Voluntary and community organisations

Bristol has a thriving voluntary and community sector.  Often known as the 'third sector', these organisations are outside of government and profit sectors. They can:

  • deliver services
  • support other community groups
  • lobby for a specific issue

They are self-governing organisations, some being registered charities, some incorporated non-profit organisations and some outside both these classifications.

Support for voluntary and community sector organisations

We support voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations by:

  • awarding revenue grants
  • funding a VCS support service and voice and influence service
  • awarding charity and discretionary rate relief
  • agreeing reduced rents or preferential terms on council-owned buildings through Community Asset Transfers

VCS Support Service

We've awarded Voscur funding to provide a VCS support service until 2020.

The service includes:

  • the Support Hub, that helps Bristol-based voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups and organisations improve their performance, capacity, sustainability and quality
  • the Voice and Influence Service, that represents VCS groups and organisations in Bristol to help influence decisions on policy and development in the city

Charity relief and discretionary business rate relief

Registered charities using buildings for charitable purposes are entitled to mandatory rate relief. Voluntary and community organisations may also be eligible for discretionary rate relief.

Information about rate relief is available on business rates.

Community asset transfer

Community asset transfer (CAT) is where we lease properties to voluntary and community organisations, often at reduced or minimal rents, or preferential terms.

Information about CAT, community centres and buildings and Community Right to Bid is available from community centres and facilities.

Community development

Community development brings local people together to share ideas that could make a difference to where they live.

Find out what people are doing across Bristol, and how we're supporting them on our Community Development Facebook page.