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Dormant assets are urgently needed by communities, says Alliance, as new rules announced

Community Wealth Fund Alliance response

April 2019

Guidelines for the release of the next wave of dormant assets have been welcomed by an alliance of 80+ organisations calling for lost and forgotten resources to be redirected to the communities that need them most.

The Dormant Assets Scheme: A Blueprint for Expansion covers the identification and collection of assets, rather than their eventual use and sets out the need for new legislation. Now is the right time for government to engage with fresh thinking on how these assets can be used effectively to address urgent social issues and deliver public good.

The Community Wealth Fund Alliance is a group of voluntary sector organisations, independent funders and others supporting the call for a significant new national endowment to:

  • provide long-term, place-based investment over 10-15 years
  • ensure local people are in control of the spend so it reflects their aspirations
  • create a legacy of positive change in the places that need it most
  • provide appropriate support to build the confidence and capacity of communities

Comments from founding members of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance

Matt Leach, chief executive of Local Trust: “The most pressing need is in the places that did not benefit from the economic prosperity that helped these assets grow. There’s now a growing consensus that giving local people the power to meet their own needs, in their own way, will create real, long-term change.”

Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy for NCVO: ‘There’s a real opportunity to use this money to create a legacy for generations to come, creating independent, vibrant community services which can sustain themselves without the need to rely on government for financial support. The benefits of this speak for themselves, empowering communities and reducing the demand on public budgets.’

Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Policy, Communications and Research, Lloyds Bank Foundation: “With the ongoing pressure on communities, councils and the charities seeking to serve them across England and Wales, it is vital to unlock new sources of funding at a local level - Dormant Assets could be a key part of the solution. Government needs to use these dormant assets to provide the funding communities need, in ways they can access, control and manage. While Brexit makes this more difficult, it also makes it even more important – the time for action is now.”

The Proposal for a Community Wealth Fund is supported by more than 80 organisations. It was founded in 2018 by Church Urban Fund, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder City Bridge Trust, Local Trust and NCVO.

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