The government and independents trusts have announced a second round of funding, worth around £900,000, to support small community groups.
The Department for Communities and Local Government, working with Locality and Power to Change, will open a second round of funding next month of its Bright Ideas fund. An initial funding round invested £900,000 in local projects, and the winning bidders have been announced today.
Applications for the Bright Ideas second funding round will run from 19 April to 31 May and will be open to groups who require investment to support their ideas for a community business.
Bidders can apply for up to £20,000 of funding each to spend on legal or registration fees, training, and skills exchanges.
Guidance on applying will be available to groups from 3 April on the MyCommunity website and Power to Change and Locality will host an FAQs webinar on 11 April.
Sara Buchanan, programme manager at Power to Change, said: “We know that getting a good idea off the ground is tough for any community, but with a bit of help they can become a reality and start making a difference for local people. We can’t wait to see the applications come in for the next round.”
From the first round, 49 local groups were chosen to share £695,000 in grants, with an additional £234,000 in business development help.
The groups include:
- Harlesden Letts, fighting for more affordable rents in one of the priciest areas of London
- The Playground, looking to bring youth facilities back to a deprived seaside town
- Inside Workout, trying to provide a community gym to address gang activity in Manchester
The fund aims to invest £1.85m over two years in total, and aims to invest in around 80 community businesses overall.
A third funding window is scheduled to open in September, and a fourth in February next year, so less money will be available in these rounds than in the first.
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Successful applicants will also get up to 15 days of business development support from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK.
Tony Armstrong, Locality chief executive, said: “It's brilliant to see so many innovative community business ideas receive investment from the Bright Ideas Fund.
“We're looking forward to supporting even more new projects in the second round of funding.”