Third sector core grant will be protected for 2016

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​Good news for the third sector as central government funding will remain the same 

18th December 2015 by Robert Armour 3 Comments

Scottish Government cash allocated to the third sector will remain the same as last year.

It means infrastructure bodies such as third sector interfaces (TSIs), social investment organisations and equalities' bodies will share a core grant of £24.5 million for 2016-17.

The Scottish Government said the cash, announced in the draft budget, will help drive social justice and economic growth by building the capacity of social enterprises across Scotland, enable support for local volunteering and maximise the impact of the third sector in public service reform and delivery.

It comes as cabinet secretary for social justice Alex Neil highlighted the “vital work” of the third sector during a visit to the Grassmarket Community Project.

The Edinburgh social enterprise operates a community café, woodwork and tartan social enterprises, and a range of social integration and educational activities for members aimed at enhancing life skills and developing confidence.

A thriving third sector boosts economic growth and plays a major role in our drive for social justice - Alex Neil

Neil said: “A thriving third sector boosts economic growth and plays a major role in our drive for social justice.

“That is why we are investing in our diverse third sector, and positively encouraging the growth and development of social enterprise. We want the sector to continue to play its important role in delivering quality services, engaging with communities and supporting the vulnerable in society.

“The Grassmarket Community Project is a fantastic example of a third sector social enterprise that is making a real difference to the lives of people in our communities at the same time as creating economic opportunities. Its facilities, classes and social enterprises give vulnerable local people the chance to integrate socially, gain confidence and learn new skills.

“It also demonstrates the difference which Scottish Government support can make to organisations, whether they need help in getting started, or with developing their business in a particular direction.

“We look forward to working closely with community groups, voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises, co-operatives and individual volunteers over the year ahead to ensure the support we provide continues to be effective, and sets Scotland apart as a world leader in supporting and working with the third sector.”

Jonny Kinross, chief executive of the Grassmarket Community Project, said: “We believe passionately that people should have somewhere to live, something to do and someone who cares about them and many people don’t have this in place and that’s where we come in.

"We achieve this by delivering over 30 activities a week; creative, cultural, educational and development programmes such as art, drama, a community garden, IT classes, hillwalking, table tennis, groupwork and much more.

“Our social enterprise gives us the flexibility to make long term commitments to people to journey with them for as long as takes for them to turn their life around.

“Anyone who wishes to volunteer their time or make a donation should do so and if people want to make a difference to the lives of our members by simply buying social – from our café or hiring our space for their wedding then they should do so. Everything we sell is of the highest quality and has the highest social impact.”

21st December 2015 by Brett

If the cash level is unchanged then after adjusting for inflation there is actually a decline in the Scottish government's money going to this sector.

22nd December 2015 by Ruchir Shah

Just to note that a much larger proportion of the sector's funding comes via local government. The local government funding position has been hit hard by between £350m and £600m. It will become clearer in early 2016 how much this affects funding and contracts with third sector organisations.

6th January 2016 by Ian Davidson

Given that there is a "no compulsory redundancy" policy for civil servants and local govt staff, it seems inevitable that, as per usual, the third sector will bear the brunt of any spending cuts, especially in local government. Most third sector staff are employed on contracts which allow them to be made redundant at relatively little cost to the employer; this contrasts sharply with the well established and generous redundancy/early retirement rules in the public sector! "Do more with less & do it better" is likely to be the operating ethos of the third sector!