Second round of Levelling Up Fund opens with £150m up for grabs

Neil O'Brien, Minister for Levelling Up

The Government has opened up a second round of its Community Ownership Fund which invites bids for funding to save local amenities like pubs, music venues, sports facilities and historic buildings for the benefit of the public.

One of five North West beneficiaries of the first round was Bury Football Stadium, which received £1m towards guaranteeing football at the famous Gigg Lane football ground.

Other projects included funding to create a boxing gym to support vulnerable youths in Oldham and a scheme to restore the historic Spinners Mill in Leigh.

The latest round is worth £150m and eligibility criteria has been expanded so more community groups can apply for funding, supporting more local economies to grow.

Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien, said: “Our Community Ownership Fund is helping communities across the North West of England to level up and we want to encourage more local people to bid to save the local assets they love.

“From redeveloping a community boxing gym in Oldham to saving Bury FC’s historic Gigg Lane, we are supporting towns, boosting local pride and helping communities thrive.”

The fund has been updated to widen eligibility criteria, including removing the requirement that assets have had a use within the past five years and will now consider any asset which has had a previous community use, massively expanding the projects eligible to apply.

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