Capacitybuilders announce £2m new capital investment in third sector resource centres

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Four flagship resource centre projects in Blackburn, Scarborough, Gateshead and Slough are in line to receive grants of up to £500,000.

I'm really pleased to be investing £2 million in redeveloping these four resource centres. Once completed they will provide vital community hubs that can be used by charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to provide high quality services for their communities.

Four flagship resource centre projects in Blackburn, Scarborough, Gateshead and Slough are in line to receive grants of up to £500,000. The grants are being awarded under the final strand of Capacitybuilders’ Capital Investment Programme of £7m, funded through the Office of the Third Sector. With additional match funding of at least 50% from other sources, the investment will support the development of new resource centre facilities and shared services for co-located organisations.

Using their grant of £500,000, Coast and Moors Voluntary Action in Scarborough is purchasing land and constructing a new, flexible, purpose built community resource hub. The centre will offer high quality work space, supported by shared spaces such as meeting rooms and hot desk virtual office solutions, enabling them to increase the infrastructure services that they offer, whilst being environmentally sustainable with excellent access provisions.

Slough Council for Voluntary Service is working in partnership with Slough Borough Council to use their £500,000 grant to build the Thames Valley Community Centre. As well as supplying quality office and meeting space to key frontline organisations this new build will be a 'gathering point' for smaller organisations seeking advice, support or simply the means to plan their work more effectively.

Using their grant of £500,000, Blackburn with Darwen CVS is refurbishing and upgrading one of their three resource centre premises. With the addition of a fourth floor, they will offer local third sector organisations additional multifunction space. They also plan to create a comprehensive resource and equipment library that will be housed in the centre and provide a space for co-located services for children and young people, including a day centre and night shelter.

With funding for the first two floors of their resource centre already secured, Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau is using their £490,000 grant to develop the remaining two floors of this new build. Once complete, a wide range of local third sector groups will be able to access services, and vital workspace including an incubation space and conference centre.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector said: "I'm really pleased to be investing £2 million in redeveloping these four resource centres. Once completed they will provide vital community hubs that can be used by charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to provide high quality services for their communities.”

Matt Leach, CEO of Capacitybuilders said: “The Capital Investment Programme was launched by Capacitybuilders in 2008 to support the improvement and development of local third sector resources centres. Under the first two strands of the programme, 166 local resource centres across England have been awarded grants to make smaller scale improvements to their premises, helping to ensure that a wide range of frontline organisations have better access to better shared facilities and services within their local area.”

Editors notes
About Capacitybuilders:
Capacitybuilders is the government agency responsible for improving the advice and support available to frontline third sector organisations. Since 2006, it has invested some £100m in improving the support available to frontline third sector organisations. Capacitybuilders and its programmes are primarily funded by the Office of the Third Sector. You can find out more at http://www.capacitybuilders.org.uk.

About the Capital Investment Programme:
The Capital Investment Programme was launched in 2008 to support improvements and development of local third sector resources centres. Capacitybuilders is defining third sector local resource centres as a building or an area within a building which is used as a base for providing development and support services to frontline third sector organisations within a local area, and specifically:

  • offer accommodation or shared services and facilities to frontline third sector organisations with a local area;
  • offer services accessible to all frontline third sector organisations within a local area.

http://www.capacitybuilders.org.uk/capital

Grant recipients:

  • Slough Council for Voluntary Service
  • Grant award - £500,000

Slough CVS promotes any charitable purposes for the benefit of the community, in particular the advancement of education, health, relief of poverty, distress and sickness and to promote and organise co-operation in the achievement of their purpose. They also help people who want to start a voluntary group or who want to see their existing group develop its work, get funds or undertake new services. The organisation is the accountable body for the local ChangeUp consortium.

This project is a ChangeUp initiative, and a partnership between the Slough CVS and Slough Borough Council. The project operates within the remit of a planned new build, the Thames Valley Community Centre. The building will be pivotal in the supply of quality office space to key VCS organisations, but also in the provision of meeting spaces and as a 'gathering point' for smaller organisations seeking advice, support or simply the means to plan their work more effectively.

The building overall will provide space in excess of 3,000M² of which 750M² will be assigned on a long lease to the VCS. The building will be designed and constructed, with 'iconic' qualities which will attract the attention and confidence of the surrounding community. More important will be what is happening inside the building, to a very high standard in terms of strategic intent, community engagement and community anchors programme delivery.

Coast and Moors Voluntary Action:
Grant - £500,000
The proposed project includes the purchase of land and the construction of a new, flexible, propose built community resource hub. The centre will offer high quality work space, supported by shared spaces (meeting rooms, hot desks virtual office solutions). It will enable Coast and Moors Voluntary Action to increase the infrastructure services that they offers, whilst being environmentally sustainable with excellent access provisions.

Blackburn with Darwen Council for Voluntary Service:
Grant - £500,000
Blackburn with Darwen CVS operates from 3 different centres, with each centre carrying out different areas of work. This project involves refurbishing and upgrading one of these 3 centres with the addition of a fourth floor, thus increasing the usable space for Third Sector Organisations by 1063m2. The centre will have space for co-located services for children and young people (this includes a day centre and night shelter), hot desk, meeting and interview space, managed office space and conference and training facilities. The CVS's resource and equipment library will be housed in the centre.

Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau:
Grant - £490,000
Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau aims to ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge or their rights and responsibilities or of the services available to them, of through an inability to express their need effectively and equally. They offer free, confidential and impartial advice.
The project involves the development of a new purpose built premises. Funding for the first two floors of the building has already been secured; this space will house Gateshead CAB. Capacitybuilders' grant will go towards the development of 'The Elevator', third and fourth floors of the building. The third floor will house the Resource Centre, where third sector groups will be able to access services and support, and provide workspace. The fourth floor will house incubation space, a conference centre and further workspace.

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