Community Ownership Fund success

We are so, so excited to share with you that our bid for Community Ownership Fund funding has been a success!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Moor Imagination Collective team this year.

After our excitement at securing support in principle from a local ethical investor in the Spring, our hopes were dashed when this plan fell through. We didn’t let it derail us though, and our mission circle kept working with other local supporters and our project officer at Heritage Lottery Fund.

We had some useful conversations with Dartmoor National Park’s planning and conservation departments, strengthened connections with similar projects further afield, and continued to develop our vision for how the old Methodist Church building might best serve the Buckfastleigh Community.

In the midst of this, we decided to reapply for the Community Ownership Fund. Having been unsuccessful last year, and knowing how highly competitive this fund is, we weren’t holding out much hope. But our faith in the value of the project was strong, and equally strong was the belief that financing this kind of community space is exactly how the government should be spending their money. It was a(nother) lengthy grant application process, involving much research, many thousands of words, and rigorous financial forecasting.

And last week we discovered we had been successful, securing £175,000 to purchase the building and £30,000 to finance the next phase of our work towards making our vision a reality.

To say this is a relief is a massive understatement. It is also a huge validation of the time and effort we have put into this project so far, and a recognition of how the vision we have co-created with the Buckfastleigh community could make a real difference to our town.

There is still a huge amount of work to do, and we are keeping everything crossed that we will be successful with our latest Heritage Lottery Fund bid so that we can realise the first phase of the project.

Right now, though, we are celebrating. And so are you if the messages we have received on email and social media are anything to go by!

We are so, so grateful for your words of support and encouragement. These ones especially made us smile, so I hope you’ll excuse us for luxuriating a little in this moment of triumph and sharing your joy again here:

“Massive congratulations. That’s been an epic journey and particularly impressive given how many COF applications are getting rejected.”

“Brilliant news, congratulations, really positive.. you have a great vision..”

“Amazing work! Very exciting for the town”

“AWESOME!!!!!!! Well done!!!!!! Super exciting!!!!”

“How wonderful and well done to all those involved… it certainly is exciting news… x”

“Waahhhh!!!! Amazing! This must have taken an incredible amount of work and dedication. Super happy for you all. Now to go change the world!”

“WOWEEEEEEE!! WELL DONE! Terrific, amazing and inspiring work!!!”

“Such fantastic news for the local community! Bravo all who’ve been involved in making this happen”

“So happy for you and Buckfastleigh!!!!”

“Fabulous!!! Well done. Such a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen.”

“So fabulous! Well done all for your undoubted hard work and commitment.”

“How wonderful . So happy for you and Buckfastleigh xx”

“That’s so exciting! Well done and thank you for all the work!”

“Epic work all involved. Very thrilled for you.”

“Well done, I know how difficult it is to write funding bids. Look forward to seeing what’s next.”


“WOW! Congratulations and wow for your perseverance, vision and commitment!!”

“That’s absolutely bloody brilliant news. I’m so happy, for you and for the town. All that hard work finally starting to pay off bigtime!

“CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made my day.

“Absolutely well done! I am very excited about this, thank you for all your efforts. The Methodist Church is the saddest building in Buckfastleigh at present! I would like to get involved in some way or other.

“This has opened up a much more interesting time line for Buckerz. Just imagine all the life and living that will happen there in the future! So cool.”

“The most exciting news today. Congratulations, so very happy for our wonderful community and your tremendous work getting this fund. Outstanding success.”

We will, of course, keep you posted as things unfold. Make sure you’re on our mailing list to get the latest communications, and drop us a line if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions you’d like to share!

Community Ownership Fund success

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