Capacitybuilders Supports New Community Asset Programme

Capacitybuilders have announced details of a new grant to support the Development Trusts Association (DTA) Community Asset Programme.

The one year programme of work aims to promote awareness and increase the knowledge and skills of community based asset development amongst both frontline community organisations, Third Sector support agencies, and their local authority partners.  

The focus of Capacitybuilders’ funds will be on enabling community organisations, through appropriate infrastructure, to increase their knowledge, understanding and confidence in the community assets agenda.

Building on the experience gathered by the Finance Hub over the past 12 months, the programme will take account of the emerging recommendations of the Quirk Review. The Quirk Review was an independent assessment, led by Lewisham Council’s Chief Executive, Barry Quirk, of community management and ownership of assets and the barriers that many communities face receiving support.  

The DTA submitted evidence to the review in November 2006, providing case study examples from its membership and liaising directly with the review team.  The final version of the Quirk Review was launched on May 16th at an event attended by Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly MP.

In the lead up to the launch of the Community Asset Programme, a working group comprising of representatives from the Treasury, DCLG and LGA was formed.  Capacitybuilders is joining this group to enhance the programme delivery and capture learning and is awarding the DTA a grant of £80,000 to support the continuation of the programme.  

Chief Executive, Simon Hebditch commented: “Enabling community organisations to take over asserts from the public sector, and putting them to good use, is a very important development. Capacitybuilders is intent on playing its part in regenerating local communities and this is one way in which it can be done.”

Steve Wyler Director of the Development Trusts Association added, “We are delighted that Capacitybuilders has been able to support this work. Over the next few years there could be as many as 1,500 community organisations across the country who will want to explore the asset ownership route and it is essential that they access sound advice, to ensure they really do take on assets and not liabilities. Those that succeed will achieve spectacular success and lasting benefit to their community.”

Key objectives and activities of the programme include:

  • Increased numbers of community organisations undertaking asset development projects, leading to an increase in asset ownership in the sector;
  • Working with professional bodies and governmental agencies to improve existing guidance, making it more accessible and interactive
  • Collating examples of good practice that can be used by others such as Treasury and the Cabinet Office, to develop research methodology to allow them to more clearly identify, the social return on investment of asset transfer.