Capacity Builders

ChangeUp is managed at arms-length from government by Capacitybuilders.

They work in partnership with government and other infrastructure bodies to help voluntary and community organisations work more effectively.

Capacitybuilders were set up in April 2006 to take over management of the ChangeUp programme and to work with other funders to develop strategies and influence policy on building the capacity of the third sector.


An agency led by sector expertise

Watering FlowerThe Government recognises through ChangeUp that the voluntary and community sector should be in the driving seat in delivering high quality, collaborative and sustainable sector support services and representation.

This has been partly achieved through local and regional consortia as well as national partnerships.

However, to improve the sector lead, in March 2005 the Home Secretary announced the creation of the Capacitybuilders agency. Backed by a further £70m over two financial years, this new agency led by sector experts now manages the ChangeUp framework at arms-length from Government.

Benefits of Capacitybuilders

The Capacitybuilders agency  ensures a clear sector focal point through which ChangeUp activity is evaluated and decisions about the value which the work adds can be put against wider activity and achievement. It also ensures the right structure is in place:

  • to build on some notable early successes and relationships that are evolving as part of the programme’s implementation
  • to address the challenges identified in the first year of the programme
  • and to ensure effective implementation in the longer term for the benefit of frontline organisations

Capacity Building definitionCapacitybuilders:

  • provide a  focus, informed by sector expertise,  for accountability and ownership of ChangeUp
  • take ownership of fund management
  • ensure the programme is joined up and co-ordinated
  • mainstream diversity issues into the design and delivery of activities within ChangeUp
  • ensure real time action and longer term evaluation.


pointer Capacitybuilders Strategy – Fit for Growth (May 2006) acrobat icon 740k

pointer Capacitybuilders Launch Press Release (Apr 2006) acrobat icon 20k

Business and Corporate Plans

pointer Business Plan : 2006-2007 – Part 1 (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 58k

pointer Business Plan : 2006-2007 – Part 2 (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 61k

pointer Business Plan : 2006-2007 – Annexes (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 156k

pointer Corporate Plan : 2006-2009 – Part 1 (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 90k

pointer Corporate Plan : 2006-2009 – Part 2 (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 126k

pointer Corporate Plan : 2006-2009 – Annexes (Jan 2007) acrobat icon 93k

Organisational Review

As a result of the Organisational Review in March 2007 a Director of Policy and Strategy role has been created to replace that of the existing Programmes Director. This new role will act in support of policy development and programmes. It will provide greater clarification of work priorities for the team of nine Regional Coordinators and will ensure a coherent approach to the development of new national support services.

Capacitybuilders Funding Programmes

The first of the new programmes to be launched by Capacitybuilders was the Consortia Projects Programme for 2006-2008. Under this programme funding is available to ChangeUp consortia around the country to support the projects they consider are a priority for encouraging the modernisation of infrastructure provision in terms of its sustainability, quality and reach.

Capacitybuilders is making £7million funding available to consortia via the Consortia Development Fund (CDF) in the financial year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008.  This funding is a ‘closed’ programme and is only available to existing consortia who have already been contacted by Capacitybuilders.

On 11 August 2006, Capacitybuilders announced details of their new Improving Reach programme, which aims to build the capacity of infrastructure for a range of marginalised groups. The pilot programme of £6M will run until March 2008. After an evaluation it is hoped to extend the scope of the programme and build on its success in future years.

Community Asset Programme – a one year programme of work aims to promote awareness and increase the knowledge and skills of community based asset development amongst both frontline community organisations and others such as local authorities.

Capacitybuilders expected budget for the next two financial years is £70M, some of which is already committed for 2006/07 – £7M to the Continuation Fund, which supports local and regional consortia. The national hubs will account for £8.7M and the net:gain project £680k. Central overheads and operational costs will be approximately £2.2M per year.

Further details of Capacitybuilders Funding Programmes

Regional Managers

Working within the Capacitybuilders Programmes team are nine Regional Managers and a Birmingham-based Grants Coordination team. The key activities and responsibilities of the Regional Managers include:

  • Promoting stronger relationships between consortia and public sector agencies at local, sub regional and regional level;
  • Encouraging collaboration between consortia, both locally and at regional level;
  • Facilitating agreements on the use of consortium support funds (CDF and others) to influence the development of consortia; and
  • Oversight of consortia activity within regions, supporting flexibility for regional variation where needed.

The Regional Managers are:

  • Kally Barot covering the East Midlands and East of England
  • Neil Bennett and Sandra Beighton covering the North East and Yorkshire and Humber
  • Mary-Jane Peach and Mark Reading covering the West Midlands and North West
  • Jill Walsh for London
  • Vernon Samuels for South West
  • Kat Pearce for the South East.

Contacting Capacitybuilders

Capacitybuilders, 77 Paradise Circus, Birmingham B1 2DT

Tel: 0121 237 5100