Over £10m awarded to community groups in the last twelve months—Power to Change

Local groups received £10.24m from Power to Change’s keynote Community Business Fund in 2016/17, as the trust prepares to open the next round of funding

New figures released today show that 61 community businesses benefited from the investments, made between April 2016 and March 2017.

This money will help local people open and strengthen a range of community businesses, including catering companies, employment training, sports facilities, and community transport organisations. The investment will be used to build local, sustainable businesses, committed to doing good for the area and to putting money back into the community.

Nearly a dozen groups in Yorkshire received grants, the same number as in the north east and the south west of England, and in London. Power to Change is proud to celebrate these areas, which are fast becoming ‘strongholds’ of community business, while encouraging applications from all over the country.

The next round of applications for the Community Business Fund is open between June 7 and 12pm (midday) on July 5. Power to Change will award existing community businesses between £50,000 and £300,000 grants to help them complete projects to become more self-sufficient.

Power to Change is hosting a free webinar to help prospective applicants on Wednesday May 17, and you can register here.

Colette Harvey, Programmes Manager at Power to Change, said:

Power to Change is incredibly proud of what we have achieved already through the Community Business Fund. It allows community groups to transform the places where they live, through grants designed to help them build up strong, sustainable community businesses.

Community businesses grew faster than both charities and small businesses last year, and I can’t wait to see the next set of big ideas come in as people apply for funding.

Case study: The Florrie
Power to Change has invested more than £140,000 in The Florence Institute in Liverpool, a beautiful Victorian building in Liverpool known as ‘The Florrie’ to almost everyone in the city. It was originally built by local philanthropists to support families in need.

After a century, the building fell into disrepair and was closed in the 1980s, but was re-opened by local people in 2012. It is a thriving community business, rooted in the local area and making money from a café and room hire for events and conferences. The Florrie then re-invests profits in doing even more good in Liverpool, building up jobs skills with local people as well as hosting free activities such as fitness classes, local history, music and art groups.