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Power to Change to open £5m community fund

Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, has announced that the next round of their flagship Community Business Fund will open in April.

With £5m available to be awarded in 2018, this will be the largest round of the fund in the trust’s history.

The Community Business Fund awards grants between £50,000 and £300,000 to established community businesses that need funding for a business development project to make their organisation more financially sustainable. Over 900 applications have been received since it launched in April 2016, with a combined grant request value of more than £136m.

To date, over 90 organisations across England have been awarded grants with a combined total of £16m, with previous beneficiaries including the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle, a community hub in Hackney Wick, and a community boat service in Bristol.

The 2018 Community Business Fund opens at 10am on Tuesday April 24 and applicants have until 12 noon on Tuesday May 22 to apply. Organisations can prepare their applications from today by visiting Power to Change’s website and downloading the guidance which details the eligibility requirements for the fund and lists all the application questions. Organisations can sign up to the Power to Change newsletter to be kept informed as to when the online application form goes live.

Colette Harvey, programme manager at Power to Change, said: ‘We are really proud of the number and breadth of community businesses this fund has supported in its relatively short life and anticipate awarding £5m to a further 25 to 30 organisations in this round, our largest to date.

‘We’ll be making grant awards to the successful organisations later this year, between August and November 2018.   So if you have a project based in England you want to get off the ground this year and you meet each of the 12 criteria listed, make sure you apply.’

The next round of the Community Business Fund will open in September 2018, with grant awards being made in early 2019. There will be further rounds in 2019.

Power to Change will host a webinar on 26 April to give hopeful applicants an overview of the fund and its eligibility criteria as well as being an opportunity for community businesses to ask any questions they might have about the application process.

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