Power to Change offers £1.6m to community businesses

The community business funder has made the money available for community asset schemes such as pubs or bookshops

The local business charity Power to Change is inviting applications for a £1.6m funding pot that will support schemes involving community shares.

The Community Shares Booster programme, which was set up in 2017, provides a development grant of £10,000 to help applicants set up community share offers, which enable local people to take over or create community assets such as pubs or social clubs.

A further £100,000 in match funding from the programme is then available at a later stage.

The programme has helped 19 community projects so far, including farms, bookshops and a skate park, and has £1.6m available for further projects.

About £2.1m has been invested in community shares through the programme so far, which has received match funding of £1.2m from Power to Change and benefited 5,000 people.

The programme is part funded by the Community Shares Unit, which was set up in 2012 and is run by Co-operatives UK and Locality.

The programme is expected to last five years and it is expecting to fund 60 share offers in its first three years.

Naomi Sampson, programme manager at Power to Change, said: "Community shares are an incredible way for people to support businesses that improve lives in their neighbourhood while claiming a stake in them at the same time.

"But we know setting up a share offer can be daunting if you’ve done one before, so we designed this programme to help anyone interested in getting their project off the ground as well as matching their income."

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