Funding news for community buildings
Community Business Bright Ideas Fund
This is a grant scheme for organisations that qualify as a community business or are heading that way. You can apply for up to £15,000 to develop your ideas, and alongside the grant successful applicants will receive business development support and access to a range of resources.
What is a community business?
The basic idea of community business is to bring benefit to communities through trading and through the more effective use of assets like shops, pubs, halls, and farms.
The Bright Ideas Fund is run by an organisation called Locality, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund (through Power to Change). For more information and to register visit the Locality website, this includes details about a webinar being held on Tuesday 3 March about the fund.
The Fund is intended to support new ideas, but long-established organisations can be supported if they are changing their legal structure or have recently become a corporate body (like a village hall charitable trust becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation). In the guidance notes there’s a case study of a football club that has been running for over 50 years but in 2017 converted to become a Community Benefit Society.
Support and funding from the Plunkett Foundation
On a similar note, the Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities to tackle the issues they face through community business. In particular, they run the More than a Pub programme which gives financial support (part grant, part loan) and help with planning and development.
More than a Pub is all about helping communities take ownership of pubs, to keep them open and to ensure they are bringing a range of benefits to local people. The scheme will be open for applications again soon and you can find more information and register your interest by following the link above.
Rural Community Energy Fund
This is a grant scheme of up to £100,000 for the development of renewable energy projects that will benefit rural communities (not just individual organisations in those communities). The Fund is being run by across England by five ‘Energy Hubs’; with southern Hampshire (from the New Forest to Havant) and the Isle of Wight in the South West Energy Hub and the rest of Hampshire in the South East.
The Fund has two stages: grants of up to £40,000 for feasibility studies, and up to £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes. There is basic information on the Government website but please approach the relevant Energy Hub for your area to discuss your ideas.
Funding sources list
Details of all the above schemes and many more are in our funding sources list for community buildings. You can download this for free here.