With 15 years of experience supporting communities to buy and develop assets we’ve developed a wealth of knowledge of key factors that can help to make a successful project.
We know that many community groups that begin undertaking this scale of project do so as volunteers – full of energy, goodwill, confidence and enthusiasm – with a clear vision of the impact and difference a community owned asset will have but with little experience in the technical aspects.
Now with Community Assets, as soon as we begin working with a group we will look to see how we can support them to build the strongest possible project. And from the earliest possible point, where appropriate, we will match projects with an experienced capital professional as a mentor.
The mentor will be provided and paid for by Big Lottery Fund to deliver professional technical support. We expect they will be able to help with the following and in doing so will help groups turn their project ideas into reality:
- Preparation of design briefs
- Procurement of design teams and contractors
- Completion of technical aspects
- Ad-hoc interventions and advice on technical issues
Andrew Pinkerton has worked and advised a number of projects in the past and is one of the six mentors who will support Community Asset applicants. He tells us what difference this early expert support can make…
“For voluntary groups embarking on a capital building project many of the procedures, terminology, and documentation adopted by the construction industry can be daunting to understand. Having an ‘expert friend’ that can explain, guide and review activities will allow them to navigate the development process with fewer problems and less abortive work and will ensure that projects are progressed in a structured and co-ordinated manner and with the best use of resources. The professional support available will also give groups the confidence to seek higher quality design outcomes that deliver sustainable buildings and provide the most appropriate facilities to meet the aspirations of their community.”