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Fund title: Community Ownership Fund

Focus of fund/fund aims:

Capital grants up to £250,000 to help community groups to take ownership of community assets and amenities that would otherwise be lost

Application deadline:

13 August 2021 (Round 1)

Fund description:

The Community Ownership Fund is a new government programme with £150m over 4 years to support community groups to take ownership of assets that are at risk of being lost to the community.

The fund will support a range of community ownership projects such as sports facilities, arts and music venues, museums and galleries, parks, pubs, post offices and shops.

For this fund, community ownership refers to the ownership and management of local community assets or amenities by a community organisation in order to deliver benefits for the community and place. To be eligible for investment, the terms of community ownership must be either the ownership of the freehold or a long-term leasehold of at least 25 years minimum (with no break clauses).

Funding may support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities. The Community Ownership Fund will provide up to 50% of total capital costs, matching other funds and resources raised by the applicant. In most cases, the maximum grant will be £250,000 although larger grants will be available in exceptional circumstances for sports clubs and sports facilities. Revenue grants of up to £50,000 are also available to help with project development.

Communities applying to the fund should have a strong vision for the long-term future of the asset, its purpose and potential in community life, and a plan for how the asset can thrive under community ownership. Projects must therefore be able to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Protect a community asset or amenity that is at risk and preserve its community value
  • Develop a sustainable operating model to secure the long-term future of the community asset in community ownership
  • Safeguard and improve the use of community assets and associated local services or amenities

There will be at least 8 bidding rounds over the course of the programme. Note that the priority for the first round is to invest in projects that are ready to access capital funding and complete their projects within 6 months.

Further information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund-prospectus