Current programmes

In addition to our universal business advisory service, Plunkett has a number of current programmes of grant funding and business support with specific eligibility criteria:

Advice and grants for community businesses in churches

At Plunkett, with the generous support of Benefact Trust, we want to bring places of worship and community businesses together – so that they make use of underused space whilst kick-starting businesses that can benefit their wider community.

To help groups and churches explore the opportunities of locating within an active church or building we’ve partnered with Benefact Trust to offer:

  • Free bespoke advice to community business groups and churches exploring the potential of a church or its grounds as a potential venue for a community business
  • Grants of around £5,000 to support early feasibility and development work

This programme allows us to provide specialist support & bespoke advice to Christian places of worship throughout the UK. Plunkett can advise projects at all stages of their journey to trading, from consulting your community to raising the funds for your project. The funding aims to help turn ideas into projects, with our advisers offering support at every stage.

Advice and grants for community assets in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

With funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Plunkett is able to help community groups across the region take ownership and operation of local pubs and assets that are vacant or at risk of closure.

Community groups can benefit from a dedicated package of business support, alongside small development grants to cover the 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.

Advice and grants for community pubs in Scotland

Plunkett has been working with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Network Unit over the last two years to deliver business advice to communities in Scotland looking to bring their local pub into community ownership, as well as to support those already trading.

The 2023-2024 programme of support will provide funded advice to community pub groups, with small development grants available for communities looking to bring their pub into community ownership. Through the programme, we will continue to deliver the Scottish Community Pubs Network, which provides peer-learning and networking opportunities for community-owned pubs across Scotland.

Advice and grants for groups looking to apply to the Community Ownership Fund

Plunkett Foundation is a core member of a consortium of official support organisations providing help to groups interested in the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund (COF). The Fund exists to help communities across the UK take ownership of assets at risk of closure and runs until March 2025.

You can access development support via the My Community website, which includes FAQs, webinars and an editable Word document of the COF application form; you can also see a handy round-up of all the support available here.