The programme supports voluntary and community sector organisations in England working in the urban policy, neighbourhood renewal and housing fields. It provides an important source of funding for innovative projects, the development of organisations or new services, and for the core operating costs of organisations.
Sally Keeble said:
'The Special Grants Programme is key in promoting the voluntary and community sectors' crucial role in delivering government policy.
'The projects and organisations supported by the programme cover a wide range of policy priorities. Many of the grants, both continuing and new, address social exclusion and the needs of deprived communities.
'The recipients of this year's new grants, including the Black Environment Network, Civic Trust, Pedestrians Association and Women's Aid Federation of England show just how diverse and central to our policies the programme is.
'These projects will help improve services for people and are an important part of fulfilling the Government's commitment to improving the quality of life and combating disadvantage.'
This programme demonstrates the department's continued commitment to supporting the sector.
1. Strategic funding (a form of funding to support the existing core work programme of an organisation) was first introduced in SGP 2001-2 and was a direct response to the Compact on relations between government and the voluntary and community sector. This year strategic grants have been awarded to the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) and the Pedestrians Association/ Living Streets.
2. The SGP offers grants for up to 3 years (strategic funding grants will be considered for renewal for longer periods) to voluntary organisations which further the department's housing, urban policy and neighbourhood renewal interests. Grants are awarded as the result of an annual competitive bidding process.
3. The department will continue to participate in the cross-government funding arrangements with the active community unit in the home office. The cross-departmental funding arrangements are designed to support voluntary and community organisations which work across departmental boundaries and which might otherwise fail to attract sufficient support from any one department.
4. Grants are awarded in respect of England only (other funding arrangements apply for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to national voluntary organisations or for national projects. Exceptionally, local pilot projects may be funded provided they are to be rolled out nationally.
5. A full list ofthe grants is available here.