Community Ownership Fund

 

The Community Ownership Fund is a £150 million fund over 4 years to support community groups across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to take ownership of assets which are at risk of being lost to the community.

It forms part of a substantial package of UK wide levelling-up interventions, helping to support recovery, build opportunity and empower communities to improve their local places.

Community ownership of assets can be a catalyst for bringing people together and helping communities to flourish. But there is a long-term trend of communities losing amenities that foster a sense of community pride and bring people together. This has a knock-on impact on people’s satisfaction with the place they live, and the strength of local communities.

Community ownership can be a sustainable model for protecting local assets and facilities. It can unlock additional community benefits and help communities shape the things that matter most to them locally. It can sometimes be hard for community groups to raise the funding needed to buy the asset so they can run it sustainably for the long-term benefit of the community. The Community Ownership Fund will support local people to save local community assets and amenities at risk.

The fund is open to community groups across the United Kingdom. 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.

Strategic objectives

The Community Ownership Fund has 4 strategic objectives:

  • provide targeted investment for communities to save community assets that would otherwise be lost
  • strengthen capacity and capability in communities to support them to shape their places and develop sustainable community businesses
  • empower communities in left behind places to level up
  • strengthen direct links between places across the UK and the UK government

Programme outcomes

For the purposes of 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 from the Fund, 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).

Community ownership of assets can boost local connections, participation and pride of place, and bolster community resilience. By investing in the capacity of communities across the United Kingdom to take ownership of the places and spaces that matter to them, we will strengthen the social infrastructure that helps communities to thrive.

All applicants must demonstrate the potential of their projects to deliver against all of 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 the use of community assets and associated local amenities

All applicants must also show how their project will help deliver one or more of the following outcomes for their place:

  • increase feelings of pride and improve perceptions of the local area as a place to live
  • improve social trust, cohesion and sense of belonging
  • increase local participation in community life, arts and culture and/or sport
  • create additional local economic outcomes – including creating jobs, volunteering opportunities and improving employability and skills levels in the local community
  • create additional social and wellbeing outcomes – including delivering positive impact in physical and/or mental health and reducing loneliness and social isolation

For more information and how to apply:

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

 

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road
Widnes
WA8 6DB

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF

Email: info@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

About

Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.