Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies has welcomed the UK Government’s new £150m Community Ownership Fund and is encouraging voluntary and community organisations in the constituency to take advantage of the opportunities it provides in their local areas.
The fund is for communities across the United Kingdom and will give people the chance to become owners of at-risk local pubs, theatres, post offices, sports grounds and corner shops.
It is part of the UK Government’s plan to build back better from the pandemic by giving communities the power to save the local institutions that foster a sense of community.
Details were published last week (Thursday 15 July) of how voluntary and community organisations will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to buy or take over local assets and run them.
In exceptional cases, up to £1 million will be available to establish sports clubs or help to buy sports grounds at risk of being lost without intervention - meaning a group of supporters could become the Chairman and board at their local team.
A total of £7.1 million has been set aside for community projects in Wales.
Welcoming the fund, James said:
“The Community Ownership Fund is part of a crucial package of UK Government funding designed to support communities and to make sure that nowhere is left behind, having been set up alongside the Levelling-Up Fund, Renewal Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
“Whether it’s the pub on the high street that’s facing closure, a village shop or a local sports team that might lose its ground – this is an opportunity for groups to take them over and to run them as businesses - by the community, for the community.
“This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity and I am keen to ensure that voluntary and community organisations in the Vale of Clwyd do not miss out.
“I therefore encourage people and communities throughout the constituency to take advantage of the opportunities the Community Ownership Fund provides in their local areas."
The UK Government will undertake a series of information events with communities, the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and local authorities in all parts of the UK. The fund will run over four years (until 2024/2025). There will be multiple bidding rounds, the first of which opened on July 15th and will close on August 13th.
The priorities for the first round are to invest in projects which are ready to access capital funding and complete their projects within 6 months.
Communities applying to the fund should have a strong vision for the long-term future of the asset, its purpose and potential in community life, and a plan for how the asset can thrive under community ownership.
For further information visit: Community Ownership Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk