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Islington Council protects grant funding for local charities and community groups

Islington Council has agreed to continue its substantial financial support for the borough’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and launched a new grants programme – maintained at current budget levels – for 2016 to 2020.
 
At last night’s VCS committee meeting the council agreed to proposals for a new ‘Islington VCS Partnership Grants Programme’, for 2016-2020, with an allocated total budget of £2,456,000.

The money will be allotted to local charities and community groups working to make Islington fairer and who can support the council in its aim of ensuring that Islington is a place where everyone, whatever their background has the same opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life. 
  
The funding will be split into five strands – targeting organisations that deliver services and activities for residents, develop local neighbourhoods, provide infrastructure support for Islington’s VCS, facilitate volunteering, or offer advice services.
 
Islington Council’s executive member for economic and community development, Cllr Asima Shaikh, has written to local VCS organisations to inform them that there would be no cuts to the VCS budget.
 
Cllr Shaikh said: “The council is committed to making Islington a fairer place to live and work, but we know that we cannot achieve this without the invaluable help and efforts of Islington’s voluntary and community sector.
 
“At a time when the government is cutting funding for local public services, we know that the need for strong, resilient, and independent local charities and community groups is greater than ever.
 
“To show that we’re serious about this, we’ve protected our funding for the sector, including our grants programmes for the next four years.
 
“These are difficult times for councils and charities alike, but it makes sense as we both serve the same community – local people in Islington.”
 
The proposed grant programme will provide grants to VCS organisations on a ‘two plus two year’ basis between 2016 and 2020. It will replace the current VCS Grant Fund and Advice Fund, but the budget remains the same. 
 
Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Islington, Mike Sherriff, said: “We welcome the fact that Islington Council is maintaining the current budget for community grants.
 
“We know councils are under a lot of pressure, financially, so we’re really pleased the council recognises the important role the VCS plays in supporting Islington residents.
 
“It’s particularly encouraging the council wants to support VCS organisations by using a grants programme, as these are far more accessible to smaller local organisations than tendering for contracts”.
 
The commitment to protect funding for the charities and community groups in Islington is part of the council’s VCS Strategy 2016 – 2020, which was officially launched at last October. 
 
Forty eight local VCS organisations currently receive grants towards their core funding.
 
More information about the council's support for the sector and the Islington’s VCS Partnership Grants Programme, including guidance notes and application forms, can be found here: http://goo.gl/2bPZXP

For more information contact:

Eugene Grant
Senior Media Officer
0207 527 2530
eugene.grant@islington.gov.uk