Briefing on the Government’s £150m Community Ownership Fund
The government has published details of its £150m Community Ownership Fund, designed to support local people to save local community assets and amenities at risk. The Fund is open for community groups across the UK to apply for revenue and capital funding for local projects.
‘Community ownership’ refers to the ownership and management of local community assets or amenities by a community organisation. The Fund’s purpose is to strengthen capacity in communities, and empower people in left behind places to ‘level up’. It is part of the Government’s Levelling Up funding package.
The first bidding round ends on 13th August 2021 but is intended for projects that can be completed within 6 months and already have a business plan. Projects can apply for up to revenue grants of up to £50,000 and capital grants of up to £250,000. Capital grants must be matched by funds raised by the applicant.
Community groups who are not ready to apply are encourages to think about future rounds. The second bidding round will open in December 2021, and the third in May 2022. There will be eight bidding rounds in total until 2025.
The government states it will see what lessons can be learnt from Round 1 and, if necessary, amend the process to ensure that the Fund has the reach and impact intended. This might include advice and support grants to community groups at an early stage of development, to help understand if their community ownership project is viable.
Download a briefing with all the key points from the Community Ownership Fund and guidance on how to apply.
The Prospectus for the Community Ownership Fund is available here.
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