It's positive to see the Chancellor emphasise the importance of place and communities within this Spending Review. Throughout the pandemic we have seen the power of community in action like never before.
This is a missed opportunity to invest directly in the community assets which have been vital throughout the pandemic and drive forward a community powered economic recovery.

The Levelling Up Fund could be an opportunity for the government to match its rhetoric with hard investment. But if it is to deliver the locally-led renewal our neighbourhoods need, the Fund must invest in social infrastructure and provide genuine community control. It must enable decisions to be made at a local level rather than bidding in to national priorities. The best way to ensure there is community support for these funded projects, is to put communities in charge of how the money should be spent.

We also hope to see more details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund soon – including how this funding will reach the places that need it the most. We are calling for at least a quarter of this funding to be devolved directly to communities, to enable them to invest in the priorities for their places to thrive.

We are disappointed that there is no mention of the Community Ownership Fund anywhere in the Spending Review – despite this being a Conservative Party manifesto commitment. This is a missed opportunity to invest directly in the community assets which have been vital throughout the pandemic and drive forward a community powered economic recovery.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive