Give your community share offer a boost with new Power to Change programme

8th Mar 2016

The Community Shares Unit (CSU) and Power to Change are thrilled to launch a new programme in England to support and stimulate public involvement with community share offers, particularly in more disadvantaged areas and sectors where community businesses are under-represented.

The Community Shares Booster Programme uses £1m of Power to Change funding to accelerate and boost the investment community businesses can raise through a community share offer. It aims to explore new and innovative models for community shares through working with a number of groups that receive support at all the key stages of their offer - development, offer period and post-launch.

Two types of funding support are available to participants of the Booster Programme:

  • Development support grants of up to £10,000 are available to accelerate and prepare groups ahead of launching their community share offer. This will include undertaking a Community Shares Standard Mark assessment, led by a Licensed Practitioner.
  • Match funding of up to £100,000 in the form of a community shares investment held by Co-operatives UK. This will boost the amount raised by groups through their community share offer and will be offered on the same terms as the community.

Groups that wish to participate in the programme need to be nominated by a prospective member of the Booster Panel. So if you are involved with a group which is working towards launching a community share offer in 2016 and would like to participate, please read the Guidance for groups document and then get in touch with a Licensed Practitioner on the Practitioner Directory, who may be in a position to nominate your group and submit an application.

Simon Borkin, Programme Development Lead said: “Community shares have proved a powerful way for people to take control of the things that matter to them – from starting new community enterprises to saving vital assets in their local area, from shops and pubs to libraries and lidos.

“The new programme will extend the benefits of community shares by providing grants, support and investment to more groups of people. Community share schemes are already proving a vibrant grassroots movement, and this welcome boost should power it further.”

Ged Devlin, Programme Manager at Power to Change, said:  “As a grant maker and champion of community business, at Power to Change we are committed to taking calculated risks to improve access to alternative types of finance. Community share offers are one such alternative. 

“A share issue is a great way to galvanise people to back their local community business by giving them a meaningful stake in it and its future success. This new programme will help bring community share offers to disadvantaged areas that have great community business potential.”

The deadline for the first round of nominations is Friday 25th March 2016, although there may be an opportunity for another round of nominations later in 2016.

Read more about the Booster Programme 

 

Applications for the Community Shares Booster Programme are now closed. If you have submitted an application for this funding programme, assessment results will be available in May 2016.