Government offers funding packages of up to £300,000 towards purchasing community assets

Hebden Bridge Town Hall, a community-owned asset
Hebden Bridge Town Hall, a community-owned asset

Funding packages worth up to £300,000 are being made available to charities and community groups as part of the first round of the government’s Community Ownership Fund.

The £150m initiative was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Spring Budget in March.

Charities can bid for grants of up to £50,000 in revenue funding and the government will match fund up to £250,000 in capital costs to help them buy local assets such as pubs, Post Offices or sports centres to run as community-owned businesses.

Applicants 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.

Their proposals must also show how the project will help deliver one or more outcomes that include improving social trust, cohesion and sense of belonging, and delivering positive impact in physical and/or mental health and reducing loneliness and social isolation.

Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, said the funding represented a chance to ressert local pride alongside national belonging.

“Whether it’s the pub on the high street that’s facing closure, a village shop or a local sports team that might lose its ground – this is an opportunity for groups to take them over and to run them as businesses by the community for the community," he said.

“As we bounce back from the pandemic, we are determined to see these special places and the people that care about them thrive through this fund.”

The first round of funding will close on 13 August.

There will be a minimum of eight bidding rounds over the next four years.

For more information on how to apply click here.

In June last year, the community organisation membership body Locality said a community-powered recovery post-pandemic would require a £1bn investment plan for community assets.

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