Charities and community and voluntary groups were invited in June to apply for up to £10,000 from a £250,000 Transition Fund pot financed by the council, but only 22 applied and of those only five had their applications approved, says a council report.
A second round of applications has now been announced. And a condition from round one that applicants had to be able to prove they had suffered a 15% cut in taxpayer funding has been withdrawn “to encourage a higher number of quality applications”.
The fund aims “to help organisations delivering high quality public services to become more resilient, agile and able to take up opportunities presented by a changing funding environment.”
In round one 22 organisations submitted an “expression of interest” for funding to a total value of £197,000, but at the end of the process only £46,908 was allocated.
And that allocated amount may end up even smaller “if satisfactory responses to requests for additional information (mostly financial) are not deemed adequate”.
Funds roll over to round two
“The number and quality of applications to the fund has been disappointing,” says the report.
“Most applicants had to be asked for additional information to assess whether they met the criteria for funding. A number of applications did not meet the funding criteria,” it adds.
“A total of seven applications … were recommended for support. Five of these were supported by the (assessment) panel, and two were recommended for the second round of the fund (launched on 13th August 2012).”
Organisations applied for support for a range of activities including: reviewing business models and preparing for future commissioning opportunities, reviewing systems, deploying a new database to improve a monitoring system, and considering the feasibility of a potential merger with another organisation, the report says.
The funds not allocated in round one are being transferred to round two.
“There are many third sector organisations across the city who are doing a great job, and it is important that we continue to help with this and provide opportunities for growth in this sector,” says the council’s “champion” for the voluntary sector, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon.
“I would encourage any organisation based in Leeds or supplying a service in Leeds to apply for the grant funding.”
For details of how to apply, click here.
Details of which organisations were awarded what funding in round one will be issued “once the funding approvals have been finalised”, the report says.
Letters will be sent to all applicants informing them of the outcome of their application by the end of August.