Morecambe Town Council

At a Full Council meeting on Thursday 18 April, Morecambe Town Council resolved to
investigate opportunities available through the Government’s Community Ownership Fund
to bring up to £2 million of external funding into the town.

The Community Ownership Fund is one of the few pots of central government money available to
which parish and town councils can apply directly. It exists to help communities take ownership
of assets otherwise at risk of loss to them. Eligible projects can receive between 80% and 90% of
total funding, up to a value of £2 million, requiring comparatively little in the way of match-funding
from applicants.

Cllr Geoff Knight, Chair of Morecambe Town Council’s Planning and Regeneration Committee,
said, ‘The Council believes it has a responsibility to look at ways of bringing external funding into
Morecambe, including in this instance Government Levelling Up Funding, to help support the
town’s continued regeneration. The Community Ownership Fund presents such an opportunity,
with the potential to bring one of our town’s vacant historic buildings back into use for the benefit
of the community. Higher tier authorities are unable to make applications to the Community
Ownership Fund. Therefore as a Council, we feel it would be irresponsible not to explore this

The Council will now explore opportunities for repurposing a neglected local asset for community
use before putting together its application. The process will include further community
consultation in order to clarify community need, building upon the appetite of residents for
investment in community facilities demonstrated in previous consultation exercises.

If an eligible project is identified, a decision will still need to be made at a future meeting of the
Council about whether or not to proceed with any application.