MAJOR BOOST TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR A RURAL STRATEGY:
The Independent Food, Farming & Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA in its report launched on Tuesday 16th July ‘Our Future in the Land’ has added its voice to the calls by the RSN and the House of Lords Select Committee for a comprehensive Rural Strategy (more to follow)
The government made a “digital pledge” backed by £7.5 million of government funding in July 2018 to help councils transform their digital services in line with the Local Digital Declaration. This initiative is designed to help change the way councils invest in technology, share expertise and ensure members of the public are receiving the best quality digital services.
This funding, available for the financial years 2018/19 to 2019/20, will be split into 2 streams:
The fund opened on 24 September and the deadline for submission os expressions of interest is 5 October 2018.
The government is making available £163 million across England up to 2020 to 2021 through the Community Housing Fund. The Fund aims to support an increase in housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; to provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity; and to deliver a lasting legacy for the community-led housing sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.
Under Phase One of the Fund, Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to support:
Under Phase Two of the Fund Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to help cover the capital costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes.
Both phases are now open.
The National Churches Trust has operated a number of grant programmes, one of which is currently open as follows:
Two further grant programmes will are due to open before the end of 2018: Foundation Grants (between £500 and £3000) and Gateway Grants (between £3000 and £10,000).
The Local Schools Nature Grants Scheme allows Infant, Primary and Secondary schools in England, Scotland & Wales to apply for £500 worth of outdoor resources, and a two hour training session thanks to Postcode Local Trust, which receives funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
They are looking for schools whose learners are aged 5+ and are passionate about making environmental improvements for the benefit of their pupils, staff and the community.
Further details can be found on the People’s Postcode Lottery website:
and on their charity information page:
The deadline for applications is 30 November 2018.
Thanks to a series of generous donations the AIA can make available Restoration Grants of up to £20,000 for a range of historic and industrial archaeology purposes.
The first awards were made in 2009, since when the Association has been able to allocate around half a million pounds. Details of some of the projects funded can be found on the website.
Grants are awarded for the restoration of historically, technically, architecturally, and/or archaeologically important industrial buildings, structures, machinery, vehicles and vessels within the UK. Applications will usually relate to a single, tangible structure or artefact. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2019.
The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS), announced on 15 March 2018, will provide vouchers worth up to £3000 for a small or medium sized business or £500 to residents to help with the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband.
The scheme is part of a wider government plan to get more homes and businesses connected to full fibre broadband. It builds on the £200 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme which gives funding to local areas to boost full fibre delivery and on trial voucher schemes operated in four parts of the country.
The UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme is a capital fund that awards up to £5,000 to theatres across the UK run by charities and not-for-profit groups that can clearly demonstrate the value capital improvements to their theatres would make to their work in local communities.
Priorities include projects that address urgent building repairs, improve operational viability, introduce environmental improvements, and enhance physical accessibility.
The closing date for applications is 8 January 2019.
The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme is a £1.5 million government fund that will support local and community groups across England in celebrating the centenary of women gaining the right to vote.
As part of the scheme, approximately 150 ‘Small Grants’ of between £300 to £2,000 will be available for grassroots projects to run small-scale events and activities to celebrate the centenary of women gaining the vote. The final round of this grant scheme is currently open and will close to applications on 16 October 2018.
The government is inviting bids from local authorities and private sector partners for “ambitious, locally supported, proposals for new garden communities.”
A prospectus has been published setting out how government propose to support proposals to create new garden communities of at least 1,500 homes, with priority given to those of over 10,000 homes.
This support could include funding to ensure the local authority has dedicated skilled, staff in place and fund the preparatory studies required.
The deadline for proposals is 9 November 2018.
Family Fund Business Services are working in collaboration with BBC Children in Need to deliver the Emergency Essentials programme supporting children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.
The programme can deliver or fund critical items such as:
Applications must be completed by a registered referrer who is part of an organisation that is supporting the family or young person and capable of assessing their needs.
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust was set up in 1998, to promote and support charities in the United Kingdom working in agriculture, rural development and insurance. The objectives of the trust are:
Applications for funding for projects and initiatives falling within these objectives can be made twice per year. The next deadline for applications is 26 October 2018.
Whether it’s the park you run through, the hall you do classes in or the pitch you play on, welcoming and accessible spaces have a big impact on a person’s experience – and likelihood of coming back.
As part of this, Sport England have produced a guide and accompanying document to explain more about the new Community Asset Fund, how and why they're doing things differently, when they will make decisions plus tips and advice for developing your project or idea.
Sports clubs and community organisations can now apply for investment from the Community Asset Fund – Sport England’s new capital fund dedicated to enhancing the spaces in local communities that give people the opportunity to be active.
This fund will have a value of £15 million per annum with the anticipated size of bids between £1000 and £150,000. There is no deadline to apply and awards will be made from February 2017.
Locality will continue to deliver the Neighbourhood Planning Support Programme over the next four years, from 2018-2022. The programme builds on the 2015-18 programme and any support previously received will be taken into account.
All groups undertaking a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order are eligible to apply for up to £9,000 in basic grant.
As well as applying for a basic grant, you can also apply for technical support (provided you meet the eligibiltiy criteria) to help you with your neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order.
You must spend your grant funding within 12 months or by the end of the financial year, whichever is earliest.
Groups meeting the eligibility criteria are able to apply for additional grant of up to £8,000 (in addition to the basic grant). To qualify for this additional grant, you must be at least one of the following:
Under the new programme there are some important changes to eligibility criteria for support available to groups. In addition, the amount groups are eligible for in grants will depend on what they have received in the 2015-18 programme.
This dedicated programme of support for community projects in England, Scotland and Wales is funded by Players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Now in its second year the project seeks to reach out and engage with up to 10 rural communities annually to help deliver and reinvigorate community assets and services.
Overall, the Rural Four project aims to
The Prince’s Countryside Fund, working with partners Scottish Business in the Community, Plunkett Foundation and Pub is the Hub, utilise their networks as a catalyst for community engagement. Support and guidance is provided to communities to collaborate and learn from others to build plans for projects that reinvigorate or restore vital assets. Funding is then provided to those that meet our eligibility criteria in order to support the community to create change.
Funding of up to £25,000 is available and applications are currently open.
The Reaching Communities programme aims to make positive change in communities. Big Lottery particularly want to hear about ideas that support:
Through Reaching Communities funding you can apply for between £10,000 and £500,000. Successful grant can fund some or all of the costs associated with delivering a project, including staff salaries, training, volunteer expenses, management costs, equipment, premises costs, monitoring and evaluation and overheads. The programme can also fund up to £100,000 for small scale capital work, such as refurbishment, the purchase of vehicles, land or buildings.
Big Lottery encourage applicants to contact them before applying for additional advice and support before you submit your application.
The programme re-opened for applications on 2 April 2018.
National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities. You can apply if your organisation is a:
National Lottery Awards for All has three funding priorities. Applications must meet at least one of them. The priorities are:
This is an open programme. Applications can be made at any time.
Through partnerships funding, Big Lottery aim to make grants available over £10,000 for organisations who share responsibility and influence with others, who have a shared set of goals and values, and achieve their mission by starting with the bigger picture rather than just what their organisation can do on its own.
Grants are awarded for up to five years and we can fund project activities, operating costs, organisational development and capital costs. The three funding priorities are:
This scheme is intended to reimburse people for the costs of setting up a childcare business. The scheme is only open to newly registered businesses. From 1 May 2017 a newly registered business is one that has been registered with Ofsted or a CMA within the last 3 months.
The Scheme has been revised from 4 April 2018. They are retaining the higher level of award (£1,000) for childminders who care for children with SEN/D and for new Childminder Agencies (CMAs), and introducing two tiers of general award:
Please note that from 1st May 2017, if you have been registered with Ofsted for longer than 3 months you are not eligible for a grant. This rule will be strictly upheld.
The Childcare Business Grants Scheme is funded by the Department for Education. There is a fixed amount of funding available and is demand-led and operates on a first come / first served basis.
Trusthouse is interested in applications for capital projects at community centres in the most deprived urban areas and village halls in remote and economically deprived rural areas.
The Foundation wants to support community centres and village halls which are at the heart of small, deprived communities. They expect that you will be providing a range of activities for all ages and abilities which help to promote community cohesion and address local problems of isolation, poverty, lack of local facilities, transport and other issues of relevance to your area.
They interpret ‘community centres’ in the broad sense, so you might be a church, sports facility or other building which offers a range of activities throughout the week which all the community can access.
The Foundation will consider applications for new buildings; upgrading, renovating or extending buildings; improving or creating outside space (but not car parks). You will need to have secured a minimum of 50% of the costs of the project before you start an application.
The Screwfix Foundation raises funds to support projects that will fix, repair, maintain and improve properties and community facilities for those in need throughout the UK. They work with both national and local charities, donating much needed funds to help all sorts of projects, from repairing buildings and improving facilities in deprived areas, to decorating the homes of people living with sickness and disabilities.
The Screwfix Foundation currently offers local registered charities and not for profit organisations funding of up to £5,000. All applications are reviewed individually on a quarterly basis – the review dates are in February, May, August and November.
Two funds are available to local communities to help with the disruption that will be caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2 between London and the West Midlands; the Community and Environment Fund and the Business and Local Economy Fund. The objective of these funds is to add benefit, over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation, to communities and local economies along the route.
The administration of these funds is managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork who will ensure both funds remain available for applications throughout the construction of Phase One.
The Community Shares Booster Programme is a funding scheme to support community share offers. It will invest equity up to £100,000 to match community shares in societies that can demonstrate higher than average levels of community impact, innovation and engagement. The programme will also provide development grants of up to £10,000 to help societies get investment ready and meet standards of good practice. Match funding will be in the form of equity held on equal terms with other community shareholders.
Power to Change has provided £3m funding for the Booster Programme over a five-year period from 2017-22. The programme is expected to match fund around 60 share offers in the first three years of the programme (to 2020) and then provide active investor support to societies on a continuing basis. The programme is run by the Community Shares Unit, a joint initiative between Co-operatives UK and Locality.
The Community Shares Unit was established in 2012, since when there have been over 350 community share offers in the UK, raising more than £120m in share capital from over 100,000 people. Community shares are defined as non-transferable, withdrawable shares in an asset locked society that has at least 20 member-shareholders and £10,000 in share capital.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The LTA are operating two funds, with the preference being to invest in projects that bring together multiple partners to deliver the right mix of tennis facilities for their local community.
The first fund is named after the programme - the Transforming British Tennis Together Fund. They are allocating £100m and will provide significant support to applicants throughout the lifecycle of their project. With this fund they want to see multiple organisations coming together to create hundreds of thriving ‘Community Tennis Networks’.
The second fund - the Growing the Game Fund – is designed to support smaller venues who, primarily for geographical reasons, cannot be part of a broader Community Tennis Network. They are allocating £25m and we will provide a more streamlined service to applicants.
The following elements are likely to feature in many successful bids:
Up to 50% funding is available to projects and the initiative is due to run for 10 years with 2 funding rounds each year.
Schools, colleges and community groups in England can apply for grants to Blue Spark Foundation for a wide range of projects. The Foundation value academic, vocational, artistic and sporting endeavour in equal measure but are particularly keen to support projects which will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.
Many grants will be under £2,000, most will be under £5,000 and only in a few cases will grants exceed £10,000.
Projects which could be supported include drama, music, sport, art and design, debating, public speaking, academic education, vocational training, community projects, enterprise projects and educational excursions. This list is illustrative and not exclusive as to the types of project that the Foundation support.
'Archives Revealed' is a partnership programme between The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust. It is described as the only funding stream available in the UK dedicated to cataloguing and unlocking archives. The fund is comprised of two funding strands, the first of which, ‘Cataloguing grants’ of up to £40,000 for archives to create catalogues of important archival collections, is now closed and will re-open in October 2018.
Scoping Grants up to £3,000 will be available under the second strand to help archives conduct collection analysis to support development of plans for future cataloguing priorities and projects. The scoping grant fund is a rolling programme with decisions made on a quarterly basis: panel meetings will be held July and October 2018, January and April 2019.
Transform Foundation provide funding of up to £18,000 to cover the strategy, design, build, content strategy, training, QA and launch of a new mobile optimised website, with sophisticated marketing, fundraising, appeals, social media, e-commerce and website management tools. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The grant covers 100% of the website design and build costs with the Foundation’s current grant partner. Applicant organisations will need to cover ongoing costs for a minimum of a 12 month commitment
They are specifically targeting small and midsize charities – generally with an income between £350k and £30M a year.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) which supports the conservation and re-generation of historic buildings, has two further grants available:
The deadline for applications for both Project Viability Grants and Project Development Grants of up to £7,500 is the last day of each calendar month. Project Development Grant applications for more than £7,500 go to Trustee Grants Panel meetings for decision. The deadline for the next meeting is 29 October 2018.
The Architectural Heritage Fund is now able to offer bespoke mortgage-style loan facilities. The Heritage Mortgage programme allows borrowers to plan ahead across a number of years and at an earlier stage than is usual, potentially reducing the annual costs by stretching the payments over a longer period. The Heritage Mortgage is available either pre- or post-completion of a capital project. Investments of between £150,000 and £500,000 are available, typically over 10 to 20 years.
The Family Fund helps families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. You can apply to Family Fund subject to a number of criteria which include that you are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under and that you have evidence of entitlement to one of the following: Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.
See the website for more details.
SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA) provides funding awards of up to £50,000 to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include:
Projects can be supported that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.
The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This includes:
For more information visit the website below.
A variety of funds under the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) are currently available in different parts of the country. ESIF includes money from the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Deadlines for applications vary. Please see the website below for more information.
Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the carrier bag charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK*. The projects must meet the criteria of bringing benefits to the community. In England the scheme is administered by Groubdwork.
Bags of Help is always open for applications from charities and community organisations. Applications are assessed by Groundwork to ensure they are eligible. In areas where application numbers are high, Tesco colleagues will shortlist the projects to determine which go forward to the customer vote.
Three community projects in each local area will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the UK, with projects changing every other month. Following the vote, the project that received the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.
The government has created a £3 billion fund “to increase the number of homes built in England.” You can apply if you’re a private sector business that builds new homes or prepares sites for housing developments. This includes small builders, community builders, custom builders and regeneration specialists, as well as larger builders and developers.
The fund provides development finance and infrastructure finance via loans. More information on how the fund works and who can apply is available in ‘An Introduction to the Home Building Fund’ which you can access via the link below.
The Premier League Fans Fund is a three-year commitment from the Premier League to fund projects and organisations which improve the relationship between fans and their clubs, the way football supporters engage with each other and fans’ experience of the game.
The Fans Fund Small Grants Scheme offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that look to address the aims of the scheme which are to:
Applications are accepted at any time.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funds projects which focus on heritage. HLF offer a range of different grant programmes with grants from £3,000 to over £5million. In assessing applications, HLF take account of the broad range of outcomes for heritage, people and communities that projects will achieve. HLF programmes include:
HLF will be opening a new funding portfolio in January 2019. For information on all HLF programmes visit the website.
Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available for eligible individuals, organisations, libraries and museums for a range of activities including: Audio-visual, broadcast and transmission, buildings and infrastructure, capacity building, commissioning, digital creation, diversity and equality, education and learning, exhibition, festival, organisational development, original work, participation, performance, production, professional development, publishing, research and development, sector development, talent development and touring.
This is a rolling programme with no deadlines.
The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a unique three year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £3.85 million and is jointly funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Power to Change. Plunkett Foundation is leading this exciting programme and delivering it in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Keyfund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality. For the first time it offers the community pub sector access to an end-to-end support programme including capacity building and a finance package made up of loans and grants.
An extensive support programme is available until March 2019 which includes business development advice and a combined finance package of up to £100,000 made up of loans and grants.
The aim of The Discovery Project is to help disadvantaged people have the confidence to make the most of their future.
The Santander Foundation provides grants to support knowledge, skills and innovation to give disadvantaged people the confidence to discover and create a new world of opportunities.
Discovery Grants of up to £5,000 are available to UK Registered Charities, Community Interest Companies and Credit Unions to fund small, local projects helping disadvantaged people.
Help The Homeless makes grants to charitable organisations with the aim of helping homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life. Grants are available to small and medium-sized charitable organisations to fund the capital costs of projects with grants of up to £5,000. The quarterly deadlines for grant applications each year are: 15 March, 15 June, 15 September and 15 December.
War Memorials Trust administers a number of grants schemes which between them cover the whole of the UK. Currently programme funders include the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Historic England, Historic Scotland and War Memorials Trust. Grants are currently available up to 75% of eligible costs with a normal maximum grant of £30,000.
War Memorials Trust seeks to help all war memorial custodians, whatever the nature and size of their war memorial by facilitating repair and conservation projects.
Annual deadlines are 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December.
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community. The fund will provide up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become investment ready. RCEF provides support in two stages:
The fund is being delivered on behalf of the government by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis and there is no set deadline for bids
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) and delivered by the Foundation. The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:
Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000.
Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network
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