A new survey shows that community organisations have made the most of grants in the last three years and have raised an average of 27 pounds in investment for each pound of funding they received. Now the Adventure Capital Fund says it is vital such support continues if groups are to take on more responsibility for regenerating areas and delivering public services.
From July 2006 to May this year the Fund’s Business Development Grants for locally-led, community based organisations, saw more than 1.5 million pounds going to 139 organisations. A survey of a third of them revealed that between them they received just over half a million pounds but went on to make 15.2 million in further investment. Their sources ranged from high street banks to Government departments and social investors. Ninety per cent said their work with the grant scheme was important in securing additional funding.
Jonathan Lewis, chief executive of the Adventure Capital Fund showed the outstanding success of the grant programme. “If civil society organisations are to play a larger role in revitalising communities, delivering public services and building the Big Society then this kind of support is vital in preparing them to take on bigger challenges,” he added.”
The survey also shows the grants helped some organisations to bid successfully for new contracts from their local council or other public bodies. The Business Development Grants are no longer available but ACF is responsible for similar grants under the Community builders fund, it runs on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Office of Civil Society.