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July 20, 2021

Joined up funding?

Before lockdown, my office was in the basement of a building in Edinburgh’s West End. Opposite, in a similar sized building, was the Scotland Office – a modest base for Westminster’s representative in Scotland. How things have changed. A shiny new building next to Waverley station, Queen Elizabeth House will bring together 3000 civil servants from 11 UK Government Departments. It seems like a very clear statement of intent – as does the recent launch of new ‘levelling up’ funds for local authorities and communities. New money is always welcome but how joined up is it with Scottish Government’s funding? 

New levelling up and community funds

The Community Ownership Fund Round 1 has just opened and the deadline is mid August. The £150 million Community Ownership Fund is for communities across the United Kingdom. It has been set up to help communities take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of closure. It will run for 4 years.

The first bidding round opens on 15 July 2021.

Voluntary and community organisations can bid for match funding.

Funding may support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities, subject to the full eligibility criteria outlined in this prospectus.

The fund will support a range of community ownership proposals. For example, projects may include:

  • sporting and leisure facilities
  • cinemas and theatres
  • music venues
  • museums
  • galleries
  • parks
  • pubs
  • post office buildings
  • shops

Proposals will need to prove the value of the asset to local people and that the asset can run sustainably for the long-term benefit of the community.

This prospectus sets out information on the:

  • funding available
  • how to apply
  • eligibility
  • assessment criteria

Key dates

The Fund will run until 2024/25 and there will be at least 8 bidding rounds in total.

This prospectus contains details for round 1.

Other key dates are as follows:

  • 13 August 2021 – deadline for submitting applications to the first bidding round