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:

Community Led Housing Fund (CLH Fund) – social investment

The CLH Fund, managed by CAF Venturesome, offers pre-development loan finance up to £150,000 with up to £100,000 additional grant. If planning permission is not secured, they may write off the loan.  They also offer standby facilities up to £150,000 to raise community shares or act as a bridging loan.  They have just launched a pilot land purchase facility up to £400,000. This is an unsecured loan, with up to £150k grant (grant repayable if scheme doesn’t progress.)

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

Community Housing Fund

Homes England provides grants to help groups develop your project to the point where you have secured planning permission and are ready to build. There are three types of grant available:

  • Revenue grants to pay the professional fees to develop your business plan and viability appraisal, commission plans and surveys, and so on. There is no limited to the amount you can bid for, but you will need to fund at least 10% of the costs from other sources.
  • Capital grants for infrastructure, to make the site viable for housing. This can cover costs for things like access roads and roundabouts, retaining walls for sloping sites, flood alleviation, decontamination, utilities, etc. Your local authority will need to bid for this on your behalf.
  • Revenue grants for local authorities to pay costs associated with supporting your project, e.g. employing a housing officer to help you.

For more information and to apply, visit the prospectus webpage.

Members of the National CLT Network can download a more detailed briefing from that section of the members' area.

There are also 148 local authorities that received money in 2016-17, and many have not yet spent all their funds. They have considerable flexibility over how they use the money. 

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!

Nationwide Building Society Community Grant

Nationwide Building Society will give a grant of up to 50k to groups for core funding. This can be used for costs such as staff, volunteer expenses and training. Click here for more information on how to apply 

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.