Funding news

OCS Strategic Partners programme to end by 2014 - 1 February 2011

The programme, which awarded £12.2m to 42 voluntary organisations this financial year, will be reduced in value to £4m in 2011/12 and then tapered down to £3m, £2m and zero over the following years.

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, wrote to strategic partners last night, and confirmed that only existing partners can apply for £9m over remaining three years. No organisation will receive more than £500,000 and only existing partners will be able to apply, with a deadline of 25 February. Priority will be given to organisations that are merging or setting up formal partnerships.

"In the current financial climate there is a need to achieve efficiency savings and ensure longer-term sustainability and independence of the sector," his letter says.

"I understand that there will be concerns about the new programme, but I do believe that we have to ensure that we enable the greatest number of organisations to feed into the work of government in the most cost effective and strategic manner."

Volunteering organisations and infrastructure organisations will be most affected by the closure of the programme, which was established by the previous government in 2006 to ensure the voluntary sector’s views were heard in Whitehall.

Four organisations - Volunteering England, CSV, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation - received more than £1m each this year.

To read the full article, visit the Third Sector website.