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£600,000 grant fund to help save threatened high street buildings

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has announced £600,000 of grant funding to help save threatened high street buildings as part of their Community Shares Booster Programme. 

Communities who are working together to save buildings and spaces in their local area will be able to apply for a share of this funding, the aim is to support businesses to run successful community share offers.

AHF will deliver the funding with Co-operatives UK to pay for grants of up to £10,000 to community businesses.

Masden Grocery Community Benefit Society located in a conservation area near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is one of the first community businesses to receive funding.

The group has received £6,650 towards their community share offer, which saw 396 local people come together raising £53,000 to set up a co-operative grocery store after their local greengrocers closed.

The Community Shares Booster Programme has already helped communities across the country to own, develop and save much-loved community spaces and buildings.

Since 2016 the fund has invested over £1.7m into community businesses across the country.

Matthew Mckeague, CEO at the AHF, said: ‘The Architectural Heritage Fund has been investing in community share offers for a number of years, including co-operative pubs such as the Ivy House in Peckham and workspaces such as Portland Works in Sheffield.

‘We are excited by this new partnership with Co-operatives UK and look forward to working with them in supporting community businesses that will breathe new life into high streets and town centres through the regeneration of historic buildings.’

Ed Mayo, secretary-general of co-operatives UK, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the AHF supporting community-owned businesses like Marsden Grocery, which act as vital anchor businesses to keep local high streets alive and help retain the heritage character of these special places.

‘Community shares are a co-operative solution to high street closures with local residents becoming co-owners, meaning they have a vested interest in the businesses continued success.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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