The 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.
- Opening date:
- Closing date:
Get updates about this grantSign up for updates
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 building opportunity and empowering communities to improve their local places.We recognise it can sometimes be hard for community groups to raise the funding needed to buy or renovate the asset and run it sustainably for the long-term benefit of the community. The Community Ownership Fund will help support local people to save local community assets at risk.The Fund supports projects which fulfil one or a combination of the following aims. All of these are taken in context of saving an asset with the goal of community use:
take ownership of a physical community asset at risk, such as land and buildings, which benefit local people
renovate, repair, or refurbish an asset to make it sustainable for the long term
set up or buy a community business
buy associated stock, collections, or intellectual property
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
develop new assets where these relate to saving, preserving, or relocating a past or existing asset
You can apply for funding if your organisation, your project, and the asset you want to save meet certain eligibility requirements.
is at risk of loss without community intervention
can be run viably and sustainably in community hands for the long-term benefit of the community
if already owned, the asset requires essential renovations to be sustainable for the long-term benefit of the community
applying for up to £2 million for all asset types, but we expect that most awards will be for up to £250,000 of capital funding
applying for revenue funding no more than £50,000 or 20% of the total capital funding applied for, whichever is smaller
able to ‘match’ the capital grant from the Fund at the required match funding rate
able to show that capital grant funding and match funding will be spent within the 12 months following the date you are offered funding (indicated on the offer letter)
is an incorporated voluntary and community organisation or a parish, town and community council
is able to buy the asset freehold, or the long-term leasehold of at least 15 years with reasonable break clauses
is the same organisation that will receive the funding and run the project
The full eligibility requirments for this fund can be found in the prospectus.
The Community Ownership Fund has 4 strategic objectives:
to provide targeted investment for communities to save and sustain community assets that would otherwise be lost to community use
to strengthen capacity and capability in communities, supporting them to shape their places and develop sustainable community businesses
to empower communities in left behind places to level up
to strengthen direct links between places across the UK and the UK Government
For the purposes of this Fund, community ownership refers to the ownership and management of local community assets by a community organisation in order to deliver benefits for the community and place.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 UK to take ownership of the places and spaces that matter to them, we will strengthen the social infrastructure that helps communities to thrive.We want to fund community projects that do at least 1 of these 5 things:
increase feelings of pride in, 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, culture, or sport
improve local economic outcomes – including creating jobs, volunteering opportunities, and improving employability and skills levels in the local community
improve social and wellbeing outcomes – including having a positive impact on physical and mental health of local people, and reducing loneliness and social isolation
Strengthening community ownership across the UK
The Fund will be delivered directly by the UK government to communities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK government is committed to fair opportunities to access funding through the Community Ownership Fund across the UK.A minimum target of spending in line with per-capita allocations has therefore been set in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Community Ownership Fund will target a minimum of £12.3 million in Scotland, £7.1 million in Wales, and £4.3 million in Northern Ireland of the total Fund over the 4 years until March 2025.The design of the Fund recognises the different landscapes for community ownership across the UK, with different legislation in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. We have engaged widely with local stakeholders to ensure the Fund is effective, accessible and achieves its objectives.Applications will be assessed against a consistent framework. Eligibility for the Fund and the bidding assessment criteria are consistent in all 4 nations.
Key dates to note:
Expression of Interest stage - always open
There will be 4 bidding windows each year at regular intervals
Applications must be submitted by 11:59am on each bidding window’s respective closing date
March 2025 - Fund closes
For current bidding window dates please see the prospectus.
How to apply
Express your interest in the fund all year round
Apply during a bidding window if you are successful
Save and return to an application within the bidding window you are applying in
Express your interest in the fund
The first stage is the approval of an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, which will confirm whether your project proposal is likely to be eligible for funding.This brief form will ask for:
details of the organisation applying
a project description
how much is being requested in capital and revenue funding
how the project meets the eligibility requirements
the stage your project is at, and your potential support needs
Before you begin your Expression of Interest, please make sure you’re familiar with the fund's eligibility requirements outlined in the prospectus.If your EOI is successful, you’ll be invited to submit a full application, which you do not have to do immediately, so choose the right time for your project. We will run 4 bidding windows per year, so you will have an opportunity to apply approximately every 3 months until March 2025. Once you have passed your EOI, we will notify you of when the bidding windows will open and close.We may also give you some feedback on your EOI form, by highlighting some areas to consider before submitting your full application or telling you that your project is not eligible for funding without a significant change.You must submit your EOI at least 3 weeks before the closure of the bidding window in which you want to apply to allow time to receive feedback and then to submit your application.You can only submit a full application if you have received confirmation that your project is eligible at the EOI stage. You can also apply separately for an entirely new project relating to a different asset, however you will need to submit a new EOI and have this approved before submitting a full application for this project.The EOI stage is always open which means you can complete the EOI form at any time. To express your interest, see Community Ownership Fund round 3: how to express your interest in applying.
Submitting a full application
If after reading your EOI form we think your project is likely to be eligible, we will share the link to the full application form by email when a bidding window is open and invite you to apply.The application form is fully online and split into sections based on how it will be assessed. You can complete it in any order and come back to it on multiple occasions within the same bidding window.The application form will ask you about:
About your organisation
About your project
Skills and resources
Inclusiveness and integration
Subsidy control and state aid
We have published additional guidance to support applicants with their full application. You are strongly advised to read this guidance carefully before beginning your application.
How we can support you
Advice and support is available to all prospective applicants via the My Community website. In-depth support for developing a full application is available to some applicants. You can find more information on the in-depth development support provider in the prospectus.
You must read the full details about the fund in the prospectus before you start your expression of interest. The prospectus contains everything you need to know about our eligibility criteria.