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Local Trust is delighted that the Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA) – a group of over 660 civil society, public and private sector organisations – has succeeded in its campaign to see community wealth funds included as an important new cause set to benefit from an expanded Dormant Assets Scheme. 

The government announced today that community wealth funds will be a new beneficiary of the nearly £740m which will be released for projects in England which support social or environmental causes through an expansion of the Scheme. 

The Minister responsible for dormant assets, Stuart Andrew MP, announcing this development said:  

“The creation of a community wealth fund will give local residents in some of the more deprived areas of the country the power to improve where they live and invest in what’s important to them.”  

Commenting on the announcement, Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust, a founding member of the CWFA, said: 

“We warmly welcome the Government’s announcement that community wealth funds will be supported through dormant assets funding. We hope that the creation of these new neighbourhood-based resident-led funds will signal a sea-change in how we support communities that for decades have missed out on investment and opportunities.  

And that the residents of these areas will get the chance to drive transformational change in their communities, through consistent long-term funding. We look forward to engaging with DCMS on the consultation and supporting them in developing the detail of how these funds will be distributed”. 

Local Trust is a founding member of the CWFA and has been responsible for coordinating a campaign which gained support from across all the main political parties, the local government sector, national charities and funders and community groups across the country. We would like to thank all those whose efforts made the campaign such a success. 

We would like to particularly thank all the parliamentary supporters of the CWFA for their counsel, support, and advocacy to government during the passage of the dormant assets legislation and during and after the public consultation on the best use of dormant assets.  

Huge thanks must also go to the many independent trusts and foundations who kindly funded campaign development and delivery over the last five years: the Tudor Trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation of England and Wales, John Ellerman Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the People’s Health Trust, Church Urban Fund, the Friends Provident Foundation and City Bridge Trust. Thanks also to NCVO for financial and advocacy support at key stages. 

Collectively we have succeeded in the first major step to making our big idea a reality. We now look forward to working with CWFA members over the coming months to ensure that the principles we collectively established for community wealth funds – neighbourhood, community-led decision-making, long term patient investment with appropriate support and a focus on the most disadvantaged and ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods in the country – are at the heart of their implementation.