Government Office North East commissioned six reports, one each in the four sub-regions (Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley), one to look at the region-wide picture and a quantitative survey of VCOs working throughout the region.
GONE set up a Regional Steering Group to advise it on how the money should be allocated, based on the research. Four sub-regional consortia and a region-wide consortium were established and given the task of producing infrastructure development plans for their areas.
GONE and the Steering Group to the Infrastructure Early Investment Programme agreed that VONNE (Voluntary Organisations' Network North East) should be commissioned to oversee work on analysis of infrastructure in the North East.
There are 5 North East Consortia: County Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley, Tyne & Wear, and Region-wide.
In County Durham the Combine2Win is a multi-stranded project comprised of:
- A diagnostic tool to help identify the support needs of VCOs.
- Joint marketing of the support services offered by infrastructure organisations in County Durham.
- Brokerage and knowledge management - an ICT-based system for tracking the support needs of VCOs and matching these with appropriate service providers.
- ICT networking for infrastructure organisations.
Five other projects in County Durham concern funding information, volunteering development, a 'community buildings healthcheck', a joint marketing exercise called Lifelines, and a project to devise an 'Open Forum' for Durham's VCS.
A diagnostic tool to help identify the support needs of VCOs - a piece of computer software that will allow advisors to get a detailed picture of a groups' support requirements.