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Power to Change is an independent charitable trust set up in January 2015 with a £150 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. Its role is to support community businesses in order to create better places across England over the next 10 years.

Community businesses in England can apply for grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 in three funding rounds in 2016. The funding is intended to increase the social impact of the community business, and make it more viable in the long term by increasing traded income, securing an asset or reducing revenue costs.

To be eligible, projects must have a charitable purpose, be for the public benefit and share one or more of the following impact goals:

  • Reduce social isolation.
  • Improve health and wellbeing.
  • Increase employability.
  • Create better access to basic services.
  • Improve local environment.
  • Enable greater community cohesion.
  • Foster greater community pride and empowerment.

Grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 are to be used for the following:

  • Capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs.
  • Project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees, volunteer costs.

Projects must be ready to start within six months and can last between 18 months to three years in total.

Power to Change will not fund the full costs of the project. Match funding of at least 25% is required. Applicants should have other sources of funding either confirmed or close to confirmation to show that the project is viable.

A community business, as defined by the Power of Change, is one run by local people for the social, economic and environmental benefit of their community. Community businesses will have these four features:

  • Locally rooted (businesses must be based in the community).
  • Accountable to the local community (the business must be locally controlled).
  • Broad community impact (the business must address challenges in the community).
  • Trading for benefit of local community (the profits must stay in the area).

There will be a free Q&A webinar on 19 April about eligibility and the 11 criteria.

Round 1 will open on 26 April 2016 and close on 1 June 2016. Round 2 will open in July 2016. Round 3 will open in October 2016.

Please note that this is expected to be a highly competitive process. Last year Power to Change was able to fund just 5% of the applications it received.

Visit the Power to Change website for further information and to sign up for the webinar.

Source: Power to Change, 06/04/2016


Who can apply?

Organisations with a charitable purpose for public benefit


Fund Amount

Between £50,000 and £300,000

Closing Date

1st June 2016

Closing date








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