About the GM VCSE Accord

Greater Manchester leaders in local government, health and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) signed a new GM VCSE Accord in October 2021  to work together in a collaborative way to tackle entrenched inequalities.

The original GM VCSE Accord was signed in November 2017 by the Mayor of Greater Manchester on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), with several hundred representatives of the VCSE sector. Similarly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and the VCSE sector in GM was signed in January 2017, setting out a new way for VCSE organisations and the health and social care sector to work together.

The new GM VCSE Accord replaces both the 2017 Accord and the 2017 MoU and sets out an agreement between the Greater Manchester Mayor, Combined Authority and the Greater Manchester Integrated Care System with the VCSE sector, based on a relationship of trust.

This new single, forward facing agreement, builds on the substantial engagement undertaken with our sector to produce the VCSE Policy Paper, which was published in January 2020 and sets out a 10 year vision for the VCSE sector in Greater Manchester. The Accord also takes into account our learning and reflections from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 report of the GM Independent Inequalities Commission, the Marmot report ‘Building Back Better in Greater Manchester’, and the development of the GM Integrated Care System (ICS).

As part of the Accord refresh process, we facilitated engagement sessions across all local infrastructure organisations and key GM VCSE networks, as well as with the GMCA, ICS and other key public sector partners. You can view the presentation shared at the sessions and the feedback here.

The agreement is underpinned by our shared vision for the city region as set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) – which is also being refreshed and renewed following its original publication in 2017. The Accord will act as a framework for the VCSE sector’s role in the delivery of the GMS vision and in the thematic strategies and delivery plans that exist to deliver the GMS vision. The VCSE sector will be involved in the development, governance and delivery of the GMS including co-design of relevant activities.

You can view the final version of the Accord below, signed by representatives of the three parties.

View the VCSE Accord
View the Accord Annex

You can stay up to date with developments to implement the VCSE Accord by following us on Twitter.


As we approach the end of the first year of delivery of the VCSE Accord, we are pleased to provide an update around the delivery themes taken from the VCSE Accord Implementation Plan:

Population Health – Work to develop a GM Data Hub is ongoing, with VCSE representatives exploring opportunities to increase data capacity and capabilities within the VCSE sector.

We have secured VCSE representation on the four task and finish groups involved in the development of GM’s ‘Build Back Fairer Framework’.

We are also participating in NHS’s Live Well design group to shape the approach and share existing good practice in the VCSE sector.

Commissioning and Investment – We have promoted the commissioning framework and its recommendations through the Build Back Fairer framework development, People and Communities framework development and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) in Greater Manchester.

Conversations with health and social care commissioners in Greater Manchester are also ongoing to embed the commissioning framework into future investment and funding programmes.

We are working to understand and address the impact of the cost of living crisis on the VCSE sector and are a key partner in a GM level ‘Cost of Living Response Group’.

Collaboration in VCSE Service Delivery – Following the launch of the Alternative Provider Federation (APF) in July, membership now accounts for over £100m of NHS contracts. This membership are now starting work to map out their capacity and capabilities, so they can capitalise on any opportunities to deliver services.

We are also mapping out the VCSE sectors’ influence and voice within the Integrated Care System.

Find out more about the APF on the dedicated website here

Workforce Development – We are currently scoping out work to support the development of the VCSE workforce for the next 2-5 years, using the results of the recent workforce survey to inform us. We are also recruiting for a Strategic Lead to help deliver this work and hope to have someone in post as soon as possible.

Inclusive Economy – Our first week of action focussed on raising the profile of community ownership in Greater Manchester. Find out more about the week here

Our second week of action looks at how the VCSE sector is enabling and greener and fairer Greater Manchester. Visit our news page to view the latest on ‘A Just Transition: A Greener and Fairer Greater Manchester.

Creating and Sustaining the VCSE Ecosystem – We are working with infrastructure organisations in all ten localities to enable and support delivery of Accord commitments at locality level.

We are also working to connect equalities networks across localities and connect them with Greater Manchester equalities panels.

Equalities: Engagement and Involvement of Diverse Communities of Identity – The GM Equality Alliance (GM=EqAl) Working Group now has 45 members following a recruitment drive in May. These members are being invited to represent diverse communities of identity on a growing number of working groups, plans and strategies across Greater Manchester. For more information and to stay up to date with this work, you can join the network here.

VCSE Sector Involvement and Influencing – We have VCSE representatives sitting on boards of influence across Greater Manchester, you can view an updated list here.

We are meeting regularly with public sector leaders to ensure the VCSE sector has a voice at the highest levels within Greater Manchester

We are supporting the VCSE sectors role on contributing to the Greater Manchester Strategy and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We hope to know more about next steps in the next few months and await central government’s response to the submitted Greater Manchester’s investment plan. Council’s are currently leading on local preliminary discussions around investment for town centres (E1), green spaces (E3), arts and culture (E6), and voluntary and community capacity (E11). We are also in preliminary discussions around business support (the ‘Community Wealth Hub’ will be a big element of this for us), work and skills (on stream from 2024) and numeracy skills (Multiply Programme).

We are also extremely pleased and proud to announce that the Accord has now been endorsed by all ten councils!


A delivery plan for the next 12 months has been developed by the Accord Delivery Team, made up of staff from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership (soon to become GM Integrated Care Partnership), and on behalf of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector: Voluntary Sector North West (VSNW), GMCVO and 10GM as members of the GM VCSE Leadership Group.

Work will focus on 9 delivery themes taken from the VCSE Accord Implementation Plan:

Population Health – Working with the Population Health team to ensure the VCSE sector plays a full role in Greater Manchester’s Population Health system. This includes work to implement Person Centred Community Approaches, informing the ‘Live Well’ approach, and linking the valuable insight our sector holds into the new Greater Manchester data platform. This work is being led by the Population Health working group of the Leadership Group, with support from VSNW.

Commissioning and Investment – Implement the principles of the Greater Manchester VCSE Commissioning Framework across all 10 localities. This will include training for commissioners and VCSE groups to embed the framework and support a strategic investment approach to funding. This work is being led by the Commissioning working group of the Leadership Group, with support from 10GM.

Collaboration in VCSE Service Delivery – Establish a partnership of social enterprises and charitable organisations that operate at scale through the new Integrated Care System. In order to do this the Leadership Group, with support from key partners such as 10GM, has set up the Alternative Provider Federation which is due to launch in June.

Workforce Development – Implement a programme of interventions that support the VCSE workforce such as the Race Equality Action Plan, wellbeing support, volunteering principles/values and Real Living Wage. This work is being led by the Workforce working group of the Leadership Group with support from VSNW and 10GM.

Inclusive Economy – Promote understanding of the types of activity required for an inclusive economy. Develop the operating environment and support work that will enable sustainable growth of the kind of organisations that contribute to an inclusive economy. This work is being led by the Inclusive Economy working group of the Leadership Group, with support from GMCVO.

Communication – Develop and deliver a communications strategy that builds knowledge and understanding of the diverse VCSE sector among the public sector and enables understanding of GM structures among VCSE organisations. The aim is to better connect the sector from each borough, and each community of identity and interest into this work.

Creating and Sustaining the VCSE Ecosystem – Grow VCSE infrastructure capacity to enable involvement of communities of identity, experience and places in all 10 GM localities. Develop a plan for the VCSE to play a part in plans to boost community resilience. This work is supported by 10GM, GMCVO and VSNW on behalf of the Leadership Group.

Equalities: Engagement and Involvement of Diverse Communities of Identity – Develop a set of practical pan-equalities commitments and principles that partner organisations can sign up to that will help ensure that the voice of diverse communities is heard in policymaking. Ensure that VCSE equalities organisations are supported to develop and are engaged with Integrated Care System structures/activity. This work is being led by GM Equality Alliance (GM=EqAl) which is hosted by GMCVO.

VCSE Sector Involvement and Influencing – Ensure effective VCSE sector representation on GM boards and partnerships. Organise the VCSE sector to effectively campaign and lobby on key VCSE sector issues. Engage with public sector partners to influence strategic plans. This work is being supported by VSNW on behalf of the Leadership Group.


The three parties have agreed a five year Implementation Plan.

This plan sets out the framework which will guide the leadership, enabling and developmental activities carried out at a GM footprint over the next 5 years. This work will underpin and enable the wider work of the VCSE sector in the districts of Greater Manchester. The plan is part of the mechanism for overcoming the barriers and issues which exist for the VCSE sector in delivering activities which contribute towards the objectives in the Greater Manchester Strategy.

View the Implementation Plan

You can stay up to date with developments to implement the VCSE Accord by following us on Twitter.