County funds easier to access

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Voluntary, community and faith groups seeking funding from Lancashire County Council should find the process easier in the future.

The county council has chosen a new partner organisation to help these not-for-profit groups – collectively known as “Third Sector” groups – to apply for funding.

VCS Learning Solutions CIC (Community Interest Company) has been chosen as the county council’s partner for a one-year pilot project called “Empowering the Third Sector”. The Burnley-based organisation will administer the county council’s Local Initiative Fund (LIF) scheme for the whole of Lancashire in 2013/14.

This will involve promoting the grant bidding process, supporting voluntary and community sector organisations in submitting their funding bids and co-ordinating the assessment of grant applications.

County Councillor Mark Perks said: “We are very excited about this groundbreaking pilot project. It will empower voluntary and community organisations, while also increasing engagement between these organisations and the county council.

“We wish VCS Learning Solutions every success in delivering this pilot project, and look forward to seeing innovative and new initiatives being delivered in all districts across the county in 2013/14.”

The county council’s LIF aims to provide grants to organisations from £1,000 to £5,000 to fund new and innovative local projects which support the council’s priorities. The three priorities are:

• Improving services for families

• Skills and employment initiatives

• Activities for teenagers, including things to do and places to go

All applications to the LIF must demonstrate that they can meet one of these three priorities. The bidding round for the LIF is planned to open early in the year.

If you are part of a third sector organisation and interested in applying for a grant from the LIF Scheme, contact VCS Learning Solutions CIC on 01282 428 009 or e-mail:

You can also e-mail the county council’s Grants Team: