The £150 million Community Ownership Fund will launch its third bidding round on 31 May 2023 with the Government publishing a new prospectus detailing changes to the eligibility requirements of the programme.
The Community Ownership Fund, set up by the Government, helps communities take ownership of assets at risk of closure. It will run until 2024/25 with voluntary and community organisations bidding for match funding. Funding can support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets.
Applications are subject to the eligibility requirements outlined in the new prospectus which can be found here.
A summary of the key changes to the eligibility requirements for the relaunch of the fund include:
- increasing the amount of funding all projects can bid for from £250,000 to £1 million.
- reducing the match funding requirement; where previously the Community Ownership Fund would contribute up to 50 per cent of total capital funds required, it will now contribute up to 80 per cent of the total capital funds required with applicants required to raise the other 20 per cent from other sources of funding. Projects in areas of the greatest need will only need to raise 10 per cent.
- allowing parish councils (and their equivalent town and community councils) to apply in the same way that community groups do now.
The Fund forms part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda to support places where community assets can make the most difference.