The Community Shares Booster Fund is a funding scheme to support community share offers.
The Booster Fund supports new and existing community businesses in England that are at all stages of a community share issue. If you are from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, find out other routes for community shares support.
This includes the very early stages of exploring whether it’s the right choice, through planning a community share issue to being ready to launch, or in exceptional cases, recently launched.
What funding is available?
- Pre-grant support: A few days support for early-stage activity to get you started.
- Development grants: We expect to award development grants of between £2,000 and £10,000, averaging around £5,000, to prepare a community share offer. This support can cover financial planning, governance support, marketing costs and being assessed for the Community Shares Standard Mark.
- Equity match investment: Investments could range from £10,000 to £100,000, although the typical investment is expected to be £20,000-£50,000. This is an offer of investment to match money raised from the community, providing the minimum share offer target is achieved. Applications for equity match are open to community businesses that are investment ready, including those that have already launched their share offers.
- Subscription underwriting: If you think affordability is an issue for your community investors, our partner Co-operative and Community Finance (CCF) can offer you an interest-free repayable loan to enable people to buy shares through instalments over a maximum of 12 months, with the society receiving the full investment upfront.
- Loan finance: Through a Booster Fund application, we can also help you access loan finance from our partner CCF.
How to apply?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis:
Read the Booster Fund application guidance to understand who can apply and what support is available
Complete the Booster Fund Expression of Interest form. For Expression of Interest applications, we aim to get back to you within two weeks if you will be invited to make a full application. For full applications, grant and equity investment decisions are made within eight to twelve weeks of application.
If you are at an early stage, you can complete our shorter form to enquire about some pre-grant support.
Not sure whether to apply?
Watch a short webinar from the Booster Fund team.
Who are we looking to support?
We welcome all expressions of interest from new and existing community businesses. We also have some priorities including:
Disadvantaged, less affluent and under-represented communities, particularly minoritised ethnicities, young people and communities facing systemic inequality
Projects that meet critical needs of their communities – we are particularly interested in project that address climate change issues and digital inclusion
An inclusive approach
We believe in being truly inclusive and treating everyone with respect. We seek to be a genuinely inclusive organisation by advancing equality and diversity through our policies and practices. We encourage and welcome enquiries and applications from people from all backgrounds who are looking to make a real difference to the lives of their local communities.
Who is behind the Booster Fund?
The Booster Fund is delivered in partnership by Co-operatives UK, Locality, Plunkett Foundation, and Co-operative and Community Finance.
It is funded by Power to Change, Access the Foundation for Social Investment and the Architectural Heritage Fund. The Architectural Heritage Fund is ring fenced for heritage projects that play an important role in high street revival and the economic resilience of an area.