This is the third and final round of the £1.85 million fund which provides business support and grants to not-for-profit organisations that want to set up their own community business in England.
New guidance notes have been published for the final round, and groups should refer to them before they start the application process.
There is one significant change to the eligibility criteria. The community organisation applying must not have been constituted for more than five years at the time of making an application. This is to ensure that only new groups are being considered.
This is also reflected in the level of funding available. Previously grants of up to £20,000 were available for established stage projects, but as this round is focused on new groups, the funding now consists of:
Ideas stage – grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.
Pre-venture stage – grants of between £1,000 and £15,000.
It is anticipated that 15 to 20 projects will be funded. They will join the 70 community businesses that have already received funding over the course of the two-year fund. These include a community transport scheme to link isolated rural villages and give elderly people more independence; an indoor skate park for a forgotten coastal community with few activities for young people and poor health; and a community food club tackling food poverty through pop ups.
The deadline for applications is 1 December 2017.
Further information can be found on the Locality – My Community website.