Communitybuilders invests in the sustainability of multi-purpose, inclusive, community-led organisations (sometimes known as Community Anchors). These organisations can be a platform to support empowered communities by:
- providing a place for community activities
- providing and running local services
- stimulating community involvement and enterprise
- generating independent sources of income
Communitybuilders offers loans, grants and business support. There are three different elements to the fund which are meant to meet the needs of organisations at different stages in their journey to sustainability: Development, Feasibility and Investment.
An example of how this model of investment might work for your organisation can be applied to the situation of a community advice centre:
The organisation already operates and is governed in a specific neighbourhood but, to attain investment from Communitybuilders, it must be working in at least three different areas of the local community and be fully inclusive/accessible to everyone in the community.
To move towards long-term economic sustainability, improve the quality and quantity of services to local people, bring together agencies to work more effectively, and ensure the future of essential provision, the organisation wants to expand its reach.
To achieve this, the Centre seeks to acquire, refurbish, and then operate a shared-use site, to deliver community activities including care, health, and social enterprise activities, as a lead partner in a consortia bid. All chosen delivery partners must meet criteria between them (collectively).
Communitybuilders is initially able to offer the organisation a feasibility grant, to fund consultancy support and to pay senior positions throughout the process of business planning, costing, and refinement of a full project. This includes elements of partnership development, site planning and survey, cost calculation and cashflow analysis, and process planning and implementation. Communitybuilders also offers development support, which could be used to help the consortia establish governance structures.
Once this work is complete, the Advice Centre will be able to apply to Communitybuilders for a full investment, which offers the capital (in the form of a loan) to purchase and refurbish the property.
Communitybuilders investments must be submitted and agreed by March 2011 so, no matter how large or small your ambitions are, find out more now: contact the Communitybuilders team to discuss your development needs on 0191 269 2278 or visit www.communitybuildersfund.org.uk
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