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£16.7m grant fund supporting asset transfer opens

A £16.7m grant fund supporting community groups to buy publicly-owned assets has opened.

The Community Ownership and Management of Assets (including Right to Bid) Grant Programme is being managed by the Social Investment Business on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Fund is looking to invest £16.7m in community groups in England to empower them to use Community Asset Transfer and the Community Right to Bid and help safeguard local assets for community benefit.

Communities will be able to get support to acquire and manage assets such as village shops, pubs, community centres, heritage buildings, allotments and libraries.

Pre-feasibility grants between £5,000 and £10,000 are on offer to help organisations build the internal capacity needed to take ownership of assets. Organisations that can show evidence of plans to take over land or buildings can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to help undertake feasibility studies to take on asset ownership and management.

The Community Right to Bid will give local people the chance to bid to buy a ‘listed asset of community value’ if it comes onto the market for sale, by providing them with up to 6 months to prepare a bid and compete to buy it. The Grant Programme also supports Community Asset Transfer, which already empowers local authorities to transfer the ownership of land and buildings to communities for less than their market value.

Interested organisations are advised to contact the Community Rights Advice Service to assess their suitability for the Fund. Information on criteria for funding is available on the Social Investment Business website.

This article was taken from www.civilsociety.co.uk – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/13093