£1.85m Bright Ideas Fund launches to help community business start-ups in England

Posted on the 30th September 2016

Do you have a local community asset that you’ve saved but don’t know what it could be turned into? Or a community business idea that you don’t know how to get off the ground? If you are a community group or organisation who would like to set up a community business but need a bit of help, the new Community Business Bright Ideas programme is for you.

Today Locality launches a new programme to help groups get their community business ideas up and running.

The £1.85m Community Business Bright Ideas Fund, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change, will offer tailored support and grants of up to £20,000 to 80 groups to develop their projects.

The new fund will give community groups the early stage finance they need to carry out consultations with local people to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs and will also give them support and tools to start setting up their community businesses.

The two-year programme is open to community groups, associations and organisations across England which have a good idea for a community business but need help developing it, or which are just starting out.

Locality Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said:

“The Bright Ideas Fund will give organisations a chance to make a real difference to the lives of people in their neighbourhoods by getting their community businesses off the ground.

“Whether you aim to start a local bus service, run a village shop or set up a health and wellbeing centre, community businesses generate jobs, tackle social isolation and boost the local economy. People all over England are bursting with bright ideas and we hope this fund will help to realise them.”

Communities Minister Andrew Percy said:

“Getting any business venture off the ground can be a challenge, so it’s great news that this fund will help people do just that.

“Whether it be tackling social isolation by improving community transport or redeveloping and reviving old buildings and town halls as new community centres, this money will really make a difference.”

Kate Stewart, Director of Funds at Power to Change, said:

“As the organisation set up to support and grow community businesses in England, we’re really excited to launch Bright Ideas, to provide crucial support and funding for local people who have a great idea but need some support to make it a reality.”

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund opens for applications today (Friday, 30 September) and applications will be accepted until the end of November. There will be additional funding rounds in February and September 2017 and February 2018.

Main image: Fordhall Farm – britain’s first community-owned farm 

Find out more and apply here

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