CAN Northumberland

Northumberland has a good track record of community-led housing initiatives, through housing co-operatives, community development trusts, community partnerships and community land trusts. But it has never had a support hub.

Northumberland County Council received £1.3 million from the Government’s first year Community Housing Fund programme and, following discussions with the sector, agreed to provide an initial two years of start-up grant funding for a new hub. It is the first to be established in the North of England.

  • Communities CAN is a trading arm of Community Action Northumberland, the Rural Community Council in the County
  • The £133,000 budget for the first two years includes:
    • Scoping work to establish demand
    • Establishing the support hub
    • Business planning
    • Training and support for community-led housing groups
    • Housing needs assessments
    • Technical feasibility studies
    • Promotion and marketing
    • Administrative support
  • The Communities CAN Board brings together a diverse range of individuals from the community-led housing sector, the County Council, housing associations, the National Park Authority and the National Housing Federation
  • The new support hub will not employ any staff direct, but will work with a pool of technical associates with expertise and experience in community-led housing development. It will be overheads-lite
  • Communities CAN will support all forms of community-led housing, working with developers, landowners, housing associations, the local authority, as well as new and existing community organisations, to bring forward bespoke projects across the County
  • Where appropriate, the support hub will take ownership of assets and may offer its services across a wider geography in the future, in order to meet demand and ensure its sustainability
  • Communities CAN aims to become self-financing without grant support within five years of start up
  • At February 2018, Communities CAN was directly involved in supporting 20 new community-led housing initiatives across the County

The County Council’s Cabinet report approving funding for Communities CAN is here.

For more information on Communities CAN contact