Finance and project stages

All projects will have different opportunities to secure finance for their development and implementation. These will depend on the type of assets being developed (housing, workspace, leisure for example) and the community and stakeholders involved (whether there is a sympathetic landowner involved or significant grant funding is available).

But most projects will need to secure funds in three stages:

Stage one: project feasibility and pre-asset transfer costs

To make an initial assessment of feasibility and viability of a project it may be necessary to investigate the site/buildings, work up proposals, approach funders, pay architects and other professionals and fund the community involvement process before any capital finance to implement the project can be secured.

It is often difficult to find finance to undertake this work, particularly up to the level of detail that will be required to demonstrate viability and sustainability of the project convincingly.

However there are some funds available and experience from practice on the ground is that persistence pays off and the solution is often a combination of grants from project stake holders, voluntary activity and pro bono (provided at no charge) work by professionals.

Stage two: project implementation/set-up or start-up costs

To bring a project to fruition, capital finance to acquire and develop the asset will be required eg external work, internal work including fixtures and fittings and equipment, and external landscaping work. There are also revenue costs to be considered to develop the organisation undertaking the project and manage the assets into the future. It is also important to establish any potential liabilities or needs taken on with an asset transfer eg any repair needs of a building, contractual commitments, retrictions on use or liabilities such as pensions. 

Stage three: ongoing support/operational costs

The costs incurred at this stage are those associated with managing and operating the asset eg utilities, administration and insurance.  Some projects take some time to achieve viability and may require ongoing revenue support via grants or use of reserves to enable them to develop so that they generate a profit.