The second round of the government’s Community Ownership Fund opened on Saturday (11 June).
The £150m fund is designed to help community groups bid for ownership of cultural buildings, namely historic buildings, sports clubs and music venues, to protect their long-term future.
The first round supported 39 projects to purchase assets that were at risk of closure, sale, neglect, damage, or were found to not be operating in a sustainable way.
Eligibility criteria has been widened to attract more applications. A requirement that the cultural asset must have had a community use in the last five years has been removed, and the minimum leasehold on the premises has been reduced from 25 years to 15 years.
Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution Neil O’Brien MP said the fund will help to “spread opportunity, boost local pride and level up every corner of the UK”.
Groups interested in applying are being invited to submit an expression of interest on the government website.