The £150m Community Ownership Fund (COF) was announced in the March 2021 budget as a key part of funding package put forward by the government to support the levelling up agenda.

Locality has been campaigning with members for the creation of such a fund for many years including through the Save our Spaces campaign so were delighted to see its inclusion in the budget.

On Thursday 15 July the first round of the fund was officially launched with a deadline of 13 August.

The priorities for the first round are to invest in projects which are ready to access capital funding and complete their projects within six months. This bidding round will be most suitable for community groups who have done preliminary work and have a viable business plan to take ownership of the local asset or amenity at risk.

The government therefore recommends that interested community groups who are not ready to apply in the first round should start to think about future rounds.

Locality members with an Essentials or Membership Plus package can read our full Community Ownership Fund briefing (sent by email).

Find out more on the Community Ownership Fund website: www.communityownershipfund.co.uk/