People socialising in a community centre in England

Levelling Up boost for local institutions

The government has announced that further levelling up funding will be given to local spaces in villages, towns, and cities all across the country as they continue to support communities.

As part of the latest batch of investment from the Community Ownership Fund, more than £12.3 million is being allocated so that community groups can continue to own and run some of their most loved institutions. This funding will support 45 local community spaces, ranging from pubs and museums to sports clubs and railway lines.

COF funding allocation examples

One example of how the funding will be used sees £1 million worth of funding being allocated to the rebuilding of a historic railway bridge in Yorkshire. With more than 250,000 passengers every year, the tourist rail line of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway will also help to improve the transport infrastructure of the region, further helping the local economy to thrive. Other examples of how the funding will be used include:

  • Lordsfield Swimming Club in Hampshire has been allocated an £835,400 grant to help with futureproofing the volunteer-run facilities that provides low-cost swimming to local schools and the wider community.
  • Four pubs around the country are being secured through £1.2 million so that they can continue serving their communities.
  • Knutsford Market Hall in Cheshire has been given £560,000 to help it continue to host and support small businesses.
  • Sterts Theatre in Cornwall has received £300,000 so that it can be restored and continue providing community and professional performances.
  • The Margate School, Kent, will use £400,000 to undergo essential repairs that will make sure that the not-for-profit art school can continue into the long-term future.
  • Dartford Gym and Youth Club is to utilise £244,920 of investment to go through essential refurbishment to make sure that it is a place where local schools, clubs and community organisations can continue engaging with sport and social activities.

Minister for Levelling Up Jacob Young said:

“Our priority is to support communities and deliver opportunities right across the country, which is why we’re investing £12.3m to secure the future of cherished community institutions.

These places – from pubs to historic railway lines – are the golden thread which run through our social fabric and keeping them going is vital for supporting communities.”

Covering 195 projects around the country, the Community Ownership Fund has now allocated funding totalling £49.3 million to community spaces to help improve people’s lives. This funding includes £14.6 million being allocated to 66 community centres that play important roles in their communities.


Image credit: iStock

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