- The government launches the regional development agencies – EEDA (East of England Development Agency) in our region.
- Regional networks such as COVER and MENTER are established.
- Following Her Majesty Treasury’s Cross-Cutting review of the role of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in service delivery, the Home Office develops the Change Up programme. Change Up’s aim is to address the needs of frontline voluntary and community organisations in England through funding support services. ChangeUp investment is also integrated with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) programme to improve support services for the rural voluntary and community sector.
- Three regional networks (COVER, MENTER and Rural Action East) commission a report to formalise ideas for the development of regional VCS infrastructure in the East of England. The report, funded by the Change Up programme, recommends the creation of a regional infrastructure consortium. It also highlights the importance of a clear relationship between the region and sub-regional entities.
- Capacitybuilders is established. Backed by a further £70m over the 2006-2008 period, this new agency manages the ChangeUp framework at arms-length from Government, led by sector expertise.
- A regional consortium is established with funding from Change Up: RVIP (Regional VCS Infrastructure Partnership) – later known as RVIC (Regional Voluntary Infrastructure Consortium)
- Following significant consultation across the third sector and with broader stakeholders, Capacitybuilders publish Destination 2014 in July 2007, setting out how they will work, i.e. how it will improve the quality and effectiveness of support for third sector organisations; how it will demonstrate to key stakeholders the benefits of support services; and how it will ensure equal access for all third sector organisations to mainstream support services, and will target resources where necessary to address the needs of particular excluded groups
- The Third Sector Review reaffirms government support for continued ChangeUp investment through Capacitybuilders, with £88.5m allocated in the Comprehensive Spending Review for the further roll-out of the programme 2008-11.
- RVIC receives funding through Capacitybuilders. RVIC develops six VCS clusters based around cross-cutting thematic issues: Children & Young People, Health & Social Care, Older People, Information & Advice, Equalities & Diversity, Eastern Region ICT support and procurement (ERIC). The clusters are designed to provide an expertise hub and share good practice across the region, and prevent unnecessary duplication or silo working.
- RVIC clusters undertake a 3-year planning exercise which will feed into RVIC’s 2008-2011 infrastructure Development Strategy
- Capacitybuilders’ main programme of local and regional funding 2008-11 is published . Its theme is “investing in Strategic Change in Local and Regional Third Sector Support.”
- A ‘regional Meta-Plan’ is developed, bringing together the plans from localities across each region with regional-level plans and exploring the potential for synergy and joint work across consortia boundaries.
- The new Local Area Agreement (LAA) framework comes into force. LAAs become the main delivery vehicle for public services at local level and the main driver for local priorities.
- Following an in-depth consultation with stakeholders and consortia members, a new model for RVIC is adopted and a 2-year business plan (2009-2011) is approved. In January 2009, RVIC becomes ERIN (Eastern Region Infrastructure Network). ERIN is assessed as “fit for purpose” by Capacitybuilders and is supported through a Consortia Development Grant.
- Four ERIN members (MENTER, Rural Action East, the East of England Faiths Council; and I-Trust/COVER) form the FERI partnership (Frontline Engagement through Regional Infrastructure). They are awarded a 3-year grant from Big Lottery Fund to implement the FERI project, whose main aims are (i) to deliver ICT support to rural and faith-based frontline groups and (ii) to support ERIN in achieving its objectives and promoting regional infrastructure work.