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£20,000 grants available for community groups to develop business ideas

£20,000 grants available for community groups to develop business ideas

The second round for the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund opens tomorrow (19th April), offering grants of up to £20,000 to help community groups to get their business ideas up and running.

The two-year programme aims to invest around £1.85m in community businesses over two years, supporting around 80 community groups working in England by providing up to 15 days of tailored support along with the grants to develop their business ideas. The Community Business Bright Ideas programme is jointly funded by Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government, and will be delivered by a consortium including Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK, led by Locality.

Community groups have until 31st May to apply for this round of funding, with additional funding rounds to follow in September this year, and February 2018.

The money can be spent on costs to help a business become established, including legal and registration fees, training, knowledge and skills exchanges, and can also be used on activities including community engagement, and market research.

More information on the criteria for applications, as well as how to apply can be found on the My Community website.

Forty-nine groups received funding in the programme’s first round, sharing £695,000 in grants, and an additional £234,000 in business development help. These included Harlesden Letts, which aims to bring more affordable rents to the Harlesden area of London, The Playground, which wants to bring youth facilities back to a deprived seaside town, and Inside Workout, which wants to provide a community gym to help address gang activity in Manchester.

Sara Buchanan, programme manager and lead on the Bright Ideas Fund at Power to Change, said:

“It is a real delight to fund so many brilliant ideas. 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.”

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Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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