Cornwall Transformation Challenge Award

Cornwall Council and partners in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector are working together to improve how services are commissioned, managed and delivered.

The Cornwall TCA programme has been running since April 2015 and is funded by a £936,000 Transformation Challenge Award (TCA) from the Government. As well as the six VCSE partners, many other individuals and organisations have been either directly involved or given their feedback on these areas of work:

Continue reading
  • strategic review of information, advice and guidance
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the VCSE sector and how the Council commissions with the sector
  • An evidence base for the current state of the sector in Cornwall
  • An analysis of payments/contracts between Cornwall Council and VCSE organisations
  • What current support exists for VCSE organisations
  • An impact assessment for the ending of current sector support arrangements by the Council and an options appraisal for a new model for VCSE sector support

The partners have produced an annual report, setting out the achievements of the programme’s first year and their next steps.

The bid outlined three objectives:

  1. Improving outcomes for people
  2. Improving commissioning and value for money
  3. Strengthening the VCSE sector

VCSE organisations range from small community groups and charities to large-scale community interest companies and not-for-profit organisations. Commissioning is the process of understanding what services are required to meet people’s needs, putting them in place and monitoring how they are delivered.

The programme is now in its second year and the programme board has agreed five projects to take forward in phase two:

  1. A business improvement programme for information and support, focusing initially on services for people with debt and welfare problems.
  2. Two place-based pilots to demonstrate collective impact.
  3. Commissioning improvements, through a development programme for commissioners across Cornwall’s public sector (the Cornwall Commissioning Academy) and the development of a commissioning toolkit.
  4. A new model of support for VCSE organisations, intended to be in place by October 2016.
  5. Short-term savings from an analysis of existing Council contracts.

TCA is involved in developing elements of the EU Growth Programme targeted at supporting the capacity and skills of the voluntary sector, with a total value of £1.8m.

To keep up to date on the programme's progress, please see our blogs and updates on Knowledge Hub. Visit the Cornwall TCA project on Knowledge Hub page for more information about Knowledge Hub and how to join.

For an overview of Cornwall TCA, download our plan on a page and the full Cornwall TCA phase 2 programme plan.

An independent review was carried out in January 2016 by Local Government Partnerships.

Members of the TCA programme met on 18 December 2015 to review progress so far and discuss next steps. This followed up an initial workshop on Monday 15 June 2015. A workshop on sector support was held on 3 March 2016.

If you have any suggestions, would like to get involved, or to sign up for regular email updates, please email

For details of the TCA team and who is involved from the VCSE sector, visit our Who's who page.