On Monday 18th July, Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities outlined Labour’s plans to level up the country in a speech at The Forum in Darlington, a community-run business funded by Power to Change.
Responding to the speech, Nick Plumb, Policy and Public Affairs Manger at Power to Change said:
“At Power to Change, we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact communities have in making places thrive when they have a meaningful stake in their local area, backed with real power and access to funding. It’s good to see Labour recognising how increased access to and ownership of buildings and spaces can create more resilient places, less exposed to external forces that may not prioritise the interests of local people.
“A new Community Right to Buy is something that we at Power to Chage have been calling for to help revive local places, in particular our beleaguered high streets. Research shows that under the current Assets of Community Value (ACV) regime, only 15 assets listed as ACVs end up in community ownership. There is huge latent demand out there. The new Community Right to Buy would help meet this.
“It was great to see Lisa Nandy emphasise the way in which community ownership provides places ‘the asset base to establish strong community businesses’. Importantly, this isn’t a government handout. It is a way of providing communities with an asset, a firm basis from which they can develop and deliver businesses and services that retain wealth in the local economy.’
“I was pleased that Labour committed to going further by ensuring that communities would have access to the capital needed to give Community Right to Buy some teeth. Their intention to extend the Community Ownership Fund is good news, along with the commitment to decentralise the funding process out of Whitehall. We stand ready to feed in our evidence and expertise as Mark Gregory leads the commission to develop this element further.”