Government and trusts announce £900,000 investment in community projects

The Department for Communities and Local Government, working with Locality and the independent trust Power to Change, invested the money and expertise in the first round of its Bright Ideas scheme, with a second round announced today.  

The Bright Ideas fund gives community groups the early finance and support they require to develop ideas the community wants and needs. 49 local groups have been chosen to share £695,000 in grants, with an additional £234,000 in business development help.

Groups include:

Harlesden Letts, fighting for more affordable rents in one of the priciest areas of London
The Playground, looking to bring youth facilities back to a deprived seaside town
Inside Workout, trying to provide a community gym to address gang activity in Manchester

The second round of Bright Ideas funding opens on 19 April, targeting community groups who are starting to explore an idea for a community business and need support and investment to get their plans off the ground. The fund aims to invest £1.85m over two years, and will aim to help around 80 community business to progress from ideas to ventures.

Guidance on applying will be available to groups from 3 April on the MyCommunity website. Power to Change and Locality will host an FAQs webinar on 11 April which you can register for now.

Applications will open at midday on 19 April and close at midday on 31 May.

Sara Buchanan, Programme Manager and lead on the Bright Ideas fund at Power to Change, said:

‘It is a real delight to fund so many brilliant ideas. We know that getting a good idea off the ground is tough for any community, but with a bit of help they can become a reality and start making a difference for local people. We can’t wait to see the applications come in for the next round

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive at Locality, said:

It’s brilliant to see so many innovative community business ideas receive investment from the Bright Ideas Fund. Locality is pleased to be giving support at this critical early stage.

We’re helping organisations realise their bright ideas – generating jobs, boosting the local economy and improving the lives of people in their neighbourhoods. We’re looking forward to supporting even more new projects in the second round of funding.’