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The council has approved changes to the Voluntary Sector Capacity and Transition Fund (previously called the Public Sector Challenge Fund), re-launching it with updated criteria while still providing upfront 'pump priming' investment for strong proposals from the voluntary and community sector (VCS).

We're looking for innovative proposals which address urgent priorities, such as helping improve the health and wellbeing of the city's population, and driving down costs by reducing demand for council, and other related public services.

The fund offers transitional funding to enable providers to re-design important services, bridging periods of change to achieve new, self-sustaining business models.

We want to build more collaborative services, give VCS providers greater involvement and transform the way that the sector benefits Portsmouth.

Changes to the criteria have removed:

  • the Payback criteria recognising that cost avoidance rather than delivery of a direct cost reduction is an equally valid aim
  • the requirement for any award to be a 'one-of' allocation; this has been extended to encourage sustainable and finite multi-year awards

We hope that these changes will allow the voluntary sector to be more creative and flexible in its approach, removing some of the previous financial obstacles. There is also a stronger emphasis on building capacity across the sector in a sustainable way.

For more information about the fund, the application process and example proposals please see the guidance notes below or e-mail

Voluntary Sector Capacity and Transition Fund - revised eligibility (13 Dec 2016 Full Council Agenda, sections 1.9, 10.20, 10.21 and 10.22)