Pre-development funding

You'll need grant and loan funding to work up your plans and secure planning permission. Here are some funds you can apply to:

CLT Social Investment Fund – Getting to Planning Stage

The CLT Social Investment Fund, managed by CAF Venturesome, is a bespoke Fund for CLTs that provides loans of up to £50,000 to get you to planning, including preparing plans, commissioning architects and surveyors and submitting the plan. The finance is repayable only if planning if the scheme is successful.

To find out more and to apply go to the CAF Venturesome website.

Community Housing Fund

On the 23rd December 2016 the Government announced the first year of this fund, allocating £60 million to 148 local authorities to support community-led housing.

The 148 local authorities received half their allocation up front, without strings attached, and will receive the second half upon providing the Government with plans that meet the fund's objectives.

What this means is that if your local authority has received funding you can make a bid to cover any reasonable costs, from start up grants through loans and grants to get you to planning and capital to subsidise any affordable housing. You can see a full list of the 148 local authorities in this PDF. Note that the allocations vary widely, from £5,000,000 to £5,000!

So if your local authority received funding, it would be best to contact them and open a discussion about your project.

In future years the funding is expected to be allocated in a different fashion, through a central framework.

Community Buildings and Housing Grant programme 

This is a government grant programme that opened in April 2015 to help community groups produce a Community Right to Build (CRtB) order or a community-led planning application for housing (i.e. CLTs applying for ordinary planning permission). £3m in total is available until March 2018 and CLTs are eligible to apply. The programme replaces what was the Community Led Project Support Fund and is managed by Locality.

The programme is split into two stages:

Community Building Pre-Feasibility Grant – grants of up to £10,000 to assess the feasibility of a project prior to submitting a a planning application or CRtB order. This can be used in addition to the Start-up Fund grants. There is a limited amount of funding (£630,000 this year) so you are urged to apply as early as possible.
Community Buildings Project Support Grant – grants of up to £40,000 per project to help you pay for the expert help and other costs associated with getting your project to the point of submitting the planning application or CRtB order.

For more information and to apply click here.

For Members, download the Member Briefing in the Members’ Area. 

Big Potential

Big Potential, a Big Lottery grant fund, offers support and grants to help voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises (VCSE) consider how social investment could help them grow their impact. The organisation offers breakth

rough grants of between £20,000 and £75,000 for specialist business support to help raise new repayable investment of up to £500,000. They also offer advanced grants of up to £150,000 for specialist business support to help raise new repayable investment above £500,000 or to help win contracts worth above £1million.

To find out more about Big Potential, please visit their website by following this link.

Power to Change: Community Business Fund

Power to Change is an independent charitable trust set up in January 2015 who are using a £150m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund to support community businesses in England. Through the £10 million Community Business Fund, Power to Change aim to help inspiring, locally based and community-led businesses by awarding grants of between £50,000- £300,000.

The Community Business Fund can be used to fund Capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs and Project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees, volunteer costs.

The next round of funding will open in July 2016, with the final one opening in October 2016.

Please visit their website here to for more information and to find out if you meet the criteria.

CLTs are eligible for this funding. If you are having difficulties accessing the funding please get in touch with us at

The Key Fund

A fund with a focus on investing in social businesses who have been unable to access traditional forms of finance. The Key Fund can offer loans oup up to £150,000. In order to be eligible, applicants must have alredy been turned down by a commercial lender.

Find more information here on their website.

Local grants

Local authorities, town or parish councils and local or regional charities are increasingly aware of CLTs and can be willing to support CLTs in their early stages. Support provided may include start-up grants, in-kind technical expertise or access to facilities.

This is alongside a growing network of regional CLT Umbrellas that exist to promote and support CLTs from the outset. For more information click here

Quartet community Foundation

The Quartet Community Foundation provides small grants, primarily in the West of England, to charitable organisations that benefit local people. Their grants cover a wide range of issues and are aimes at groups who can make a big impact with a small amount of funding. 

Find out more here on their website.