Issue - meetings

Social Fabric Fund

Meeting: 18/04/2023 - Cabinet (Item 5)

5 Social Fabric Fund pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To consider the proposals for a fund to invest in social infrastructure within Levelling Up priority Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) and to approve the amounts and allocation of funding as laid out.


Cabinet Portfolio Holder – Councillor Heather Timms

Additional documents:


Councillor Heather Timms (Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture) reminded Cabinet that when the budget had been approved in February 2023, Council had requested that a proposal be brought forward to create a Social Fabric Fund to invest in social infrastructure within Levelling Up priority areas, embedding the community powered principle of “working with” communities rather than “doing to” or “doing for” communities. She added that the report also resonated with the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and had a good strategic fit with the Council Plan 2022-27, the Countywide Approach to Levelling Up, and the Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy 2020-25.?


Councillor Timms summarised the report which set out proposals for a £2.5m Fund (£1m revenue plus £1.5m capital) that would be used to provide grants and financial assistance to a range of recipients, including external community organisations. In addition the report recommended £320,000 was allocated to meet the operating costs of the Fund, including dedicated community workers, with specific responsibilities around supporting funding proposals from communities. It was anticipated that the Fund would run for two years, up to 31 March 2025.  The report explained the two stage process that would be in operation, the first stage of which was an outline investment case which would be reviewed and, if successful, would be followed by a more detailed business case. Progress updates from any approved projects would be required every six months. It was intended that the Fund would be self-sustaining in the medium term by attracting social investors and philanthropists, and businesses would enable the level of investment to continue beyond March 2025.


Councillor Isobel Seccombe welcomed the report as an exciting addition to the support offered to lower layer super output areas (LSOAs) which complemented work taking place with the district and borough councils. 


There were no other comments or questions on the report.  




That Cabinet:

1.     Approves proceeding with the establishment of a blended £2.5 million Social Fabric Fund, comprising £1 million revenue, and £1.5 million capital, focusing primarily on the 22 Lower Super Output Areas identified in the Countywide Approach to Levelling Up, with the ability to flex this by exception as set out in paragraph 4.10 of the report;

2.     Approves an additional one-off £0.32 million revenue allocation to support the operation of the Fund as set out in paragraphs 4.13, and 4.19 of the report;

3.     Approves the £1.32 million revenue elements of the Fund being funded from the Council’s Revenue Investment Fund;

4.     Approves the £1.5 million capital element of the Fund being funded from the Council’s Capital Investment Fund and approves its addition to the Capital Programme; and

5.     Authorises the Strategic Director for Resources to take all steps as he considers necessary to establish and operate the Fund in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate, and Culture, and other Portfolio Holders as appropriate.