Seventeen community buildings across the UK - including two pubs, a football stadium, cinema, park and nature reserve – will be supported by the Government cash injection, that will pay for repairs, refurbishments and create jobs.
The King’s Arms pub in Shouldham, West Norfolk – one of the assets benefitting from the funding – will be bought by the community and refurbished after receiving £189,950 of funding.
Bevendean Community Pub in Brighton will also be given £130,000 for a refurbishment and to enable the local community to re-open the property – the UK’s first co-operative pub on a housing estate.
The fund, which is part of the Government’s ‘community rights’ programme and managed by the Social Investment Business Group, aims to give power to local communities and people, including neighbourhood planning powers, community asset listings and community budgets.
Minister for Communities Stephen Williams said: “Right across the country people are taking control of how their community is run, from setting up neighbourhood plans deciding on new development in the area to taking over local services.
“I want to go further still and the money announced today [30 January] will help 17 treasured community assets provide leisure and cultural facilities for the future. It will also create jobs for local people, helping to build both a stronger economy and a fairer society.”
So far around 1,500 uses have been made of community rights, including nearly 700 areas designated for neighbourhood planning and over 750 ‘assets of community value’ listed – 250 of which are pubs.
Power to local people
Williams added: “For far too long the government in Westminster sought to dictate every aspect of local life but we are bringing this to an end and handing back power to local people and communities who know best how they want to run things.
“The helping hand we are offering today will help these schemes get off the ground and provide inspiration for other communities to follow suit.”
Caroline Forster, group investment director at the Social Investment Business, said: “We are delighted to be able to support innovative and ambitious community enterprises that are playing a big part in growing their local social economies across England. “These grants are helping communities become more entrepreneurial and more confident champions of local interest. Our grants also bring in additional investment from a wide range of funders and investors helping to scale impact quickly and sustainably. We hope that other local organisations will be inspired by our investees.