Funding news

New Communitybuilders Restrictions - 17 November 2010

About 300 voluntary organisations have been informed that their bids to the £70m Communitybuilders programme will not be considered unless they can spend any funds they receive by the end of March.

The two-year programme provides loans and grants for projects that develop community cohesion. Until now, organisations have been able to spend money outside the financial year in which it has been pledged.

However, the Social Investment Business, which administers the programme on behalf of the Communities and Local Government department, wrote to applicants on 29 October to say this option was no longer available.

"If you are not able to spend the money until after 31 March, I am afraid this means that we can no longer consider your application," the letter says. Decisions on bids are due by 11 February, which could leave organisations only seven weeks to spend their awards.

A CLG spokeswoman said the change was due to the "tough spending decisions" that had to be made.

This comes at a time when the Charity Finance Directors' Group has proposed "that the government relaxes the ring-fencing rules to allow bodies funded by government grants to have the discretion to set aside the remaining amount of the 2010/11 grants into an austerity reserve."

For more information about Communitybuilders and case studies from charities affected go to www.thirdsector.co.uk

For the Charity Finance Directors' article click here.