Making best use of Community Spaces in Barnet

An older grey haried white woman smiling , whilst gardening

Have you found the perfect space for your community project? But not sure what to do next.

Here, we’ll outline three schemes which will help you to further expand your influence through the protection or acquisition of community assets, premises, or adoption of local spaces.

Given that you work closely within the community, you have an insight into the types of improvements and services needed to make your community better.  This is an opportunity for you to reclaim the collective voice of your community, ensuring that local needs are put at the forefront of decision making.

One of the difficulties we’ve identified is that some voluntary and community groups don’t have physical spaces, whether that’s a building, a green space and so forth. Having physical spaces allows you to organise better in a space that you can call home. Additionally, having a space that your community can recognise allows for greater accessibility and opportunities for expansion.

At the core of these opportunities is having a chance to empower, uplift and elevate the needs and desires of local people. Communities having a chance to take control or protect assets that they value, giving voice and power to local people. These are wonderful opportunities to make a positive impact within the local community and make strides towards creating a better, safer, healthier, and happier society for all.

  1. Community Ownership Fund (National Scheme)

The Community Ownership Fund is an opportunity for groups to take over spaces that are facing closure or in the process of losing their group, whether it’s a pub or a village shop to take them over and run them as businesses by the community for the community.  Up to £250,000 available to help you on this journey.

Find out more about how to apply here.

Key documents and dates:

The Community Ownership Fund EOI stage opened on 10 June 2022, see Community Ownership Fund round 2: how to express your interest in applying.

Once you have passed the EOI stage you will be sent a link to submit a full application to the Fund. Please note you can only submit a full application if you have received confirmation that your project is eligible at the EOI stage.

Key dates:

  • Current bidding window 10 June – 19 August 2022
  • There will be two more bidding windows before March 2023. Exact dates will be announced in due course

Your full applications must be submitted before 12pm on 19 August 2022 if you are applying in the first bidding window.

  1. Adopt a Place scheme (Barnet Scheme)

The Adopt a Place scheme is a perfect opportunity to get involved in your local area. This scheme allows community groups to maintain a local feature, a green space or a whole street with support, materials and tools from Barnet Council. Allowing community groups to identify an area that is owned by Barnet Council to take over and maintain. The adoption activities you can take part in include, looking after a flower bed, litter picking, raising funds for new park features, planting and maintenance projects and so forth. Please note that isn’t as formal as a legal asset but does offer some protection.

The Council are currently assessing this scheme and how much assurance can be offered to community groups. In order to adopt a place groups or individuals must agree to undertake regular community activities.

Find out more about the adopt the place agreement, and get the application form here.

Timeline: Rolling applications

  1. The Community Right to Bid (Barnet Scheme)

The Community Right to Bid allows eligible bodies to nominate a building or piece of land in Barnet which they believe provides a service in the community to be listed as an ‘asset of community value’. Assets can be nominated by an eligible voluntary or community body with a local connection. You must submit evidence with your nomination to prove that your voluntary or community body is eligible. See their checklist for examples of the sort of evidence they require.

Find out what the term voluntary or community body covers, to check your eligibility.

One of the assets that are currently up for nomination is the following:

  • New Bevan Baptist Church Grove Road, Barnet EN4 9DF.

Once your nomination application has been received, it will be processed. It will be acknowledged and the council will reach a final decision within eight weeks of receipt of the application. The council will write to you to acknowledge receipt your application and will let you know whether they will take your nomination forward and will inform you of their final decision and what happens next.

For more information go to the Community Right to Bid page on the council website.

Timeline: Rolling Applications

 

If you would like more information about these opportunities, please contact out Voluntary and Community Sector Support Lead, Ellen Cheshire Ellen@inclusionbarnet.org.uk

 

Picture credit Resource ID 12139, Age-positive image library

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