What is the Community Wealth Fund?

The Community Wealth Fund is a proposed new fund that would invest long term in the neighbourhoods that need it most.

What would the Community Wealth Fund be used for?

The government announced that the Community Wealth Fund will have three core objectives: 

  • To improve social infrastructure in neighbourhoods with relatively high deprivation and/or low social capital.  
  • To empower local people to identify needs and make decisions on what is best for their community.  
  • To contribute to reducing inequalities and enhancing community cohesion and integration 

Where would the money be targeted?

The government have not yet announced who will receive funding from community wealth fund(s), but the government have said that it will go to communities of less than 10,000 residents with “high deprivation and low social capital”. 

 

Why is a Community Wealth Fund needed?

Many communities around the country have worse social and economic outcomes than people living in similarly deprived areas that have places to meet, connectivity and an active and engaged community. Unemployment is higher, health is worse and levels of educational attainment and participation in higher education is lower. This suggests the vital importance of social infrastructure in communities. 

The Community Wealth Fund would provide the long-term, targeted investment in social infrastructure that is urgently needed in these areas, enabling communities to take control of improving their neighbourhoods and improve their quality of life.

Where would the money for a Community Wealth Fund come from?

The Community Wealth Fund will be created using money from the newly expanded dormant assets scheme. It was announced in 2023 that community wealth funds would become a fourth named beneficiary of this money dedicated to good causes. 

 

 

How would the Community Wealth Fund work in practice?

We will know more about this following the government’s consultation on distribution of community wealth funds this summer and their formal response to this consultation. 

When could the first grants be released?

We won’t know this until the government announces it. There are still a lot of detail to be worked through, and so we won’t know specific dates for a while. 

Is the campaign England or UK wide?

Currently, the research that underpins the campaign is England focused.

Our ambition is for the campaign to be UK-wide. We are asking partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to lend their support and promote the campaign in their geographies; specifically, the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).

What happens next?

The Community Wealth Fund campaign itself has ended. The next step will be a government consultation run over the summer of 2023, which will set out more detail and ask for comments on the design of this new initiative. 

Can you apply for the community wealth fund?

No. The Community Wealth Fund is not a pot of funding that exists yet and can be applied for. We do not know how the government will decide to run the fund, and so can’t say whether or not you will able to apply in the future. 

Does the Community Wealth Fund have political support?

The campaign is gaining traction with politicians in Westminster – the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers, is very supportive of the proposal. And a number of local authorities are joining the call for investment in ‘left behind’ communities, becoming members of the Alliance of organisations supporting our proposal for a Community Wealth Fund.

Who can join the Alliance?

Any organisation, operating within the law, that supports the idea and principles of the Community Wealth Fund are invited to join the Alliance. The growing list of members already includes many local and national charities, local authorities, and private sector organisations.

Can individuals support the Community Wealth Fund?

Alliance membership is for organisations only, but individuals can support the Community Wealth Fund in more informal ways. We encourage people who are interested in the campaign to follow our Twitter account and share our proposal with relevant organisations, decision-makers and community groups they work with.

What does membership mean?

Membership simply means that your organisation is saying publicly that it supports the proposal for a Community Wealth Fund. It does not imply any commitment beyond this, financial or otherwise.

Some members choose to take an active role in promoting the proposal, for instance by asking their local authority to support the Community Wealth Fund or by recommending it in their submissions to government.

Every member appears on the Alliance members list on our website and has access to our monthly newsletter and our events.

How can organisations sign up to the Alliance?

Organisations can sign up via our simple online form.

How is the campaign governed?

An Advisory Group represents the wider Alliance, providing strategic advice and direction to the campaign. The Advisory Group consists of representatives from: People’s Heath Trust, NCVO, NAVCA, Small Charities Coalition, brap, Lloyd’s Bank Foundation for England & Wales, Newcastle City Council, Brookside Big Local, and Local Trust.

Local Trust is one of the founding members of the Alliance and provides its secretariat. In practice, this means Local Trust employs the Community Wealth Fund campaigns team and its policy team support the campaign with policy, parliamentary, government liaison and media work.

How does the Community Wealth Fund relate to Big Local?

The Community Wealth Fund has some core elements in common with the Big Local programme, including community control of the spend with appropriate support and long-term funding (10-15 years).

The Fund would build on learning from the Big Local programme and other programmes that have sought to regenerate deprived neighbourhoods, including previous government programmes such as the New Deal for Communities.

How does Community Wealth Building relate to the Community Wealth Fund?

Our campaign uses the term ‘community wealth’ broadly. The Community Wealth Fund would support the development of community led social infrastructure as a firm foundation to improve socio-economic outcomes in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. However, the communities receiving awards from the Fund may choose to use Community Wealth Building approaches, which are designed to keep wealth circulating in communities, to improve the prospects of their areas.