A NEW partnership by Wirral Council is hoping to help voluntary and community groups in the borough access more funding.

The deal, revealed today (Monday, January 7), will see the council partner with Lloyds Bank Foundation and Capacity: The Public Services Lab to help support groups in the area.

It aims to ensure contracts, help and support from public agencies in the borough are awarded to local community and voluntary agencies while making sure they receive one-to-one support from experts who will help them write business plans and bids.

Cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Janette Williamson said: “There are thousands of people in Wirral who give up their time to make this a better place to live.

"It’s about time they got the help they deserve.

“This project isn’t about making a pot of money available for these groups to bid for, putting them through bureaucratic and long-winded processes to get the help they need to do the work we all want them to do.

"It’s about a fundamental change in direction and policy from the council, helping these groups grow and become stronger, and have the ability to attract more money.

"We are determined to make the council focus more on helping these local groups and organisations to grow and succeed.

“We’ve already committed to developing a whole new approach to community wealth building – making sure local money stays local, to benefit local people. This project fits perfectly with our ambitions and I am delighted we have been able to make it happen.”

The project will kickstart this month by working with Wirral based charities to help them plan their businesses and improve their ability to attract funding.

Paul Streets, chief executive Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said: “Small and local charities lie at the heart of their communities and have significant knowledge, experience and expertise they can bring to delivering local services.

"Despite this they are often disadvantaged in tendering and commissioning processes – losing out to bigger organisations.

"This new partnership between Capacity and Wirral Council, with our support, is committed to developing a framework to improve funding and commissioning processes to better recognise the value that small charities bring and give them a fairer chance.

"Our funding will help give the council the space and capacity to review and revise its approaches which will be of benefit to the Wirral community and the council itself but, we believe, will also in time demonstrate improved practices which other councils could learn from”

It's believed that there are around 1,400 voluntary and community organisations in Wirral that could benefit from this partnership.

Chris Catterall, chief executive of Capacity said: “Through our work with early-stage social ventures and voluntary organisations in the Liverpool City Region, we are acutely aware of the untapped potential of some of the smaller voluntary and community groups in Wirral.

"We are delighted to be working with Wirral MBC and Lloyds Bank Foundation to understand how more contracts can be secured by smaller, local organisations whilst adhering to public contract regulations.”