Montage of people - Kirklees.  © Brian Cross - artimedia


Supported by Voluntary Action Sheffield

Eventus is a Sheffield based cultural development agency, which uses the arts to make a difference to people and places.

Young children on all fours looking at the camera. ID8 Photography, © Eventus

Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) runs a Procurement Support Project, which has worked with the public sector to improve policy and practice in commissioning, and supported the voluntary and community sector (VCS) with information, training and mentoring to help organisations prepare for contracting.

Voluntary Action Sheffield supported Eventus by facilitating meetings of South Yorkshire arts organisations to agree the approach for a locally based consortium. It then helped the consortium identify funding. The consortium is now a limited company with founding Directors from Eventus, Action Space Mobile in Barnsley and Point Blank and Dead Earnest Theatres (also in Sheffield).

Consortium working supported by VAS, has enabled Eventus to bid for tenders with other South Yorkshire Arts organisations. As a result, they were successful in obtaining over £400,000 for ‘Kids Can Do’ from Sheffield City Council’s Positive Activities for Young People programme.

An important aspect of the work has been to foster collaborative approaches to winning contracts. VAS has worked with over 150 organisations to develop models of joint working, including the formation of five large bidding consortia in Sheffield.

“Consortium working offered strength of numbers, allowing us to go for larger tenders. We also received specialist mentoring to help us sharpen up our tendering in this hard financial climate. Consortium partners have been able to share ideas, raise quality standards and focus on larger bids. The support we received from VAS has made a huge difference to how we develop as a company.”

Clare McManus, Director, Eventus

Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) is a local support and development organisation. It supports the development of a vibrant, effective and influential voluntary and community sector. VAS provides a wide range of services, including specialist support, advice and training to over 900 voluntary and community organisations in Sheffield each year.

This case study is part of a series, published in Building links: why support and development organisations matter for Yorkshire and the Humber.

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