The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is offering training to community groups on how to fundraise for heritage regeneration projects.
The regeneration charity, which works to restore redundant buildings of historic and architectural importance, has begun a three-year programme of workshops called Brick, which stands for building resources, investment and community knowledge, at locations across the UK.
The trust said it launched the scheme to support community groups that are lacking the capacity or skills needed to get the funding to restore the increasing number of locally important buildings under their ownership.
At each workshop, the charity expects to teach about 40 participants from community groups how to attract social investment loans, how to secure funding through partnerships with the private sector and about community shares as an emerging funding model. It aims to provide options for those that currently rely on grants from government bodies and have little contact with private funders or a lack of knowledge about whom to approach.
The workshops will also advise groups on the importance of design in safeguarding heritage and maximising value, finding temporary uses for historic buildings before funding is obtained and sharing skills and resources with local authorities and third sector organisations.
The full-day workshops, which cost £15 per participant, have so far been held in North Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Plymouth and Norwich, and will next take place in Belfast, south Wales and Glasgow.
Almost two-thirds of the programme, which started in February, has been funded by a grant of £420,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which the Prince’s Regeneration Trust received in December, with the remaining costs covered by corporate and in-kind contributions from organisations such as the community umbrella body Locality.
The charity is also offering bespoke one-on-one mentoring that will focus on issues such as governance, business planning and securing private investment, as well as preparing activity plans and engaging the community. It is aiming to mentor at least 40 projects over the next three years, with each community group receiving six to eight days of mentoring from a member of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust’s projects team.
"We’ve noticed that people are really valuing the opportunity to meet others through the workshops," said Biljana Savic, programme director at the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. "It helped them to realise they’re not the only ones grappling with certain problems; it also helped them to network and hear from experts."
Full details on the workshops and mentoring programme are available here.