UK Government’s £150m Community Ownership Fund – Third Bidding Window Now Open

Funding to help communities across the UK take ownership of assets at risk of closure.

The £150 million Community Ownership Fund aims to support charities and 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 will run for four years (until 2024/25) with three bidding windows per year.

Groups can bid for up to £250,000 match funding or in exceptional cases up to £1 million for larger sporting assets at risk of loss.

The Fund will support community ownership projects where the assets make the biggest difference to the local place.

Projects need to fulfil one or a combination of the following aims:

  • Acquire a physical community asset at risk, such as land and buildings which deliver a benefit to local people.
  • Renovate, repair or refurbish the asset, only where it is a community asset at risk of closure and where this is critical to saving the asset and making it sustainable for long-term community use.
  • Set up a new community business or buy an existing business in order to save an asset of importance to the community.
  • The purchase of associated stock, collections or intellectual property, where it is associated with buying a physical asset or buying a business to save an asset.
  • Move a community asset to a new, more appropriate location within the same community. This might be because a different location offers better value to continue the asset, or because the venue is in itself an asset of community value.

There is a two-stage application process with an initial Expression of Interest stage to determine eligibility and bid readiness followed by a detailed application stage. The EOI stage is always open. However, those who apply during the current application window will be informed of the outcome of their application in summer 2023.

The deadline for expressions of interest to the third window of Round two is 24 March 2023 with the deadline for full applications on 14 April 2023.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)