Power to Change is a new initiative which will invest up to £150 million to support the development of sustainable community-led enterprises across England. The Power to Change Trust is currently applying for the endowment of £150m from the Big Lottery Fund and this process is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is envisaged that the Trust will be up and running in early 2015.
The economic climate has meant that many communities are experiencing challenges, at a local level, to the vitality of their neighbourhoods, prosperity of their high streets and resilience of their social assets. Empty shop premises and the closures of pubs, libraries, community centres and sports facilities affect rural and urban communities alike, and in particular those who need them most.
In response, many communities are coming together using creative approaches that involve local people and resources to improve their local neighbourhoods, villages and town centres. These have taken many different forms from small-scale enterprise to large-scale asset management and ownership. Solutions have included pop-up shops, transferring resources into the ownership of local residents, and using former commercial spaces to incubate social enterprises and cultural activities.
In short, community enterprises provide sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social and economic issues of our time, and particularly benefit people most in need. We want to help more people respond to local need and opportunity, and change the places in which they live for the better.
The National Lottery funding will be delivered through an independent grant-making Trust. In the meantime we are working with our Power to Change media partner, Trinity Mirror Group to celebrate and raise awareness of the many community enterprises across the country, connect people with enterprising projects in their local area, and inspire many more people to get involved.
If you are a community enterprise or know of a great community enterprise in your area, we want to hear from you.
For more information about Power to Change read our briefing and for the latest news follow
An event was held on Friday 6 December in Manchester to launch the investment and bring together those with an interest in community-led enterprises.
View more images of the event