Power to Change to continue for at least five more years after £20m funding injection

The community business support charity was due to be wound up in 2022

The community business support charity Power to Change is set to continue for an additional five years after receiving a £20m injection of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. 

The charity was set up in 2015 with an endowment of £150m to support community businesses and was due to wind down in 2022. 

But Power to Change said today that the extra funding would enable it to run for at least an extra five years, albeit with a smaller workforce. 

The organisation, which employs about 50 staff, said it would move forward with about 30 people and a new strategic mission. 

It said it would release more details on its new business plan in the next few weeks. 

Power to Change said the number of community businesses in England had more than doubled to 11,000 since it was launched in 2015. 

Community businesses are not-for-profit organisations that provide services to local people, such as pubs, libraries, lidos and community housing.

Power to Change said in a statement that the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted how important community businesses were in supporting their locality, and they would be just as vital during the recovery. 

Vidhya Alakeson, chief executive of Power to Change, said: “The huge variety of ways community businesses stepped up to support local people during the pandemic was truly inspirational. 

“As we move through the recovery, it’s vital that we do everything we can to help these businesses navigate what will be a tricky path so they can remain viable for their communities.”

She said the new funding would enable Power to Change to “strengthen the resilience and capacity of community businesses, so they can help rebuild our local economies and tackle the big challenges and inequalities people are facing right on their doorsteps and that have been exacerbated by the pandemic”.

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