Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Area partner with Plunkett to help communities save community assets in their area.

The Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority has partnered with The Plunkett Foundation, a community business charity, to help community groups across the region take ownership and operation of local pubs and assets that are vacant or at risk of closure, revitalising assets whilst protecting and providing key local amenities that will benefit the community.

Funding from the second phase of the Combined Authority’s Market Towns Programme will enable Plunkett to deliver a dedicated community support package to community groups in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with a focus of revitalising assets in market towns and rural hinterlands. Plunkett will also manage the allocation of £800,000 grant funding to community groups on behalf of the Combined Authority.

Small grants will be awarded to community groups to cover costs of starting a community business or opening a community pub, including the cost of forming a Community Benefit Society (CBS), property valuations and surveys, legal fees and architect fees. Follow-up bigger grants will be awarded to up to 15 groups who can demonstrate strong, feasible plans and the ability to get money from other funding agencies and community partners, and this capital grant will pay for costs such as purchase and refurbishment.

Photo: Opening of the Three Tuns, Guilden Morden in 2019.

Credit: Greg Butterworth.

Manager of the Combined Authority Market Towns Programme Manager Domenico Cirillo said:
“Supporting our market towns as they evolve to meet modern challenges is an absolute priority for the Combined Authority. In Phase 1, we invested over £13m into projects to help the towns realise their masterplans, improving amenities and public spaces, and to safely reopen our towns and high streets post-Covid. Phase 2 continues the good work, by targeting support into community businesses and social enterprises at the heart of town and village life, generating fresh vitality and direction, increasing resilience, and bringing assets back into the community”.

Claire Spendley, Head of Community Business at the Plunkett Foundation said: “We are incredibly proud to support the Combined Authority in the delivery of a programme of support for community businesses in these historic market towns. Protecting and revitalising services is of vital importance, particularly given the vast population living in and around these market towns. Community-ownership offers a real lifeline to those communities desperate to save their local pub, shop or community hub”

Further information about The Market Towns Programme:

The Combined Authority’s Market Towns Programme Phase 2 emerged in continuation of the Combined Authority’s work to tackle the long-standing challenges surrounding market towns, with a particular focus on strengthening local communities and supporting the social enterprise ecosystem in the market towns and associated villages.

Phase 2 has three grant programmes – geared to supporting:

(1) Community ownership of local businesses

(2) Social enterprise hubs

(3) a STEM exhibition programme.

The work in partnership with the Plunkett Foundation supports Social Enterprise in Towns and Villages.

The project runs until April 2025.

Get in touch:

Interested groups should contact The Plunkett Foundation via the following:

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