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Community-Led Housing - Early Stage Feasibility Fund

The Council has launched a new Early Stage Feasibility fund.  This will provide revenue funding which will help your community to deliver more affordable housing. The fund is for genuine community-led affordable development and will cover costs such as: 

  • initial start-up
  • feasibilities
  • surveys
  • designs
  • right through to your planning submission

Please note: The fund is currently on hold and not accepting further applications. Please contact the team for further information. 

We have identified 3 Stages of funding which appropriately constituted groups can apply for to develop their Community-led affordable housing proposal. The maximum amount of grant available through the Early Stage Feasibility Fund per site is £40,000. Groups can apply for funding under all 3 Stages or just one of the Stages.

Stage 1 - Direct Support Grant (up to £2k*)

The Direct Support Grant is available for groups that are exploring the possibility of starting a Community-Led Housing (CLH) organisation. It can be used to cover a variety of cost including: 

  • membership to national CLH support organisations
  • public consultation
  • early draft architectural plans
  • publicity leaflet
  • media adverts, etc.

Stage 2 - Business Development Grant (up to £10k*)

The Business Development Grant is available to groups that have assessed the need of a CLH organisation and found it to be viable. This grant is used to assist Community Led Housing Groups to understand the: 

  • process of becoming an incorporated organisation
  • responsibilities upon them
  • to undertake some early feasibility work

It is often during this period that organisations need guidance and support to deal with the many issues that arise. Without this early support, groups can dwindle and fall away. This is time intensive work and requires a consistent, experienced and professional approach.  The grant can be used to pay for items such as: 

  • choosing a suitable legal form
  • training
  • creating a vision and project plan
  • working with the wider community
  • identifying land
  • Pre-application costs
  • Preliminary site design
  • outline viability and project costs
  • establishing partnerships.

Stage 3 - Feasibility and Technical Consultancy Grant (up to £40k*)

Once a site has been identified, and you have completed the following (if required): 

  • undertaken a pre-app (if appropriate) 
  • ownership has been secured through transfer or purchase
  • Heads of Terms or Options Agreement

we can support a CLH organisation prepare for their planning application or further site investigations.  This is if no planning is required (eg if it is a refurbishment). This grant can be used to pay for: 

  • architect fees
  • legal fees
  • business modelling
  • site surveys (ecology, heritage, transport, typography, ground etc)
  • project management
  • the cost of planning application

*maximum amount of grant available through the Early Stage Feasibility Fund per site is £40,000. You will need to provide three quotes for any work for £5,000 or over if you are applying for a Stage 2 or 3 grant. 

You will find the documents about the Feasibility Fund below: (Please note: If a survey or other item of work costs over £5k please complete the Procurement assessment). 

We have separated the Fund in to these 3 stages so that the process is simpler and quicker when applying for a smaller grant which is needed to get a project going.  However, each grant will require a Legal contract which will be in the form of a co-signed Letter by the applicant and the Council which sets out the terms of the grant.

Stage 1: Send in a Letter providing information about the project and group details/evidence as detailed in Section 2 of the Guidance note. 

Stage 2 and 3: Application form and supporting documentation

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