Voluntary groups given financial vote of confidence by councillors

Charities and community groups across Brighton and Hove have been given a vote of confidence by councillors as they agreed new terms for commissioning and funding services.

As a result, the community and voluntary sector (CVS) will be given more certainty about their funding which will, broadly, be set for four years at a time rather than three.

At the moment Brighton and Hove City Council awards just over £1.9 million a year under the “Third Sector Commission”.

A report to councillors said: “The Third Sector Commission forms the major part of the Third Sector Investment Programme.

“The other part is the annual community and voluntary sector grant programme, the Communities Fund.”

The Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) contributes a further £50,000 to the Third Sector Commission, bringing the total to almost £2 million a year.

Some of the community and voluntary groups that provide services in exchange for council and NHS funding also raise money from a whole range of other sources

The council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee agreed to put the end date of the current commissioning period back from 2023 to 2025.

It would then move from the current three-year cycle to a four-year cycle which would fit better with the timing of the council’s “corporate plans”.

After the committee’s decision during a meeting at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Thursday 25 November), Hangleton and Knoll Project chief executive Jo Martindale said: “This decision is more than very welcome.

“It will give continuity of services to communities experiencing high levels of need, not least since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the same time, it will allow a period of stability until 2025 for the community and voluntary sector to reshape and plan covid recovery services.

“The four-year term increases sustainability and maximises the ability of the community and voluntary sector to bring in external match-funding for the city’s priorities.

“It’s a huge thank you to the administration for their recognition of the sector and the essential services provided, especially throughout the pandemic.”

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