Community businesses with ‘bright ideas’ to share £3.2m pot

Power to Change is inviting community business with ‘bright ideas’ to apply for a share of a £3.2m fund.

The Bright Ideas Fund offers tailored support and grants of up to £15,000 to community groups, associations and organisations across England who have a good idea for a community business but need help developing it.

Over three years, the fund will give community groups the early stage finance they need to carry out consultations with local people to develop a community business idea, and will also give them support and tools to start setting it up.

The programme is funded by Power to Change and delivered by Locality in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK.

It opens to applications on August 6 and will close on September 30.

Between Septemeber 2016 and December 2018, the Bright Ideas Fund supported over 80 groups with £1.85m. Projects ranged from community cafes, veg box delivery service, public baths to launderettes.

Aylesham Hub Ltd, who are working to create a community centre in East Kent, were one of the successful applicants in 2018.

The Bright Ideas Fund enabled the group to carry out a pre-feasibility study, including consulting local people via initial surveys, holding listening events and building partnerships with local groups, organisations and individuals

Jon Flaig, Secretary of Aylesham Hub Ltd said: ‘The chance to join the Bright Ideas programme came along just at the right time for us. Bright Ideas has helped us leap forward organisationally, and grown our confidence immeasurably.’

Locality Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said: ‘Whether you aim to start a local bus service, or set up a health and wellbeing centre, community businesses generate jobs, tackle social isolation and boost the local economy we want you to apply.

‘People all over England are bursting with bright ideas and we are really keen to find them in the areas that need them most like Bradford, Leicester, Hartlepool, Plymouth, Grimsby, Liverpool and Bristol.’

Earlier this year, Power to Change launched a new campaign to shine a light on how community businesses across the UK are working to tackle society’s biggest problems.

Photo Credit – Power to Change

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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