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Community Rights Week and a new landmark hit

This week marks Community Rights Week, as the Community Rights movement continues to go from strength to strength.

The Community Rights movement continues to go from strength to strength with latest figures showing more than 3,000 buildings, green spaces and other much loved local assets protected.

Communities have a set of community right powers including Community Right to Bid, Neighbourhood Planning, Community Shares, Our Place and a Tenant empowerment programme.

Speaking at the start of Community Rights week, Communities Minister Marcus Jones said: “From regulars taking over their local pub to ambitious local plans for new development, there is a growing movement of people up and down the country who are taking advantage of community rights.

“Listing works best when it is used proportionately, but with over 5,000 uses of community rights, including 3,000 assets listed, the government is supporting local people who want to make their areas even better places to live and work.”

Community Right to Bid protects treasured local community assets, with communities able to nominate any local building or land they love as an “asset of community value” and then, if it comes up for sale they have six months to raise the funds to buy it. More than 3,000 assets are now listed.

Neighbourhood planning allows communities to have a say in the types of developments needed around the area that they live or work, including location and what it should look like. More than 1,800 areas are currently drawing up draft plans covering an estimated 9.6 million people, with more than 150 plans adopted at referendum.

Community shares enable residents to invest financially in community projects by buying shares or becoming part-owners of a business, allowing them to become supporters, volunteers and advocates. Since 2012, £50M has been raised through community shares.

Our Place gets residents involved in solving local problems and improve local services, ensuring the public’s money is being spent in the ways local people want. Almost 200 projects are underway with millions of people now covered by the Our Place approach.

The Tenant empowerment programme supports social housing tenants to engage in, manage or control local services. It provides training, funding and support that enables tenants to, for instance, manage a service, or take control of their housing through the Right to Manage.

Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said: “It’s great to see so many people taking the opportunity to help improve their neighbourhoods by exercising their community rights.

“We know that people care deeply about where they live and we’re marking this fantastic take up by celebrating Community Rights Week this week and sharing more information about how people all over England can use the rights to make their neighbourhoods better places.”