We want to support community centres and village halls which are at the heart of small, deprived communities. We expect that you will be providing a range of activities for all ages and abilities which help to promote community cohesion and address local problems of isolation, poverty, lack of local facilities, transport and other issues of relevance to your area.
We interpret ‘community centres’ in the broad sense, so you might be a church, sports facility or other building which offers a range of activities throughout the week which all the community can access.
We will consider applications for new buildings; upgrading, renovating or extending buildings; improving or creating outside space (but not car parks). You will need to have secured a minimum of 50% of the costs of the project before you start an application to us. We will expect you to have local fundraising initiatives under way to show that your community supports what you do and feels a sense of ownership in the building.
Our interests include innovative schemes for bringing back disused buildings into full community use, such as community shops combined with space for community activities; community hubs which bring different groups together to share space and offer easy access to a range of services. At the same time, we are also interested in traditional village halls which provide the standard activities which keep a community together.
The postcode of your building must clearly show that, in urban areas, you are in the most deprived 20% of the latest government Indices of Multiple Deprivation or, in rural areas, you are in the most deprived 50% of the Indices. Because of the number of applications we receive for community centres, we concentrate on projects which meet these criteria. However, we understand that there can be major differences in deprivation in relatively small areas, so if the building’s postcode does not fall into one of these categories, but the majority of the users of the building are resident in such areas, we will accept applications if you can provide alternative postcodes for these areas (for example, postcodes of local schools, GPs surgeries, post offices, libraries.)