Dr Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Bosworth, has urged community groups to apply for the next round of the £150 million Community Ownership Fund to take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of being lost, for example, through public sale.
The call from Dr Evans follows news earlier this year that the Oddfellows Arms, the last pub in Higham on the Hill, was successful for £156,000 from the Fund after the pub shut down in August 2018 and was at risk of demolition.
This funding from the Government will help the Oddfellows Arms project work towards providing a community hub and pub, something that residents, councillors and the local MP Dr Luke Evans, have been campaigning for.
Thanks to the Community Ownership Fund, voluntary and community groups can bid for funding to acquire important assets, including pubs, sports venues and community hubs, so they can run them for the benefit of the local community.
So far 195 community projects have been supported by the fund, through investments totalling over £49 million.
Dr Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Bosworth, said “This is a golden opportunity for our community to protect the assets they love!
“Putting local facilities into the hands of the community can help to preserve their future for generations to come which is why I’m pleased the Government has started the Community Ownership Fund and will continue to invest in local amenities.
“The Higham Community Benefit Society’s successful bid for funding to save the Oddies shows the importance of this fund in our community after residents in Higham on the Hill worked tirelessly to secure a future for the only pub in their village.
“I was pleased to support the bid for the Oddies by raising it with the Minister and if there are other community groups out there wanting to achieve the same success, I am more than happy to help them too.”
Jacob Young MP, Minister for Levelling Up, said “Our priority is to support communities and deliver opportunities right across the country.
“These places – from pubs to historic railway lines – are the golden thread which run through our social fabric and keeping them going is vital for supporting communities.”
Community groups are able to register an Expression of Interest all year round. You can find out more information by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund-prospectus