Bidding for ‘Narrow the Gap’ Community Group Funding Now Open

COMMUNITY and voluntary groups across Reading are being invited to bid for funding based on how they can help the Council continue to ‘narrow the gaps’ that exist in the town.

The Council has outlined bidding opportunities against a range of themes which help tackle poverty, support communities, manage community buildings, promote wellbeing and reduce people’s need for statutory care.

Groups can submit bids up to the deadline of 20th December 2017 for a share of an overall pot of £1.26m.

Jo Lovelock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said:

“Reading is a town of contrasts, where strong economic prosperity sits alongside deprivation and a lack of opportunity.  The gulf between those who are well-off and those who are on low incomes continues to grow year on year, as it does nationally. Health inequalities in particular are significant and there continue to be many residents who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to access the opportunities, help and support on offer.

“The Council’s funding will have been cut by the Government from nearly £58million to under £2million between 2010 and 2020 and voluntary and community groups will know that over the years we have had to reduce expenditure due to the on-going need to make savings. We nevertheless remain determined to continue to focus our resources on the most vulnerable members of our community to ensure they are not left behind.

“We have worked with voluntary groups to develop a strategy for the next few years. Community organisations in Reading have a proud history of supporting people to enjoy a better quality of life. The Council believes these groups will continue to play a key role in helping to narrow the gaps which we know continue to exist.

“I would urge any interested parties to place their bids now before the deadline of 20th December.”

The published framework and tender details can be viewed here:

Any technical questions and assistance regarding the use and operation of the Council’s electronic bidding portal should be addressed to the In-Tend Help Desk, email: or call 08442728810.


Notes to Editors:

Reading Borough Council host the Narrowing the Gap II Commissioning Framework, but some services will be commissioned jointly by the local authority and by the Reading Clinical Commissioning Groups; and some services will be commissioned outside the Reading boundary.

Last year Reading Borough Council launched its first ‘Narrowing the Gap’ framework, to ensure that any funding or support available is directed at those in most need. Contracts are awarded to community or voluntary groups, who in turn provide services to those most in need of support in Reading.

The Council held two events for community and voluntary groups were held in August and September 2017 – where the new framework was developed setting out opportunities for voluntary and community groups to bid for funding from 2018 to 2022.

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957