Call for Secretary of State to give £40m funding to community shares from Dormant Assets
This week, the CEOs of Co-operatives UK, Locality and Plunkett Foundation wrote to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport about the potential to use £40 million of Dormant Assets funding for community shares to help grow successful community businesses and level up the UK.
EDIT: This article has been updated to reflect the Cabinet reshuffle on 7 February 2023, where Michelle Donelan was replaced by Lucy Frazer as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is currently consulting on how to use Dormant Assets money.
Dormant Assets are a financial product, such as a bank account, that has not been touched for a long time. There could be around £700m available for causes in England.
In October, we responded to the consultation last year and set out our ideas to use at least £40m of this fund to help grow the community shares market and help communities to take on and grow community assets.
This week, the CEOs of Co-operatives UK, Locality and Plunkett Foundation – partners for the Community Shares Unit – wrote to the Secretary of State for DCMS:
"The Community Shares Unit was originally set up in 2012 with government backing. Since then, we have seen £210m raised in community shares from over 130,000 individuals in communities across the UK. Communities have taken ownership of important local assets like community pubs, shops, swimming pools, community hubs and many more. In rural areas, where the community shares model has been widely utilised, the resulting community-owned assets are often the only remaining facility providing services for their community and surrounding areas."
The letter goes onto to state how 'institutional investment' helps give confidence to individuals investing in community share offers:
"We have to date backed 63 community share offers, investing along 16,078 investors. To date we have seen £3 raised from individual private investors, for every £1 we invest. We believe this fantastic combination of private, social and public investment in communities, will be critical to the success of Levelling Up."
DCMS is still working through the responses and it is hoped an announcement will be made early in 2023.
Contact your MP
We are calling on co-operatives and their members to back our call for £40m investment in community shares from the Dormant Assets fund.
- Download our template letter
- Find your MP's email address – remember to include your address so your MP knows your are a constituent
Please share any responses you receive with the community shares team via [email protected]