We wish to bring to your attention the publication of a new Community Ownership Fund prospectus ahead of a Round 3, which will open to main applications on 31st May 2023, closing at 11:59am on 12 July 2023. As you will be aware, the Community Ownership Fund is a £150m UK-wide fund to help communities take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of closure. It is open to voluntary and community organisations and supports the purchase and/or renovation costs of assets in their local area.
The new prospectus details some changes to allow more assets to be saved across the UK. The key changes include:
- Reducing the match funding requirement; where previously the Community Ownership Fund would contribute up to 50% of total capital funds required, it will now contribute up to 80% of the total capital funds required, with applicants required to raise the other 20% from other sources of funding. Projects in areas of the greatest need will only need to raise 10%, as determined by the fund’s Development Support provider in accordance with the Prioritisation process for awarding targeted support set out in the prospectus;
- Increasing the amount of funding all projects can bid for from £250k to £1m and;
- Allowing parish councils (and their equivalent town and community councils) to apply in the same way that community groups do now.
Additional support / webinars
The Fund now has a Development Support provider, who will offer support from Round 3 onwards. This can be accessed via an enquiry form on the My Community webpage. There will also be live and pre-recorded webinars organised to help groups understand COF better. To register, follow the links below:
– How to create a strong community ownership fund application – Scotland-specific (delivered by DTA Scotland), Wednesday 7 June 10am-12pm
– How to raise match funding for your Community Ownership Fund project – UK-wide (delivered by Plunkett), Wednesday 24 May 2-4pm
– Asset-specific webinars – 30 May (heritage assets), 8 June (pubs/shops/cafes), 20 June (sporting assets)
Ready to bid now?
Interested groups can start their Community Ownership Fund application journey through submitting an Expression of Interest form via the green button on this web page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/community-ownership-fund-round-2-how-to-express-your-interest-in-applying.