Press release

£3.2m Bright Ideas Fund to help community business start-ups in England

A new £3.2m Community Business Bright Ideas Fund, funded by Power to Change, is launched today to offer tailored support and grants of up to £15,000 to 150 groups to develop their projects.

Over the next three years the fund will give community groups the early stage finance they need to carry out consultations with local people to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs and will also give them support and tools to start setting up their community businesses. The funding programme is delivered by Locality in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK. 

The tailored support programme is open to community groups, associations and organisations across England which have a good idea for a community business but need help developing it, or which are just starting out.

“The advice from our Bright Ideas mentor was invaluable, as was the knowledge and advice from the experts who helped guide us. The fact that it allowed us to operate for a period of time without worrying where our salaries were coming from was also very helpful.

“Bright Ideas put us in touch with two mentors who had been responsible for founding the Suma food co-operative. Their vital knowledge allowed us to set up a co-operative company in an area which had none to begin with. More importantly, it allowed us to provide fresh, healthy food to one of the poorest regions of the UK. I would highly recommend the Bright Ideas programme as it provides access to essential expertise as well as much needed funding." 

 Warren Draper, Permafuture

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will be open for applications from Tuesday 26th February 2019 until Tuesday 9th April 2019 with further funding rounds taking place up to March 2021. There will be a webinar on 11am Wednesday 13th March 2019 about the application process.  

To register your interest and read the funding critera, please visit