UK’s Community Ownership Fund Opens for Round 2

Funding is available for charities and community groups across the UK who want to take ownership of, and save, local assets such as pubs, sports clubs, music venues, historic buildings, pubs, theatres and parks.

The UK Government’s £150 million Community Ownership Fund, which will run until 2024/25, is currently accepting Expressions of Interest.

Applications will be accepted from voluntary and community organisations from all parts of the United Kingdom who have a viable plan for taking ownership of a community asset at risk and running it sustainably for community benefit.

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.

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 15 years with reasonable break clauses. Assets with leaseholds of 25 years and no early break clauses are preferred as applicants will find it easier to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the asset in community hands.

The fund has moved to a two-stage application process with an initial Expression of Interest stage to determine eligibility and bid readiness followed by a detailed application stage which can be made to any of the three bidding that will be available this year. The first application window is expected o close on 19 August 2022. There will be two more application windows before March 2023.

Expressions of Interest are currently being accepted.

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