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Cornwall Transformation Challenge Award

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

The Cornwall TCA programme started in April 2015, funded by a £936,000 Transformation Challenge Award (TCA) from the Government. 

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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:

  • 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 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 has now completed its second year and the five projects it's delivered are being incorporated into the Council's 'business as usual':

  1. A business improvement programme for information and support, focusing initially on services for people with debt and welfare problems.
  2. A place-based pilot 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.

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.

This is the membership of the board that is overseeing the project. It includes representatives from the co-signatories to the TCA bid.

  • Cath Robinson, Cornwall Council (Chair)
  • Scott Bennett, Volunteer Cornwall
  • Neil Colquhoun, Cornwall Citizens Advice
  • John Ede, ECCABI
  • Andrew Green, Cornwall Learning Partnership
  • Charlotte Hill, Cornwall Council
  • Ian Jones, Volunteer Cornwall
  • Mark Read, Cornwall Council
  • Sue Smith, NHS Kernow
  • Ian Smith, Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum
  • Kieran Topping, Cornwall Council
  • Tracy Waters, Penwith Community Development Trust

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

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