The Cabinet Office and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) have announced a £​65 million fund for welfare rights advice services. The Advice Services Transition Fund aims to address the changing nature of funding in the sector, and to encourage more collaboration and partnership working between organisations. It will provide grants ranging from £​50,000 to £​350,000.

Whilst cautiously welcoming the funding as an acknowledgement by the government of the vital role advice services play, Steve Johnson, chief executive of Advice UK, told Third Sector that the £​65 million would not make up for the loss of £​50 million from the legal aid budget, and for cuts to local authority funding. He said that applying for the funding would “​clearly present challenges for local advice services given the emphasis on partnership and collaborative bids.”​

To coincide with the launch of the funding initiative, the Cabinet Office published a report, “​Not-For-Profit Advice Services in England”​, that reviews advice sector provision in England. The report makes a number of recommendations including more collaborative working between advice agencies, and the need to take earlier preventative action to avoid the problems faced by those seeking advice.

Further information can be found here

The Third Sector report can be found here


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