This site provides information about the proposed VCS consortium currently being developed for Essex. There are several key reasons why this idea was born and is now taking shape:

  • Effective response to the challenge of deficit reduction and the emphasis on localism
  • Creates an entity that can compete more effectively in the evolving public sector contracting arena
  • Harnesses the third sector’s unique capacity to ‘reach the parts that others cannot reach’ to deliver cost-effective, high impact outcomes for local communities
  • Provides the vehicle that enables effective local delivery by organisations that operate from within Essex communities
  • Invests public money back into the Essex economy whilst delivering value-for-money local services
  • Member clusters enhance Voluntary and Community Organisation partnering and enable innovative solutions for a range of services

The following pages give some more information about the background and operating method, plus answer some often asked questions.

The consortium is still being developed and details finalised. Therefore, please view the content of this website as reflecting the current state of play. It will be periodically updated as work progresses. Although there is no firm launch date yet, it is anticipated that the consortium will be active by Autumn 2014.

If you wish to get a very up-to-date response, please use the contact form.


The consortium is intended to offer potential benefits both to voluntary sector organisations and statutory commissioners.

Consortium members

  • Opportunities to deliver local services as part of larger contracts than would otherwise be possible
  • Potential to broaden scope of activity by working with partners in non-traditional ways (e.g. environmental organisation providing specialist support to health and social care services) 
  • Peer-to-peer support to develop commissioning skills and contract-readiness
  • Access to capacity-building and skills development initiatives that improve capability
  • Local engagement via members and associates


  • Enhances the public sector supply chain by effectively introducing another large provider
  • Creates a single-point gateway to a range of service solutions with strong local delivery
  • More effective services through access to local intelligence/expertise and co-design
  • High value for money and cost-effectiveness
  • Better chance of improved outcomes through joined-up planning and partnership working
  • Utilise local organisations to deliver outcomes for local people using local resources

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