Merger of funds into single cash pot threatens social regeneration work

Crucial social regeneration work could be jeopardised because the
voluntary and community sector is to lose more than £60m

Research published this week shows that the merging of 10 funding
streams, including the single regeneration budget (SRB), will have
a “profound” effect on the sector.

The findings confirm fears that the voluntary and community sector
will lose out on funding as a result of the economic regeneration
bias of the regional development agencies, which will administer
the single pot.

The research was carried out by Urban Forum, a national umbrella
organisation for voluntary and community groups.

It reveals that the sector has not been involved in developing
single pot criteria and some groups are not aware of the
application process.

Many projects with social inclusion aims will not be eligible for
alternative funding after the SRB is completely phased out next
year and will be forced to rely on volunteers.

The report warns: “If the voluntary and community sector cannot
access resources to deliver this activity, this will mean that
communities will not be fully engaged, partnerships will not be
effective, social capital will not be developed and social
inclusion will not be achieved.”

Funding streams, such as New Deal for Communities and the
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, cannot replace the SRB, the report

Five Lamps, a project based in Teesside which in one year created
255 jobs, involved 2,000 young people in youth activity and helped
597 people obtain qualifications, is one that will be affected by
the switch to the single pot. It will face a £679,000
shortfall by next March, a quarter of its annual turnover. It may
be forced to make 15 of its 50 staff redundant.

Key recommendations include calls for more resources to be made
available to continue work funded by the SRB or for 10 per cent of
the single pot to be ring-fenced for the voluntary and community

It also recommends that government offices and regional development
agencies give more consideration to the impact of the SRB instead
of “sweeping aside” major issues.

– Out of SRB, into the Pot from

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