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August 26, 2009

Community anchors recognised in England

LPL has consistently argued that a community cannot become genuinely empowered without the presence of at least one local organisation which is both community led and able to provide a degree of local leadership and support for some of the less formal activities of the community. Sometimes referred to as community anchors, the important role these organisations play is about to be supported south of the border (but not in Scotland) with a new £70m Fund

Third Sector

Government scheme attracts 900 queries ahead of September opening date

More than 900 voluntary organisations have submitted expressions of interest in applying for funding from Communitybuilders, the £70m government scheme that opens for applications on 7 September.

Communitybuilders is a £70m investment fund which takes forward a commitment within the Govt’s white paper – Communities in Control : Real People , Real Power to build more cohesive, empowered and active communities.

Communitybuilders will invest in the sustainability of multi-purpose, inclusive, community-led organisations (sometimes known as Community Anchors). These organisations can be the platform to support empowered communities by:
• providing a place for community activities to take place
• providing and running local services
• stimulating community involvement and enterprise
• generating independent sources of income

Successful applicants should be able to demonstrate that their ideas “make a real and lasting difference to their local communities”.

Sixty per cent of awards from the fund will be loans, and the remainder will be grants.

Not-for-profit groups can apply for loans of between £50,000 and £2m over 10 years. They will pay 5 per cent interest for the first three years before rates are reviewed. Organisations can also apply for grants of between £2,000 and £75,000.

“We hope to start making decisions on some of the smaller funding applications by the end of September, but larger investments requiring greater due diligence will probably take until early October,” said Caroline Forster, deputy chief executive of the Adventure Capital Fund, which is managing Communitybuilders.