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Manchester is set to host the first in a series of 10 regional conferences highlighting how the public, private and...
Manchester is set to host the first in a series of 10 regional conferences highlighting how the public, private and voluntary sectors can work together to improve the quality of life in the communities they serve.

With 350 delegates from local authorities, social enterprises, charities, community groups, CVS networks, government bodies and regeneration organisations, the '3rd Sector 1st' conference is taking place at the University of Manchester on 12 September 2006.

Supported by Futurebuilders and Capacitybuilders, the event offers organisations the opportunity to discuss the future work and funding of the third sector across the north west. Keynote speakers include Bill Brandon from the Office of the Third Sector and Gilbert George, director of resources and planning at Capacitybuilders. Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, Groundwork North West and the Hibbert Street Community Regeneration Centre will also be sharing their experiences of partnership working.

Richard Gutch, chief executive of Futurebuilders, said: 'Third sector organisations have huge potential to deliver effective public services, but often need investment and support to release this potential. This conference is a great opportunity for organisations to hear how they can tap into the different types of funding available and for all sectors to think about how innovative partnerships can improve services.'

Simon Hebditch, chief executive of Capacitybuilders, said: 'The sector has changed a lot in the past 20 years. It is now a major service deliverer both in its own right and on behalf of the public sector. Attitudes are changing, and the amount of money and resources from contracts compared to giving has increased significantly. The 3rd Sector 1st series of conferences will provide an excellent opportunity to explore the future potential of partnership working across public, private and voluntary sectors.'

As well as the numerous networking opportunities at the event, workshops will cover a range of topics including how to raise capital, using the web to market your services, creating effective tenders and funding and governance.

Local and national funding bodies will also be on hand to answer questions on the alternative types of funding available for the third sector. The all-day exhibition will also give delegates the chance to talk to community groups already working in the public sector.

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