The Community Right to Challenge enables communities to challenge to take over local services that they think they can run differently and better.

The Right to Challenge could be used to run a wide range of local services.

How does the Community Right to Challenge work?

The Community Right to Challenge is the Right for community organisations to submit an expression of interest in running services of local authority and fire and rescue authorities on behalf of that authority.

If a community group, charity, parish council or group of staff of the authority identify a service they would like to run, they will need to submit an expression of interest to the authority. If the authority accepts the expression of interest, they must run a procurement exercise for the service. The interested group will need to compete with others who may wish to run the service. If your expression of interest is accepted, the Community Right to Challenge means that the local authority must run a procurement exercise, which you could bid for.

Support and Grants

Advice is available if you are thinking about taking over a service from your local council including use of the Right to Challenge.

Funding made available by Department for Communities & Local Government through a grants programme run by the Social Investment Business has now closed. See our Grants page for other funding opportunities.

A challenge will be considered by a local authority and may be accepted or rejected, but if it is accepted does not mean you will necessarily get to run the service as the council would have to run a tendering exercise which anyone can bid for, including the private sector.

Groups successful with the Community Right to Challenge

Some examples of community groups already providing local services include:

Fresh Horizons run an efficient library service in Huddersfield, combining this with advice and credit union services and in the future a cinema.

Halifax Opportunities Trust manage a large proportion of Calderdale Council’s children’s centre, they also run two large conference and workspace facilities.

Get further support and learn from others in the case studies section.

Please note that the Right applies to services being delivered by local authorities and fire and rescue services.

Other guidance

We also welcome enquiries from local councils needing guidance on the policies and how best to respond to Expressions of Interest.

We can assist with the running or bidding to run of public services even if you are not planning to use the Community Right to Challenge mechanism itself. The Community Right to Challenge is available in England only.

Still have questions? Contact us via the advice service.

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Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, in association with partners Locality and ACEVO:
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Supported by delivery specialists: Social Enterprise UK, National Association of Local Councils, Urban Forum, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, ACRE and Ignition Enterprises Ltd.
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