The Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA) is a group of over 600 organisations set up to call for the establishment of a Community Wealth Fund to invest in the most ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods across England.
People’s Health Trust is a member of the Advisory Group – providing strategic advice and direction to the campaign . Other members of the advisory group include NCVO, Lloyds Bank Foundation of England and Wales and Local Trust, who are the secretariat for the campaign.
The CWFA has succeeded in its campaign to secure funding to give local communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country the power to improve where they live and invest in what’s important to them.
On March 7 the government announced its intention to create community wealth funds with some of the proceeds from the expanded dormant assets scheme as part of its response to the dormant assets consultation.
Community wealth funds take a different approach to most funding bodies, with communities at a neighbourhood level supported to take spending decisions. The proposal is that awards of £2m would be made to each community to spend over the long term (10-15 years), building community resilience and strength and increasing their confidence and capacity to turn their areas around.
The proposal has had the support of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods with cross-party support within parliamentary debates advocating for the Community Wealth Fund proposals.
The Group was initially set up to find long-term policy solutions to improve the social and economic prospects of the 225 wards identified as being both the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and those with the least community provision. They are neighbourhoods which lack places for people to meet, community activities and have low levels of digital connectivity and poor local transport.
Over 50 local and combined authorities across England have added their support to the call for a Community Wealth Fund, a new independent endowment to invest in the most 'left behind’ neighbourhoods in the country
The next step in the campaign is to inform the government’s technical consultation on the design of community wealth funds. We expect this consultation to happen over the summer, with a government response by the end of 2023.
As a member of the Advisory Group to the Community Wealth Fund Alliance, we’re pleased that there is a commitment to establish the funds on the model advocated by the Alliance, the and hope that this will continue to ensure there is a positive response to the call for the long-term investment in neighbourhoods that need it most.