£10.3 Million for Scotland's Third Sector

Posted: 30 March 2010, in Press Release

The Scottish Government today announced a further 63 organisations to benefit from its Third Sector Enterprise Fund – taking the total sum awarded during 2009-10 to more than £10 million.

The fund, designed to build capacity, capability and financial sustainability in the Third Sector, today allocates £3.5 million to organisations which support a wide range of people and causes across Scotland.

Today’s announcement takes the total number of third sector organisations and credit unions supported by the fund since its launch last year to 186.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather, said: “This £10.3 million package represents an important strategic investment from the Scottish Government that will enable ambitious and enterprising third sector organisations to develop, grow and move closer towards meeting their full potential.

“These awards will increase enterprise within the third sector, further support the provision of front-line services for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people, and position beneficiaries to support a strong and sustainable return to growth for Scotland’s economy.”

The Alba Conservation Trust, based in Edinburgh, will receive £63,975 to support its merger with two other charitable building preservation trusts – a move that will build capacity, reduce risk and boost financial sustainability for all three.

Una Richards, Director of the Alba Conservation Trust, said:

“This Third Sector Enterprise Fund award will enable us to amalgamate three trusts into one single entity, undertake rebranding and business planning for the single trust, develop and implement a new fundraising strategy, and support properties within our care to develop property marketing skills. The funding will enable us to build our organisation’s capacity to become more financially sustainable in the future and we are delighted to receive such valuable support from the Scottish Government.”

Lucy McTernan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“This round of funding will be very welcome for many third sector organisations across Scotland.

“It’s essential that the third sector continues to grow and develop despite the current economic climate. Right now charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations are having to do more with less – demand for their services is up, yet income from grants and donations is down.

“This fund will give these organisations the peace of mind to plan ahead and to keep providing their vital services in communities across Scotland.”

The Third Sector Enterprise Fund provided grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 to third sector organisations based on an assessment of financial, social and environmental outcomes. A £250,000 proportion of the fund offered grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 specifically to credit unions. A total of 34 credit unions received awards from the fund.

The £12 million Third Sector Enterprise Fund was launched in January 2009. £1.7 million was set aside for the Third Sector Resilience Fund to support organisations suffering from the impact of the recession.

To qualify for funding, applicants were required to demonstrate how the investment would contribute towards improved outcomes for their organisation and help to make a transformational step change in the organisation’s capacity, capability or financial sustainability.

The Third Sector Enterprise Fund has now closed to applications. All funding must be claimed in full before March 31, 2011.