supporting, developing and representing community groups,
voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
UK government launches Community Ownership Fund
The UK government has launched a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help ensure that communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can support and continue benefiting from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them. The priorities for the first round are to invest in projects which are ready to access capital funding and complete their projects within 6 months.
Voluntary and community groups can bid for match funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses. Funding may support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities.
Proposals will need to prove the value of the asset to local people and that the asset can run sustainably for the long-term benefit of the community. The fund will support a range of community ownership proposals. For example, projects may include:
sporting and leisure facilities
cinemas and theatres
post office buildings
The Community Ownership Fund will provide up to 50% of total capital costs, matching other funds and resources raised by the applicant. Bidders can also apply for some revenue funding to help with the associated revenue costs of taking an asset into community ownership.
Who can apply?
The Community Ownership Fund will consider applications from voluntary and community organisations from all parts of the United Kingdom that have a viable plan for taking ownership of a community asset at risk and running it sustainably for community benefit.
Applications for funding will only be accepted from incorporated organisations that are set up to deliver charitable purpose, social purpose or public benefit. Organisations must show this through their charitable purpose and/or an asset lock within their governing documents.
When to apply?
The Fund will run until 2024/25 and there will be at least 8 bidding rounds in total. The deadline for applications to the first bidding round is 13 August 2021. Round 2 will open in December 2021 and Round 3 in May 2022.
How to apply?
Detailed guidance on eligibility criteria is available on the UK Government website. Here you can also view the prospectus and download an application form.