The Combined Authority commissioned Plunkett Foundation 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.
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:
- Community ownership of local businesses, (2) Social enterprise hubs, and (3) a STEM exhibition programme. The work in partnership with the Plunkett Foundation supports Social Enterprise in Towns and Villages.
The community business model will be used to create community hubs that could include retail, cafés, meeting rooms, co-working facilities, allotments, and accessible green spaces, among others.
The Plunkett Foundation has over 100 years of experience in supporting and establishing community businesses across the UK. A long-term survival rate of 95% proves that this is a resilient business model to provide and retain vital local services that bring a community together.