UK Community Ownership Fund now open for applications

The UK Government has announced applications for the Community Ownership Fund are now open. £150 million is available to help community groups across the UK take ownership of local assets and amenities at risk of closure, including pubs, shops, music venues, museums, cinemas, community centres and theatres.

The fund will run until 2024/25 including at least 8 bidding rounds; the deadline for submitting applications for the first bidding round is 13 August 2021.

Voluntary and community organisations from all parts of the UK can apply for the fund, plus organisations which are set up to deliver charitable or social purpose.

The Community Ownership Fund will provide up to 50% of the total capital costs, matching other funds and resources raised by the applicant, for example, from charitable trusts, community shares, social investors, or other lenders.
The full fund prospectus is available to download here providing more details on the scope of the fund and clarification on the assets or amenities eligible for the fund.

As well having a sustainable management case and financially viable business plan, all applicants must demonstrate a strategic case for protecting and preserving the community value of the asset or amenity, that would otherwise be lost without the intervention of the fund.

Applicants must also show how their project delivers one or more of other added-value outcomes including:

– increased local participation
– additional social and well-being outcomes
– improved pride and perceptions in the local area
– or supporting the local economy.

The full assessment criteria and link to the application form are available here

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