Big Lottery Fund reveals £150m community enterprise fund

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The Big Lottery Fund has announced a new £150m fund to invest in community-led enterprises across England, the largest ever fund of its kind.

The Big Lottery Fund says the fund, the Power to Change scheme, is the country’s largest ever community enterprise fund. It aims to help community enterprises, including charities, to provide sustainable solutions to social and economic issues.

Nat Sloane, chair of the Big Lottery Fund England, said the fund is designed to assist those in communities hit by cuts and the down economy to effect change in their areas.

“Power to Change enables everyone to have a stake in their local community; its future growth and to take pride in restoring and revitalising community spirit at a time of uncertainty and upheaval,” said Sloane.

The fund will be delivered through an independent grant-making trust, which will aim to work with and complement similar organisations in the marketplace without duplicating what they have to offer.

BIG will beging recruiting for directors of the trust by January 2014. “They will be appointed as directors of a new company limited by guarantee, which in turn will become Corporate Trustees for the new Trust,” a BIG spokesperson said. “An endowment grant of up to £150m to invest over a period of up to 20 years will be given to the newly formed corporate trustee.

“The trust will use this money to deliver a combination of funding and support to stimulate local enterprise through community ownership.

“Big Lottery Fund will specify provisions to ensure that the objects of the Trust deliver outcomes in line with the intentions behind the endowment, while retaining its independence.”

Community enterprises will be able to apply for Big Lottery Fund grants from next autumn, following the establishment of a Power to Change Trust. To qualify for funding, organisations should be locally-based and inclusive of all of its community. They must also have a sustainable business plan and aim to become viable without grants or public money.

For further information on creating a sustainable business plan please contact Peter Taaffe