Diversifying funding is not new for Community Learning providers - many providers already use a diverse range of funding streams to complement their Community Learning budgets. However, the 2013/14 Skills Funding Statement clearly indicates that it is a requirement for all Community Learning providers to ‘secure additional resources over and above the public subsidy available’. The Community Learning budget is now regarded as a contribution rather than the sole source of income for Community Learning. All providers are expected to develop and implement a robust financial strategy. This strategy is intended not just to increase income through fees but also to encompass savings achieved through contributions in kind, use of volunteering, sponsorship etc.
Diversifying funding and achieving savings were requirements of the CLT pilots - this was known as ‘Pound Plus’. Pound Plus was in a number of cases a catalyst for rethinking approaches to the delivery, as well as the funding, of Community Learning. The Pound Plus approach also was adopted by a number of providers who were not CLT pilots and some examples are given in this section.
There is no requirement for Community Learning providers in 2013/14 to quantify the additional income and savings achieved through their financial strategies. Nevertheless, the methodology developed to record Pound Plus activities may provide an effective way of recording evidence of additional resources secured. This provides valuable information that can be used internally with senior managers, governors or elected members and externally with prospective funders and partners, to demonstrate how services are attracting additional resources.
Although not directly relating to diversifying funding, different business models can increase financial flexibility.
Bulletins summarising lessons learnt from 2012/13 shared services in adult learning projects.
Example of CLT and volunteering in Blackburn with Darwen – Youtube presentation on how volunteering delivered Pound Plus and aligned with the Council’s priorities.
Handout from CLT workshop on exploring other funding streams
West of England CLT used a ‘Partner Pledge’ to engage new 150 new partners who provided in-kind contributions . Derby CLT used a learning festival to engage new learners but the festival also lead to new...Read more »
Two presentations – Cumbria and Solihull CLTs – illustrating approaches to fee strategies and cross-subsidisation.
Summary of Pound Plus definitions & template used by CLT pilots to record Pound Plus activity.
Example from Kent CLT of using market analysis to develop new provision and increase direct income.