The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities recently announced the final batch of grants from Round One of their Community Ownership Fund (COF). The fund, which was set up to help community groups take control of buildings in their area that are at risk of being lost and transform them into thriving hubs for the benefit of local people, is part of the government’s wider effort to help level up local communities across the country.
In total, 31 projects have now been awarded COF funding, eight (or 25%) of which have also benefited from the Architectural Heritage Fund’s early-stage advice and support, enabling them to demonstrate the feasibility of their idea, develop their plans and be ready to make effective use of further capital funding through the COF.
The eight projects in receipt of AHF support, listed below, have collectively been awarded £2,425,000 in COF funding:
Pugin’s Chambers at the Granville Hotel, Ramsgate, Kent – Heritage Lab CIC
Oxford Arms, Kington, Herefordshire – Open Arms Kington
Oldham Boxing Centre at Victoria House, Oldham – Oldham Boxing and Personal Development Centre
Leigh Spinners’ Mill, Leigh, Greater Manchester - Leigh Building Preservation Trust
New Galloway Town Hall, New Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway – Local Initiatives in New Galloway
Old Town Hall, Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway – Whithorn ReBuild
Ty’n Llan, Llandwrog, Gwynedd – Menter Ty’n Llan
St Columb’s Hall, Derry – St Columb’s Hall Trust
It is significant to note that none of these projects are traditional ‘heritage projects’ aiming to create visitor sites, museums or heritage centres; instead, they are projects working to restore and adapt historic buildings for community use as pubs, sporting facilities, multi-functional spaces and centres where key services will be delivered to communities.
Round Two of funding through the Community Ownership Fund is now open for Expressions of Interest. If you would like to know more, or think your community heritage project might be able to benefit from COF funding, please read the updated prospectus for information.