New Neighbourhood Planning programme & changes to My Community – everything you need to know

Posted on the 15th March 2018

This month, the popular My Community and Neighbourhood Planning programmes will both be going through some important changes. 

Over the last four years, Locality has supported over 2,300 local groups to develop a neighbourhood plan or Neighbourhood Development Order.

Locality will be extending its support for local groups to develop neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders for another four years.

The new £23m programme will be different, with changes to grant and support eligibility criteria. The changes will also mean that neighbourhood planning will get a new and enhanced website, neighbourhoodplanning.org, independent of the My Community programme.

While the funding for My Community from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (formerly the DCLG) is coming to an end in March, we are excited to announce that My Community is carrying on, with some changes. MyCommunity.org.uk will become a one-stop-shop for inspiration, information, advice and peer support for anyone wanting to take action to support their local community and change where they live for the better.

Keep reading for everything your community group or organisation needs to know about the changes. 

Neighbourhood Planning

2018-2022 funding and support

Locality will continue to deliver the Neighbourhood Planning Support Programme over the next four years, from 2018-2022. The programme builds on the 2015-18 programme and any support that you have previously received will be taken in to account. The programme will provide anyone working on a neighbourhood plan with support from the Locality team, AECOM and other partners/specialists through:

  • a basic grant of up to £9,000
  • additional grants for eligible groups with an extra £8,000 (find out more about additional grant criteria here)
  • technical support through expert partners AECOM and other specialists

Groups wanting to apply for funding and support in the 2018-2022 programme, which opens for applications on 3 April 2018, must have completed an end of grant reporting to be eligible to apply.

What’s new?

Under the new programme there will be some important changes to eligibility criteria for support available to groups. In addition, the amount groups are eligible for in grants will depend on what they have received in the 2015-18 programme. Get full details of the changes and what you’re eligible for on neighbourhoodplanning.org.
As part we have launched:

  • a new online portal, neighbourhoodplanning.org, with a range of easy-to-use resources, guides, information, support and advice
  • a new quarterly neighbourhood planning newsletter, which will be launching in April, with all the latest neighbourhood planning news, opportunities, updates from our Champions, resources and stories from across England
  • a neighbourhood planning twitter account @Nbrhoodplanning where you can interact with the Locality team.

The advice service is also changing. You will now be able to access neighbourhood planning support through our new website neighbourhoodplanning.org including online resources, an online forum for community-sourced advice and support, and a call back advice service to help with specific questions.

Sign up to the new Neighbourhood Planning newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the neighbourhoodplanning.org page)

My Community

My Community was commissioned by MHCLG (formally DCLG) in 2014 to encourage the use of the community rights and Localism Act. Since its launch, My Community has hosted various support programmes (including Neighbourhood Planning), a help centre and advice service, a wide range of resource and guides, and an online Advice Community Forum.

My Community now has nearly 200,000 website visitors each year, over 5,000 subscribers to the network, a social media community of over 11,500 and over 500 people registered on the online forum. Going forward the programme will go through another exciting change – as Neighbourhood Planning moves to a new home, and funding from MHCLG comes to an end this month, My Community will become a ‘gateway’ for advice and support for the entire community sector and a place where the community movement gathers and connects.  

The website will be transforming into a sector owned platform and Locality will be working with a range of new and experienced partners to support people and groups in the early stages of local community engagement. The website will take people on a journey, exploring what they want to achieve for their local community and signposting to all the relevant advice, networks and tools.

The refreshed My Community website will be developed in stages over the coming year and will include:

  • online resources, knowledge articles and step-by-step guides
  • grants and funding information from across the whole community sector
  • an online advice forum for local people to connect with others across the country and get community-sourced advice
  • the My Community monthly Digest of news, events, funding and resources
  • My Community’s popular Facebook and Twitter communities.

As part of the new focus on digital peer to peer networking and advice, the advice line and live chat will be closing and My Community Champions will now only be available to give advice and support on the Advice Community Forum, alongside other people all working to transform their communities.

The My Community Advice line will be closing on the 23 March 2018. After this date, you can access community-sourced support and advice by signing up to the Advice Community forum, a wealth of online support, resources, guides and tools on MyCommunity.org.uk and funding, news, events and new resources by signing up to receive the My Community Digest.

Sign up to the My Community Digest for news, funding, events, resources and to keep up to date with the changing face of My Community.  

Read more posts...

Community Housing Fund phase two now open

Capital funding for all tenures of community-led housing now available. The second phase of the Community Housing Fund (CHF) has been launched by Homes England this week. The fund offers capital grants to purchase land...

Posted 27 Sep 2018

Hands on cut out house diagram