Communities across the UK can apply for Leveling Up funds to save pubs, clubs and historic buildings

  • Second round of £150m community property fund opens to hundreds of locations across the UK

  • From historic buildings and sports facilities to pubs and music venues, residents are encouraged to apply to protect their community’s prized assets.

  • Eligibility criteria have been expanded so that more community groups can apply for funding, supporting the growth of more local economies

Community groups across the UK can today (11 June 2022) bid to increase funding to take back control of pubs, music venues, sports facilities and historic buildings for the benefit of the public.

Groups will be able to bid for a share of the government’s £150million Community Property Fund to save cultural buildings in their area that may otherwise be lost forever, as the second round of funding is open.

The first round of funding has already helped local people transform their communities into a better place to live, work and visit, supporting 39 projects across the UK. This included £550,000 to establish a boxing gym in Oldham, £250,000 to save a historic mill in Leigh and £1million for Bury fans to save the Gigg Lane stadium.

Changes to the fund announced at the end of May will ensure that it is more inclusive and flexible, so that more communities can benefit from it and more local economies are supported.

Leveling Up, Union and Constitution Minister MP Neil O’Brien said:

We want to help communities across the UK save the pubs, sports clubs and historic buildings that matter most to them, and which otherwise would risk being lost forever.

It’s part of our plan to increase opportunity, build local pride and improve every corner of the UK while growing the economy to meet the cost of living.

Backed by government funding of £550,000, a historic Victorian building in Oldham has been transformed into a boxing gym and personal development center which provides support for vulnerable young people. Without this funding, the center would have been forced to relocate and neighborhood youth would have missed the opportunity to thrive in their local community.

In Leigh, locals rallied to take ownership of the historic Spinners Mill, which had been vacant for many years and was in danger of being lost to deterioration. With £250,000 from the Fund, the building will now be restored and used to create new sports and leisure facilities alongside a creative arts area while protecting wider access to the heritage-rich building.

Oldham Boxing and Personal Development Center Head Coach Eric Noi said:

The gym is already an integral part of the community, and this funding will help us improve our facilities and allow us to continue supporting people of all ages, including some of society’s most vulnerable.

For organizations like ours, funding like this is a vital lifeline – without it, we wouldn’t be able to help people improve their lives, their fitness and their future.

Leigh Building Preservation Trust director Peter Rowlinson said:

Leigh Building Preservation Trust is delighted with the government’s support to enable the further development of Leigh Spinners Mill.

We believe this project is a true example of Leveling Up as a community partnership restoring the heritage of the town of Leigh while creating new jobs and community facilities. The restoration of Leigh Spinners Mill would not have been possible without the help of the Community Property Fund.

The fund has been updated to broaden the eligibility criteria, including removing the requirement that assets have been used within the last 5 years and will now take into account any asset that has already been used by the community, expanding massively eligible projects.

Applicants who have at least a 15-year lease on an asset would now also be considered for funding. Previously, leases were limited to a minimum of 25 years.

Today’s announcement is part of the government’s ambition to upgrade local communities across the country, create more local jobs, boost local businesses and thereby strengthen local economies.

James C. Tibbs