Well, this morning I heard the best news in ages — the bid submitted by Birmingham’s TLI partnership has been successful, securing just under £600k for the transformation of how third sector and social enterprise support in Birmingham is delivered.
Congratulations to BVSC and to all the partners involved in this.
Of course, now the genuinely hard and challenging work of transforming infrastructure services begins, but for a moment let’s just bask in the glory — it isn’t often we can. Not only was the Birmingham bid successful, BIG’s assessors say that of 140 applications nationwide Birmingham’s was amongst five top scorers. And because it was amongst the first assessed, it was also used as something of a benchmark against which to compare others.
This is not insignificant in helping to raise Brum’s profile as a centre of sector expertise and innovation.
It is also just worth reminding ourselves of the hurdles successful bidders had to clear. Although the funds are administered by BIG and applications were assessed by a team of BIG assessors, we were also told that in this instance BIG’s role was to make “recommendations” to OCS, and that the final decisions rested with ministers.
We all know that securing resources to deliver support — including SE support — is getting harder. This probably isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future and therefore we need to change the way we ‘do’ support. This is where TLI comes in. It provides resources with which to change how support is offered in the future, including the development of new techniques, approaches and ‘legacy’ products and services that will be more sustainable in coming years.
Make no mistake: getting TLI is a big deal for social enterprises and third sector organisations in Birmingham and we have justifiable reasons to feel proud.
Update 02/02/12: See the full list of successful partnerships here.