Our funds:

Community Ownership Fund

Get in touch to
find out more:

James Mathie
Senior Consultant


The £150m Community Ownership Fund (COF) exists to help communities across the UK to take ownership of assets at risk of closure. It will run until March 2025.

When we talk about a community asset or space we mean buildings or land which are used for the well-being or social interest of the local community. These include sports and leisure facilities, playing fields and community buildings.

Community groups can apply for up to £250,000 to purchase or lease an asset and pay for refurbishment costs. In exceptional cases, up to £1m in funding is available from the COF for all asset types where the asset is at risk of being lost. Applicants need to contribute a minimum of 20% ‘match’ funding towards the total capital required.

 

Eligibility

All projects must fulfil the following requirement.

  • Be an incorporated voluntary and community organisation or a parish (or equivalent) council
  • Demonstrate the asset is at risk without community involvement
  • The asset will provide long-term community benefit
  • ‘Match’ fund your capital grant request
  • The asset will come into community ownership within 12 months of being offered funding
  • The funding will be spent within 12 months of an award

There are additional eligibility requirements for bids relating to publicly owned assets.

 

Application Process

COF is a government fund managed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) who will assess and decide which applications they wish to fund. Applicants will be required to:

  • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI form)
  • If successful, you will be invited by DLUHC to submit your full application
  • Full Application *
  • Decision

*You will need to have certain information in place before submitting your application.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Strategic case: demonstrating the asset is at risk, the impact of its loss on the community, the potential future benefits for the community and the support you have locally.
  • Management case: demonstrating the project is deliverable and that the asset will be run sustainably.

If successful at EOI stage, you may qualify for in-depth development support to help you submit a full application.

Sporting Assets are part of a consortium serving as the official delivery partner to the Department for Levelling up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to offer advice and in-depth support to community groups applying to the fund.

We will take a lead on supporting sports and leisure projects applying to the fund with support available to help organisations develop their project and make a case for investment.  This is a great opportunity for a community sports organisation thinking of securing the sports facilities they use and much needed capital investment.

The support available is structured around DLUHC’s assessment criteria for the fund in order to make a good quality COF application. The in-depth support will include:

  • 1:1 advice and coaching.
  • Help with developing a business case, organisational governance and finance planning.
  • A small revenue grant to secure specialist support such as legal advice and/or building surveys.

To submit any questions about the development support please submit the enquiry form at: mycommunity.org.uk/community-ownership-fund

If you are confident about your project, you can go straight to the EOI stage now.

Community Ownership Fund