Fund facilitates community ownership in Wales

People across Wales will have the chance to become owners of at-risk local assets with the launch of the UK government’s Community Ownership Fund.

The £7.1m fund will allow local organisations to save struggling pubs, theatres, post offices, sports grounds, museums, and corner shops by bidding for up to £250,000 matched funding to buy or take over local assets and run them.

The scheme is part of a wider £150m fund for the whole UK, which the government hopes will help with the pandemic recovery.

aerial view of buildings

Welsh secretary, Simon Hart, said: ‘Alongside the Levelling Up Fund, Community Renewal Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the Community Ownership Fund is part of a crucial package of UK Government funding designed to support communities and to make sure that nowhere is left behind.

‘The funds will play an important role in levelling up and strengthening our Union as we build back better from the pandemic. I encourage people and communities across Wales to take advantage of the opportunities the Community Ownership Fund provides in their local areas.’

In exceptional cases, up to £1m will be available to establish sports clubs or to help buy sports grounds at risk of being lost without intervention, meaning that local supporters could become the chairman and board at their local team.

The fund will run over four years until 2025, with the first of multiple rounds of bidding closing on 13 August.

An information session will run today to answer questions about the scheme.

In related news, NewStart reporter Matthew Corrigan investigates how community ownership is helping local groups keep their shops, pubs and other small businesses open. 

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge


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