We are targeting funding and resources towards places that look ripe for community business. By harnessing the combined forces of all the players in an area, we believe that community businesses can start up, thrive and achieve positive change for their neighbourhoods.


In October 2016, we invited a selection of catalyst organisations in places across England that met our criteria to apply for a Learning Grant to develop a deeper understanding of how community business could address the needs of their communities and map local assets and opportunities that could enable new community businesses to develop.

The organisations and places selected are:

  • Abram Ward Community Charity (Wigan)
  • Action for Business (Bradford)
  • All Saints Action Network (Wolverhampton)
  • Calico Homes (Burnley)
  • Centre 4 (Grimsby)
  • Community Foundation for Calderdale (Halifax)
  • Goodwin Development Trust (Hull)
  • Heeley City Farm (Sheffield)
  • Heeley Development Trust (Sheffield)
  • Manor and Castle Development Trust (Sheffield)
  • Marsh Farm Futures (Luton)
  • Netherthorpe and Upperthorpe Community Alliance (Sheffield)
  • North Smethwick Community Development Trust (Sandwell)
  • Nova (Wakefield)
  • Redcar Development Trust (Redcar)
  • The Braunstone Foundation (Leicester)
  • The Wharton Trust (Hartlepool)
  • Wellbeing Enterprises (St Helens)


A short list of up to nine of the above places will be chosen in spring 2017 to join what will become the Power to Change Empowering Places programme, alongside Plymouth, where we teamed up with Social Enterprise UK in 2016 (see below). The programme will offer up to £1 million in funding and support to each place over a period of up to five years.

We want to enable catalyst organisations, delivery partners and community businesses to create more connected and inclusive communities and improve the lives of the people who live there. We also want to demonstrate that, given the right conditions and support, community business can flourish and transform places.


Our ambition is to transform places. Like Burton Street Foundation, a Power to Change grantee in Sheffield, has


Sheffield is home to a number of successful community businesses, such as the Burton Street Foundation.

The Young Foundation worked with us in 2016 as our partners on the ground in Sheffield. They are helped us to engage with communities in the Park Central, Heeley and Upperthorpe wards in order to understand their aspirations.

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Devonport, part of the Power to Change's regional programme in Plymouth


This southern coastal town is one of the first designated ‘Social Enterprise Cities’ in England.

It therefore made sense for us to team up with Social Enterprise UK in 2016 to focus on the Devonport and Stonehouse wards of Plymouth to see how community business can help them address their ambitions.

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One example of a place transformed by community business is Hastings. Inspired by taking ownership of the most iconic landmark in the town, Hastings Pier, the community has moved on to take control of other assets for the benefit of the neighbourhood.

This short film tells the story of what community ownership of the Pier led to next.

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