worked successfully for Nottinghamshire YMCA and others, and was recommended to us by their CEO and One EM board member Will Wakefield. The scheme is operated by an independent cost consultancy, who provide specialist services to VCS organisations to help clients reduce energy costs through ongoing reviews of supplier contracts and negotiation with suppliers, as well as group buying.

EU approves Big Society Capital's use of dormant accounts

The European Commission has approved the use of up to £400million from dormant bank accounts to set up Big Society Capital (BSC). The approval under EU state aid rules had been given faster than expected, as it was predicted that a decision from the Commission would take up to 18 months, resulting in a delay in setting up BSC, which is currently making social investments through an interim committee within the Big Lottery Fund. BSC is still seeking Financial Services Authority (FSA) authorisation, and aims to be open for business in the first quarter of next year.

Free advice on property issues for not-for-profit organisations

The Ethical Property Foundation, a charity which provides free advice on property issues to not-for-profit organisations, is expanding its services to cover the whole of England from January 2012. The independent charity was established in 2005 with the aim of making the best use of property for society and the environment, by providing advice to charities and community groups on property issues.

Guidance on charity business rates relief

Full business rates are due on empty commercial properties that remain unoccupied after three months. However, charities occupying commercial property qualify for a mandatory 80% discount on business rates, provided the property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. Local authorities also have the discretion to grant the remaining 20% as a further discount.


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