The APPG for 'left behind' neighbourhoods was active between June 2020 and March 2024. This website will no longer be updated.

The government has today announced the creation of new community wealth funds through the expanded dormant assets scheme. This vital new investment will give local residents in some of the most deprived areas of the country the power to improve where they live and invest in what’s important to them. 

The announcement follows a sustained cross-party campaign by parliamentarians, many of whom are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. Their efforts throughout the passage of the Dormant Assets Bill led to community wealth funds being named as a potential beneficiary in the public consultation on the future of dormant assets funding.

The dormant assets scheme enables financial organisations to voluntarily channel funds from dormant accounts to good causes, while ensuring owners’ rights are protected. To date, nearly £700m has been released in England for social or environmental purposes.

The community wealth funds proposal has been championed by the Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA), a cross-sector coalition of over 660 civil society, public and private sector organisations. The CWFA campaign has called for investment focused on building local assets that will bring people together, such as community hubs, pubs, shops, cafes, sport clubs, arts centres and green spaces, with residents leading in the decision-making process. Under this model, community wealth funds would provide long-term patient investment directly to residents in the most disadvantaged and ‘left behind’ areas, many of which suffer from both the highest levels of multiple deprivation and the lowest levels of social infrastructure.1

One of the key principles advocated by the APPG is the need for long-term, patient funding. If delivered as envisaged, over a 10 to 15-year time horizon, community wealth funds will provide the certainty, stability and continuity needed for transformational change in those communities most in need of investment. 

 Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield and Conservative co-chair of the APPG said:  

“For levelling up to be a success, we need to support community efforts and locally led solutions and approaches that tackle the wide range of causes of inequality. Cost of living challenges mean the need for community wealth funds to do this has never been more timely and important.

“They would have a transformative effect for those communities in my Sedgefield constituency that haven’t had access to the funding and resources compared to other neighbouring areas, and which as a result have missed out, and I look forward to making it a reality.”

Dame Diana Johnson DBE, MP for Kingston upon Hull North and Labour co-chair of the APPG said:

“The creation of community wealth funds through the expanded dormant assets scheme is a big win in our journey towards securing long term funding for our country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, such as those in my constituency of Kingston-upon-Hull North.

“I am extremely grateful to colleagues from the House of Lords and in the Commons who have supported us with this cause and look forward to the consultation on the establishment of the funds.”

Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust, a founding member of the CWFA, said: 

“We warmly welcome the Government’s announcement that community wealth funds will be supported through dormant assets funding. We hope that the creation of these new neighbourhood-based resident-led funds will signal a sea-change in how we support communities that for decades have missed out on investment and opportunities.

“And that the residents of these areas will get the chance to drive transformational change in their communities, through consistent long-term funding. We look forward to engaging with DCMS on the consultation and supporting them in developing the detail of how these funds will be distributed.”

Barbara Slasor, community development lead for Gaunless Gateway Big Local and expert witness in the APPG’s final inquiry session into levelling up ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods said: 

“Funding through community wealth funds will be transformative. I know this first hand from my experience of the Big Local programme, which has provided long-term resources and support for local residents in Bishop Auckland to improve our area and create better prospects for our community.

“Investment of this kind will enable countless other communities across the country to play a greater role in local decisions, services and facilities.”

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1 They are wards that sit amongst the 10 per cent most deprived on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation and have the highest levels of community need as measured by Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion’s Community Needs Index.