Cultural Playing Field

Community Sector Coalition meeting by Robin Simpson
December 12, 2008, 9:32 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

I was back in London on Thursday to attend a meeting of the Community Sector Coalition. We were joined by Angus McCabe from the new Third Sector Research Centre. The Third Sector Research Centre is being jointly hosted by the University of Southampton and the University of Birmingham. It is funded for five years by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Office of the Third Sector and the Barrow Cadbury Trust. The centre will be running a number of research programmes to build an evidence base for the third sector, looking at the theoretical and policy context, mapping and measuring the sector, assessing impact and looking specifically at social enterprises. Angus’s focus is on ‘below the radar’ organisations – including small community organisations. I asked him how his work would help voluntary arts groups and he acknowledged that, while the arts, culture and leisure forms approximately 30% of the third sector, it has always been fairly marginal to the rest of the sector. He was keen to address this in his research and invited me to discuss this further with him. Among many other topics, we discussed how changes to the ‘Awards for All’ Lottery grant scheme might adversely affect small community groups, the introduction of the new Grassroots Grants scheme and applications to the Department for Communities and Local Government Empowerment Fund. 

Robin Simpson.

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