The Bright Ideas Fund will open for new applications on Tuesday, August 6. The fund offers tailored support and grants of up to £15,000 to community groups, associations and organisations across England who have a good idea for a community business but need help developing it.
Over three years, the fund will give community groups the early stage finance they need to carry out consultations with local people to develop a community business idea, and will also give them support and tools to start setting it up. The programme is funded by Power to Change and delivered by Locality in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK.
So far this year alone, 30 applicants have been accepted onto the programme and are currently working through a tailored support programme.
Aylesham Hub Ltd, who are working to create a community centre in East Kent, were one of the successful applicants in 2018. The Bright Ideas Fund enabled the group to carry out a pre-feasibility study, including consulting local people via initial surveys, holding listening events and building partnerships with local groups, organisations and individuals.
Jon Flaig, Secretary of Aylesham Hub Ltd said: “The chance to join the Bright Ideas programme came along just at the right time for us. Bright Ideas has helped us leap forward organisationally, and grown our confidence immeasurably.”
Locality Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said: “Whether you aim to start a local bus service, or set up a health and wellbeing centre, community businesses generate jobs, tackle social isolation and boost the local economy we want you to apply. People all over England are bursting with bright ideas and we are really keen to find them in the areas that need them most like Bradford, Leicester, Hartlepool, Plymouth, Grimsby, Liverpool and Bristol.”
Kate Stewart, Director of Programmes at Power to Change, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing Bright Ideas, to provide crucial support and funding for local people who have a great idea but need some support to make it a reality. We’ve had some incredible applications come in already but we believe there are even more bright ideas out there so please do get involved and apply.”
The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will be open for applications from Tuesday 6 August and will close on Monday 30 September.
Anyone interested in applying can join a free webinar on Tuesday 16 July at 11am. To register for the webinar and access a recording of it, follow this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8304687590541627915
For further information about the fund, visit mycommunity.org.uk/bright-ideas-fund/