A man and woman prepare hot drinks in the local farm cafe.

Saving community spaces

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that further investment is being committed to stopping community spaces from being closed.

As part of the third round of the Community Ownership Fund, £33.5 million of funding will ensure that more than 80 community establishments are protected and maintained for more people to enjoy. By continuing to stay open, spaces will also support the growth of local economies.

Minister for Levelling Up Jacob Young said:

“We know how much these vital community assets mean to people across the country. They are an important lifeline for people young and old, and they’re the beating heat of our towns, cities, and villages.

“That’s why we’re stepping in to protect them with a major rescue package, so we stop these great establishments closing or being lost forever and ensure that the continue to sit at the heart of our beloved communities.”

Community ownership funding

Included in this funding round is £3.1 for community projects in Wales, including investment to save community-based Rhyl Football Club from the risk of eviction. This will be done through the purchasing and security of the club’s ground, whilst also ensuring that it can operate seven days a week and offering services to members of the community that are vulnerable and disabled. Le Pub in Newport will also benefit from the funding, with the purchase of the building that houses it making sure that live music, standup comedy, and wellbeing sessions can continue to benefit the community for years to come.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are to receive £3.8 million and £2.8 million respectively as part of this round of the Community Ownership Fund, whilst the three devolved nations in the UK have benefitted from a total of £17 million (Scotland), £8.1 million (Northern Ireland), and over £7 million (in Wales).

Over the course of the Community Ownership Fund, more than £103 million has contributed to the security of 333 projects around the UK. Part of this success has been the government’s approach of approving funding for all bids that have met the application criteria, however in the future the government has said that it may choose to prioritise areas that are typically underrepresented.


Image credit: iStock


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