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Community right to challenge

Expression of interest

The Community Right to Challenge is one of the main features of the Localism Act. It means a relevant body may express an interest in providing a service or part of a service that is provided by or on behalf of the Council if they think they can run it more effectively. 

The Council may accept or reject the Community Right to Challenge based upon criteria set out in the regulations.  If a challenge is accepted then this triggers a procurement exercise in the open market in accordance with the procurement regulations. 

The legislation defines a relevant body as follows:

  • A voluntary or community body;
  • A body of persons or a trust which is established for charitable purposes only;
  • A parish council;
  • Two or more employees of the relevant authority; or
  • Any other person or body specified by the Secretary of State by regulations.

The Council will consider any expressions of interest (Word doc) [63KB] (opens new window)  that are submitted any time between 1 March and 30 September each year. 

£10.5 million grant

The £10.5 million Community Right to Challenge Grants Programme is accepting applications from voluntary organisations that want to take over a local service in order to run it more effectively. 

Feasibility grants of between £10,000 - £100,00 are available for those with a strong potential to help prepare an Expression of Interest or compete in a procurement process.
Pre-feasibility Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are available for organisations that need to build internal capacity.
To be eligible, organisations must be based and working in England, be a relevant body within Section 81 of the Localism Act and have a valid reference number from the Community Rights Advice Line. Priority will be given to small local organisations that are looking to build capacity and capability to deliver public service contracts.

Visit the Social Investment Business website for full details (opens new window).