Community to rescue pubs, clubs and farms backed by £2.2 million government funding

  • Eight more projects set to benefit from the government’s Community Ownership Fund
  • Pubs, historic buildings and sports facilities included in projects to be taken over by community groups
  • Part of wider £150 million funding package to level up communities by empowering them to take ownership of local landmarks

A boxing club, historic pub and city farm are among eight community projects across England and Northern Ireland set to be rescued by more than £2.2 million of government levelling up funding.

These grants will help community groups take control of venues in their area that are at risk of being lost forever and transform them into vibrant hubs for the benefit of local people.

This is all part of the government’s drive to level up local communities across the country, create more jobs for local people, boost local businesses and build up local economies as a result.

Projects include the Victoria House in Oldham, built in 1874, which will be turned from a derelict hall into a boxing and personal development centre, offering support for vulnerable young people as well as fitness and wellbeing opportunities for all. Without this funding, the centre would have been forced to move.

Spaces within The Grade II listed Granville Hotel, designed by one of Ramsgate’s most famous residents EW Pugin, will also be saved from decay and restored to help protect the Kent town’s heritage. Funding will renovate the bar and restaurant area, reviving the seafront venue and creating a new space for artists, start-ups and local businesses.

The family-run Old Red Lion theatre pub, one of London’s oldest pubs, said to have been founded in 1415, is set to receive funding. The pub has a long history as a cultural bright spot in the local area and with this funding it will be relaunched as an arts venue and space for community work.

Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP said:

From bringing historic buildings back to life in Ramsgate to creating a community farm in the centre of Bristol, the Community Ownership Fund enables local people to take on projects that benefit their communities and save venues that would otherwise be lost forever.

Through this fund we are empowering local people, restoring their pride in the places where they live and levelling up communities across the United Kingdom.

The fund is already helping communities across the country seize ownership of prized local assets that are at risk, including the UK’s most remote pub in Scotland and Gigg Lane, home of Bury FC.

The first round of successful projects was announced at the Spending Review in autumn last year. Applications to bid for round 2 of funding through the Community Ownership Fund will open in June this year.

The eight vibrant and exciting projects being funded through this latest tranche of Community Ownership Fund grant are:

  • a community in Yorkshire taking ownership of the Countryman’s Inn pub
  • one of London’s oldest pubs, the Old Red Lion in Islington relaunching its theatre pub venue
  • the Oxford Arms pub in Herefordshire transforming into a vibrant community hub
  • regenerating 30 acres of land at Hartcliffe City Farm in Bristol to benefit the local community
  • a historic church in Somerset providing a community arts and social centre
  • a boxing and development centre in Oldham, which aims to support young people and families
  • Pugin’s heritage building being restored into a vibrant community place for local people to enjoy stunning views which dining by the marina
  • in Northern Ireland the regeneration of St Columb’s Hall creating a community centre in the heart of Derry-Londonderry

See the full list of successful bids

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