Grants awarded from £1.6m partnership between government and Co-op Foundation

4 Oct 2019 03:46 PM

Projects awarded share of £1.6m Space to Connect fund.

A £1.6 million partnership between the Government and Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, will help communities across the country tackle loneliness by improving and protecting local spaces that bring people together.

Space to Connect has awarded an initial round of almost £900,000 to 57 community organisations across England. The grants of up to £50,000 will support projects that use spaces to address local challenges or expand activities.

The partnership follows commitments made in the Government’s Civil Society and Loneliness Strategies, published in 2018, to help create sustainable community hubs and spaces where they are most needed.

Funding also builds on the Co-op Foundation’s work to strengthen community spaces where people can connect and co-operate.

The following organisations are amongst those to have received grants through Space to Connect:

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran, said:

Strong communities play a crucial role in tackling loneliness and social isolation. This £1.6 million worth of funding will create and enhance local spaces that bring people together, encouraging them to make new and lasting friendships.

It is part of our ongoing commitment to work hand in hand with local communities to build a shared, integrated and socially responsible society.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

Our Space to Connect partnership with Government builds on our commitment to strengthen communities and tackle loneliness through co-operation.

Grants awarded will empower people to work together to make better use of spaces to address local challenges, improving the well-being and skills of their whole community.

Space to Connect was launched in June 2019, at the same time as Co-op’s Endangered Spaces campaign to protect, support and improve 2,000 community spaces by 2022.

Notes to Editors

Space to Connect is a joint partnership between DCMS and the Co-op Foundation, with both parties investing £800,000.

Support is split into two strands: organisations receiving ‘Enhance’ grants of up to £50,000 will use the investment to expand activities in spaces to make them more sustainable. ‘Explore’ partners will use up to £10,000 to identify ways to make better use of spaces so they can address challenges, like loneliness and access to community activities.

Applications to this fund are now closed. ‘Explore’ projects will have the opportunity to apply for further Space to Connect funding in March 2020 to continue their work.

Co-op’s Endangered Spaces campaign is part of Co-operate 2022 - Co-op’s wider community vision for the next three years that will see it work on key areas that make communities stronger - community spaces, wellbeing, and education and skills.

About Co-op Foundation

Co-op Foundation provides interest-free loans and grants to help eligible organisations improve local spaces that strengthen communities, and grow their incomes so they can sustain these spaces longer-term.