New support is being launched this week for companies and organisations based in England to develop local economic plans and strategies. From 1st April, grants of up to £5,000, practical advice and expertise will be available to 50 groups. So if you are a Transition initiative in England working on REconomy-type activities this fund could provide vital support.
This support comes through the Community Economy Development Programme:
Whether that’s working on a strategy to promote local spending, exploring the possibility of developing a rural broadband co-operative, or working with key organisations to promote community-led housing, this programme wants passionate people who are committed to working together on a local economic plan that can deliver real local benefits.
Each of the 50 chosen communities will have access to events and an advisor to guide and provide support. There are also six days of additional focused support that come with the grant around these areas:
- The entrepreneurial community: helping communities to better understand the key dimensions of community enterprise: business planning, community engagement, governance and finance
- Financing our future: helping communities to better understand their local economic financing possibilities and potential
- Strengthening local economic impact: assisting communities in enabling their key businesses or other large organisations to more actively engage with the local economy
- Business planning and asset transfer: showcasing the range of Community Rights and how they can assist in community economic development including the transfer of land and buildings into community ownership, neighbourhood planning and public service re-design and delivery.
The Community Economic Development programme is backed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. It is being led by Co-operatives UK and delivered in partnership with New Economics Foundation, Locality, Community Development Foundation and the Community Development Finance Association.
This is the first national ‘community economic development’ programme for a generation… Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-Operatives UK
We hope that a number of Transition Initiatives will apply for the fund to support existing or new REconomy work including around economic evaluation and leadership strategy. The fund has a short application window – open until 8thMay 2015. Fingers at the ready on your keyboards for this Wednesday then…