Places and spaces for people to come together and enjoy shared interests are vitally important for building stronger communities.

Venues such as parks and community centres need regular income so they can continue to meet the needs of people who use them, love them, and rely on them for local services and social contact.

If your community organisation is thinking about growing its trading activities to generate more sustainable income, The Co-op Foundation might be able to help your plans take off.

The Co-op Foundation can offer interest-free loans of up to £50,000 towards viable business ideas that will benefit the whole community – particularly those facing greater challenges; no repayments for the first year, while your trading activities are developing; and if you are based in a more deprived area, or your work mainly benefits more disadvantaged members of the community, they might also be able to offer some grant funding alongside a loan.

To apply for this loan your organisation must run for the benefit of the community, rather than for private profit; you own or manage a building or outdoor space that’s used for a wide range of community activities; you involve a wide range of local people in your work, including more disadvantaged members of the community; you have realistic plans to develop trading activities that will grow your long-term income; and you are prepared to take on a loan that will need to be repaid.

If you think that this funding could help your community organisation to become more sustainable, you can fill out an expression of interest here. If you have any questions about this funding, you can get in touch with The Co-op Foundation at or visit their website here.