The Co-op Foundation and Co-operative & Community Finance have partnered up to develop a new programme of grants and social investments to support community-run enterprises in disadvantaged areas across the UK.

The project will initially be piloted on four areas of community life: community centres, housing, transport and green spaces. A revolving loan fund, Co-op & Community Finance has been providing loan finance for co-operatives, employee owned business and social enterprises since 1973.

As part of the collaboration, the Co-op Foundation has appointed Co-operative & Community Finance as its advisory partner, from a shortlist of six organisations.

The Co-op Foundation was set up by the Co-op Group to complement its other community work across the UK. It has set three goals for the next three years – championing young people’s ability to contribute positively to their communities, investing in disadvantaged communities’ capacity to overcome social, economic or environmental challenges and building a reputation as a trusted charity with a co-operative difference.

The project will see a small number of community-led enterprises based within the 20% most deprived areas of the UK receive a tailored package of grants and loans or equity finance. Once piloted, the programme is likely to be rolled out on a larger scale across the UK.

Jim Cooke, head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “This programme aims to put communities in control, helping them run their most valued places, spaces and services more sustainably.

To read the rest of this article, please visit: Coop News

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