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Community Ownership Fund

The Community Ownership Fund is helping community groups across the UK to take ownership of treasured local assets whose future may be in doubt.

What is the Community Ownership Fund?

The UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund (COF) is a £150 million fund to help community organisations across the UK take ownership of important local assets and amenities which are at risk.  The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities manages the fund.

The Community Ownership Fund is open to voluntary and community groups to make their bids. Up to £250,000 match funded capital will be available for all eligible asset types and the Fund will contribute up to 50% of total capital required.

The funding on offer can support the purchase and renovation costs and is delivered as a grant.

Example projects may include:

  • Sports and leisure facilities
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Music venues
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Parks
  • Pubs
  • Post office buildings
  • Shops

Successful bids in the first round of funding

In the first round of bidding there were 5 successful projects in Scotland each receiving a share of £1.2 million pounds.

One of these was The Old Forge Pub Community Benefit Society – a community owned pub.  The Old Forge is the remotest mainland pub in Britain and a community hub for the people of Knoydart. The project received £219,096 in funding.

Who can apply?

Voluntary and community organisations from all parts of the United Kingdom can apply.  Organisations must present a viable plan for taking ownership of a community asset that is at risk and demonstrate how they will operate it in a sustainable manner for benefit of the community.

Funding applications will only be accepted from organisations set up to deliver charitable purposes either for social purpose or public benefit.

How to apply

Community groups should read the full prospectus and assessment criteria guidance for the current round of funding before they apply.

Interested groups should then submit their initial expression of interest by completing a question form.

If successful, the community group or organisation can then submit a full application for the fund.

Unsuccessful applications will be provided with feedback on why they were ineligible.

How to express your interest in applying - external link

Additional Support

For any queries relating to submitting an expression of interest please contact COF@levellingup.gov.uk.

Further Information

Explore how the UK Government is Levelling Up across Scotland.