Essex social services committee has agreed to grant more than£919,000 a year to 81 voluntary organisations for the next three years. In the past voluntary organisations have had to apply each year for funding.
An extra£92,250 will also be made available in 2000/2001 to fund projects that support local health improvement or community safety priorities.
Pat Pascoe, chair of Essex social services committee, said: 'This new way of funding will enable voluntary organisations to develop their services and allow them to plan on a longer-term basis.'
'Voluntary organisations make an extremely valuable contribution to the community's well-being. We are committed to supporting them so they can provide services that complement our own.'
Gwyneth Southgate, chair of the Essex Association of Councils for Voluntary Services (CVS), said: 'This new way of funding is a further demonstration of our successful working relationship with Essex CC. It will give voluntary organisations across Essex funded by the county a greater measure of stability in planning as well as providing the services that are needed.'