THERE is some fantastic news for Kennerleigh Community Shop.

The Shop is one of nine vital community spaces in the South West to receive a share of more than £2 million from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Community Ownership Fund.

The government has announced today, Saturday, March 23, that Kennerleigh Community Shop New Build is to receive just under £148,000 to replace the current shop and to expand the building.

The government says that the £2 million for the South West will ensure beloved establishments are protected, ensuring they will be around for generations to come.

It says that this funding will maintain more community spaces for people to enjoy, helping to bolster local economies as well as contributing to the government’s wider mission to grow the economy. 

Across the United Kingdom, the Department has announced £33.5m today, Saturday, to save more than 80 projects in our communities.   

Other projects receiving funding in the South West include:      

Charlea Community Farm and Gardens, to create a community farm and garden.       

Iron and Fire, to transform the building to provide art studios and exhibitions, as well as events for the community.      

Kitchen Modernisation at the Cornwood Inn, to renovate the pub kitchen.     

Lower Lyndale Public Toilet, to support the provision of community toilets.   

Save the Waldy, to purchase the much-loved Waldegrave Arms in East Harptree.   

St Ives Archive, to purchase and the Market House and allow it to become a more inclusive and accessible place.    

The Coach House Refurbishment to refurbish the existing building into a

Centre for Black Enterprise and Culture which will provide events and exhibitions, a restaurant, meeting and training rooms, and high-quality office and studio spaces.  

The Princess Pavilion, to maintain and improve the key community asset so that it can continue to be a home for community life, arts, culture and sports in the area.   

Jacob Young, Minister for Levelling Up, said:  “We know how much these vital community assets mean to people across the country. They are an important lifeline for people young and old, and they’re the beating heart of our towns, cities and villages.

“That’s why we’re stepping in to protect them with a major rescue package, so we stop these great establishments closing or being lost forever and ensure that they continue to sit at the heart of our beloved communities.” 

In total this latest announcement of funding includes:  

2 pubs in the South West receiving over £306k 

2 community centres receiving over £710k 

1 park receiving over £122k     

1 music venue receiving over £550k 

1 shop receiving nearly £148k 

1 public toilet receiving over £29k 

1 community building receiving £275k .

This is the third announcement of funding from the third round of the Community Ownership Fund, bringing the total spending from the pot to £103.1m with 333 projects rescued so far.  

Scottish projects in this round will be supported with £3.8 million of funding, with a further £2.8million for Northern Ireland and £3.1million for Wales. So far, the Community Ownership Fund has awarded a total £17million for 47 projects in Scotland; £8.1million for 31 projects in Northern Ireland and over £7million for 24 projects in Wales.

Since Round 1 of the Fund, Ministers have funded all bids which have passed the criteria for successful applications. This approach allows the Department to fund the maximum number of projects. In future windows ministers may choose to prioritise funding to underrepresented areas to help even out any regional imbalances.

The next round of the Community Ownership Fund, Round 4, is the final round. There will be two bidding windows in Round 4 to allocate remaining funding. The next bidding window, Round 4 Window 1, will open on March 25, 2024 and close on April 10, 2024.