Guidance

Community Ownership Fund round 2: how to express your interest in applying

This fund helps community groups buy or renovate assets that would otherwise be lost to the community.

Summary of the Community Ownership fund

You must read the full details about the fund in the prospectus before you start your expression of interest. The prospectus contains everything you need to know about our eligibility criteria.

This fund helps community groups buy or renovate assets that would otherwise be lost to the community.

Assets are venues and meeting spaces used by the local community, such as:

  • community centres
  • cinemas and theatres
  • galleries
  • museums
  • music venues
  • parks
  • post office buildings
  • pubs
  • shops
  • sporting and leisure facilities

Some of the ways an asset might be lost include that it:

  • might be closed
  • might be sold
  • is being neglected
  • is at risk of damage or collapse
  • is not being operated in a sustainable way

The asset must offer value to local people. You must be able to run it sustainably for the long term.

How to start an application

Before you can apply, you must submit an expression of interest. This is a short form that lets us tell you if you’re eligible within about 3 weeks. The expression of interest stage is new in round 2. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to submit a full application for the fund.

Start your expression of interest

There are 26 questions, the questions are straightforward, and we expect it will take you around 10 minutes to complete. Please answer all questions accurately and truthfully.

Here is the list of questions you will be asked when submitting an EOI application.

1. Is the asset in the UK?
2. Is the asset at risk?
3. Has the asset been used by the community in the past?
4. Address of the asset
5. Describe your project and its aims
6. Main way the asset will be used
7. How much capital funding will you apply for? (£250,000)
8. How much capital funding will you apply for? (£1 million)
9. Does a public authority own the asset?
10. What’s the main way you’ll use the capital funding?
11. Will the asset have a leasehold of at least 15 years when your organisation buys it?
12. Will you ask us for funding to support your revenue costs?
13. How much revenue funding will you apply for?
14. What do you expect to use the revenue funding for?
15. Do you expect to secure cash match funding?
16. Where do you expect to get the cash match funding from?
17. Do you expect to secure any ‘in-kind’ match funding?
18. What sorts of ‘in-kind’ match funding do you expect to secure?
19. Will your organisation be both receiving the funding and running the project?
20. Is your organisation subject to any insolvency actions?
21. Organisation name
22. Type of organisation
23. Lead contact name
24. Lead contact email address
25. Lead contact telephone number
26. When will you submit your application, if we invite you to?

Anyone from England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland can express an interest in applying. The process is the same in all areas.

If you’re planning to apply jointly with another organisation, only one of the organisations can submit an expression of interest.

You can plan to apply for more than one asset, but you must submit an expression of interest for each one.

You can express your interest at any time. If you’re successful, you’ll be invited to submit a full application, which you do not have to do immediately, so choose the right time for your project. Check the bidding window timings for the full application stage in the prospectus. For example, if you plan to apply in bidding window 1, you need to express your interest at least 3 weeks before the closing date of 19 August 2022.

What happens next

You can expect a response to your expression of interest within 3 weeks.

If you’re:

  • successful, we’ll invite you to apply at a time that’s right for you
  • unsuccessful, we will not invite you to apply, but will include feedback on why you’re ineligible

From autumn 2022, we’ll have an independent development support provider who will be available to support some organisations with the development of their projects if they’re successful at the expression of interest stage.

If you’re successful before the support provider is available, you can either apply immediately or wait for them to be available in the autumn in order to benefit from their support.

Ask a question about your expression of interest

Email: COF@levellingup.gov.uk

We aim to respond to all queries within 5 working days.

Published 10 June 2022