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If your group is looking for a place to call home, somewhere it can run and manage itself and better serve its community, then the £150 million Community Ownership Fund might be an option for you. 

We know that lots of local authorities, and other organisations, are finding it hard to manage and maintain community facilities due to increasing costs. 

Often, they look to transfer these places and spaces to community ownership to help preserve their use. 

A group of people have a cup of tea in a club house.

Community ownership gives local people control over the buildings and spaces that have significance to them and that these spaces are used in ways that meet the needs and priorities of the local community. 

Through the Community Ownership Fund you can apply for up to £250,000 to purchase or lease an asset and pay for refurbishment costs. 

You'll need some ‘match’ funding. This could be in the form of a grant, loan and non-cash sources such as donations of relevant goods and services. 

What do we mean by assets? 

A local community asset might be a community centre, library, youth centre or even a playing field or other public open space. 

It might even be the local pub or theatre which is struggling to keep going. 

They might be places you already use to run your activities or ones that haven’t been used for sport and physical activity before but have potential to do so. 

At Buddle, we've seen lots of clubs and community groups really benefit, grow and thrive when they take on a community asset and have the freedom to manage their own place. 

However, its best to proceed with caution. So here are some things to be aware of: 

  • Make sure it’s an asset not a liability – it’s important to get all the information about the condition of the building and its suitability for your activities including accessibility, dimensions of spaces, ceiling height etc., as well as provision of services like gas, electricity and water. 
  • Understand any covenants or restrictions there may be on the building and surrounding land.
  • Find out who the neighbours are and make sure they’re aware of your plans and aspirations, find out about any concerns they may have and work with them on your plans. 
  • As well as working out how much it might cost to adapt or refurbish the place or space, spend time working out how much it’s going to cost to run it week in, week out once it’s done and whether you can afford it. 
  • Think about whether the structure of your club or group is right to take on this responsibility. You may need to make things more formal. Incorporation will protect the liability of your volunteers. 

The My Community site that has lots of information about the fund, how to apply and support you can get to help with some of the things outlined above, including specific guidance on community asset transfer legal process.  

Find out more

Community Ownership Fund