The criteria applicable to the Community Led Project Support Fund have been tweaked so that community groups can access the money to get "project support" for conversion projects.
The £14million fund is operated by the HCA outside London and the GLA inside London (see HCA link here). Funding is available until 31 March 2015 or until the funding is fully committed whichever occurs first.
Originally tied to the Community Right to Build (and thus new-build, by definition), there is now a separate "Planning Application Route" that offers revenue funding for the professional input and fees that might be incurred where a community group project needs to secure planning permsision. This could include conversion type projects, or such physical changes to a dwelling that planning permission would be required.
The application form says:
It [the funding] can be used to establish the group, work up detailed plans, get design advice, consult and get your message out to your community.
The bidding guidance goes on to say:
Although the funding is provided to support community groups in developing their proposals and therefore it is not expected that groups will have fully worked up schemes before applying, they should have reached a stage where they can demonstrate that their proposals are deliverable.
Support and advice in the preparation of bids to the fund is available through Locality.,