The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Rural Funding Digest - April 2024

A monthly bulletin facilitated by your membership of the Rural Services Network highlighting a selection of current funding opportunities

- Download a printable version of the Funding Digest here

Climate Action Fund: Our Shared Future – The National Lottery Community Fund

The Climate Action Fund is a commitment to help communities tackle climate change. The Fund is supporting communities to be environmentally sustainable.

With Climate Action Fund – Our Shared Future, Lottery want to involve more people in climate action. They we want to inspire bold and exciting change.

They’ll fund formal partnership projects that reach more people by either:

  • linking climate action to the everyday lives and interests of local communities. And inspiring them to take action.
  • influencing communities at a regional or national level. Like linking up groups across locations. Or a campaign that inspires change across one country, or the whole UK.

Formal partnerships can apply, working across sectors and led by community and voluntary organisations or public sector organisations.

The minimum you can ask for is £500,000. They expect to fund most projects for between £1 million and £1.5 million over 3 to 5 years and aim to fund up to 25 projects.

You’ll be able to apply until at least the end of 2024. They plan to close to applications in early 2025 and will announce the final deadline nearer the time.

Climate Action Fund - Our Shared Future | The National Lottery Community Fund (

Community Ownership Fund – Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

This fund helps community groups buy or renovate assets that would otherwise be lost to the community.

Assets are venues and meeting spaces used by the local community, such as:

  • community centres
  • cinemas and theatres
  • galleries
  • museums
  • music venues
  • parks
  • post office buildings
  • pubs
  • shops
  • sporting and leisure facilities

Assets can be at risk of being lost to the community from:

  • closure or end of lease
  • neglect or dereliction
  • an unsustainable current business model
  • being for sale
  • being listed for disposal
  • being part of a community asset transfer

The asset must offer value to local people. You must be able to run it sustainably for the long term.

The final round of the Community Ownership Fund takes place this year. There are two bidding windows to allocate remaining funding. Window 1 is open until 10 April 2024.

Window 2 will open in late May. Specific timings for the final window will be published in due course.

Community Ownership Fund Round 4: how to express your interest in applying - GOV.UK (

The UK Fund – The National Lottery Community Fund

The UK Fund is looking to fund organisations that want to do more to help communities come together and help make us a better-connected society.

Your project must either work across the UK, or be able to inform, influence or scale across the UK.

They want to fund projects that:

  • strengthen relationships between people whose experiences of life have not been the same. For example, relationships between people of different ethnic backgrounds, generations, occupations or geographies
  • create connections between online and offline worlds
  • help make sure people from all backgrounds can shape the future of their communities.

£500,000 to £5m is available and they expect most projects to run from 2 to 5 years. They may consider funding for up to 10 years.

The UK Fund | The National Lottery Community Fund (

Community Green Spaces Fund – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Defra has announced a new fund offering grants of up to £75,000 to help communities to plant fruits, vegetables and trees, creating orchards and kitchen gardens for all to access and enjoy. Landscaping projects could also create raised beds and improve areas to plant different flowers around village hall facilities and other community green spaces, making space for pollinators and nature to thrive.

Funding will also be awarded to support the expansion of natural play facilities which encourage children to spend more time outdoors, in addition to projects which focus on improving access to green spaces such as new paths and seating. To make the spaces more accessible to disabled people, funding will also be available for the creation of disabled parking spaces.

Applications are expected to open in the summer.

Rural community green spaces to be rejuvenated through new government investment - GOV.UK (

Community Energy Fund – Department for Energy Security & net Zero

Community energy projects involve groups of people coming together to purchase, manage, generate, or reduce consumption of energy. This includes (but is not limited to), solar panels, wind farms, hydro power, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, car clubs and fuel poverty alleviation schemes.  Programmes are usually not-for-profit, and profits raised from projects are reinvested back into the communities which they power.

The Community Energy Fund is a grant programme for community groups and eligible third sector organisations to develop projects from feasibility to commercialisation. The funding supports eligible community groups to consider options, design schemes and overcome barriers to investment. The programme is being delivered through the government’s Local Net Zero Hubs and further information on applying for funding can be found on their individual websites. Further information and links to Hub websites can be found at:

Local net zero: central support for local authorities and communities - GOV.UK (

Local Authority Treescapes Fund – Forestry Commission

The LATF is the government offer for local authorities (LAs) to restore tree cover in non-woodland areas which may have been impacted by issues such as disease, habitat degradation or ageing tree stock. The fund is focused on planting and natural colonisation of trees in areas outside of woodlands, including parklands, riparian zones, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths as well as trees in hedgerows and field boundaries (not hedgerows themselves).

LATF funded trees can be small or large, and in urban or rural settings.

The LATF is inviting bids with a minimum value of £50,000 through competitive bidding. The LATF operates on a first-come first-served basis with applications being assessed every 2 months in batches received between:

  • 1 March 2024 to 30 April 2024
  • 1 May 2024 to 30 June 2024: this is the final date for LATF applications in Round 4.

Local Authority Treescapes Fund - GOV.UK (

Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure – Office for Zero Emission Vehicles

The government offers grants to support the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints via the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). This includes:

  • Electric vehicle chargepoint grant for renters and flat owners. You can get 75% off the cost to buy and install a socket, up to a maximum of £350.
  • Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Grant for Households with On-Street Parking. You can get 75% off the cost to buy and install a socket, up to a maximum of £350.
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure grant for staff and fleets. You can get up to £350 per chargepoint socket installed and up to £500 per parking space enabled with supporting infrastructure.
  • Electric vehicle chargepoint and infrastructure grants for landlords. You can get 75% off the cost to buy and install a socket, up to a maximum of £350 per socket.
  • Workplace charging scheme. The grant covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargepoints, capped at a maximum of £350 per socket and 40 sockets across all sites per applicant.
  • Workplace Charging Scheme for state-funded education institutions. You can get 75% off the cost to buy and install chargepoints up to a maximum of: £2,500 per socket (40 sockets across all sites including any applications made previously via the Workplace Charging Scheme).

The closing date for all grants is 31 March 2025. For more information visit the website below.

Big Bike Revival – Cycling UK

Big Bike Revival is an intervention for adults, delivered across England. Established in 2014, the programme delivers an extensive events programme in England at a local level by community-embedded partners who are typically volunteer-led groups, social enterprises, not-for-profit organisations, independent bike shops and Cycling UK's Community Cycle Club network.

The aim is to encourage the target audience of adults to learn how to cycle as beginners and motivate those cycling less often to cycle more frequently. Events focus on encouraging adults to cycle for short, everyday journeys, that present cycling as a practical, normal and habitual way to get around locally. Children are welcome to join events if accompanied by a participating adult, ideally one child per adult. Adults might for example be keen to learn how to cycle the school run or encourage their family to cycle as an economic and healthy way to travel for local journeys.

Grant funding up to £3,500 per application is available to support the delivery of events. Applications are open until 25 June 2024 and the delivery period is from 29 March until 31 October 2024.

Big Bike Revival Summer 2024 | Cycling UK

Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND) – Arts Council England

This fund is targeted at non-national Accredited museums to undertake vital infrastructure and urgent maintenance backlogs which are beyond the scope of day-to-day maintenance budgets.

Through implementing improvements to core infrastructure, MEND will support museums to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Become more financially resilient and environmentally responsible
  • Increase the environmental performance of buildings and equipment to help reduce carbon emissions in the museum?sector
  • Improve access for disabled people and accommodate diverse user?needs?
  • Strengthen contributions to local communities and regeneration by preserving landmark buildings

Grants between £50,000 and £5 million are available. The deadline for expressions of interest is 18 April 2024.

Cultural Investment Fund | Arts Council England

Youth Homelessness grants – Comic Relief

Comic Relief expects to launch a new funding opportunity in April for organisations that specialise in providing support to young people aged 16-25 in the UK, who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness. This will be for organisations that are already working in this area.

Further funding criteria is being developed. More information about the funding and the application process will be made available in April 2024.

Funding opportunities | Comic Relief

D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust grants

The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust funds United Kingdom Registered Charities operating in the UK in the fields of the advancement of the arts, health and medical welfare and environmental protection or improvement.

The Trust makes grants which are usually in the range £500 - £6,000 and there are three grant-making meetings held annually which take place in March, July, and November. The majority of the Trust’s grants are single grants over a one-year period.

The next deadline for applications is 23 May 2024.

The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust – The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust (

Suez Communities Fund

The SUEZ Communities Fund in England has approximately £1.6M available per year, funded by donations from SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, through the Landfill Communities Fund.

To be eligible for a grant, your project must be located within one of their active funding zones. A postcode checker is available on their website.

Grants between £3,000 and £50,000 are available for community projects delivering capital improvements to public amenities. Examples may include:

  • Village hall improvements
  • Nature reserves and conservation
  • Village greens
  • Community centres
  • Public playgrounds
  • Cycle paths
  • Sports fields and facilities
  • Country parks
  • Historic buildings, structures or sites

There are four deadlines for applications, each year. The next deadline is 15 May 2024.

SUEZ Communities Fund - England - Grantscape Grantscape

Refurbishment Grants Programme – Armed Forces Covenant Fund

This programme will award grants of up to £75,000 towards projects that assist in the refurbishment or extension of rental accommodation that will offer high quality support for veterans with a housing need.

To be eligible for this funding, you must be one of the following:

  • A registered charity that can show it works with veterans or
  • A registered social housing provider that can show it works with veterans.

The deadline for applications is 19 June 2024.

Refurbishment Grants Programme : Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

Major Capital Grants Programme – Armed Forces Covenant Fund

This programme will award grants of between £75,000 and £500,000 towards projects that support significant refurbishment, including extensions and new builds, of rental accommodation that will offer high quality support for Veterans with a housing need.

They want to support projects that need help to refurbish or extend existing accommodation or build new accommodation to house Veterans. You can apply for this programme if your project will:

  • Enable major refurbishment of existing social rented or affordable rented homes for Veterans
  • Enable extensions of existing buildings to increase the availability of Veteran housing
  • Increase the number of new build, homes/housing units available to Veterans at affordable or social rents
  • Ensure properties meet decent homes and energy efficiency standards

The next deadline for expressions of interest is 19 June 2024.

Major Capital Grants Programme : Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

Trust Capacity Fund – Department for Education

The trust capacity fund (TCaF) supports the growth of multi-academy trusts (MATs). It is for trusts which have had a growth project approved by a regional director.

Government particularly encourage applications for funding which:

  • relate to education investment areas
  • involve taking on groups of schools
  • involve taking on underperforming schools

It is available to:

  • academy trusts
  • local authority-maintained schools forming a MAT

Trusts can apply for the next round of funding between 1 March 2024 and 25 June 2024.

Apply for the trust capacity fund - GOV.UK (

Trust Establishment and Growth Fund – Department for Education

Funding is available to support the creation of a new multi-academy trust (MAT) or to expand an existing MAT into a new area.

This fund supports the initial development of growth projects for MATs. It is available to:

  • Trusts
  • Schools
  • Dioceses
  • other organisations looking to establish a new MAT

They particularly encourage applications for projects relating to education investment areas (EIAs). There are two funding strands, both of which offer grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 per project:

A - For projects in EIAs, planning on taking on a minimum of three schools.

B - For projects outside EIAs, planning on taking on a minimum of three schools.

You can apply for the current round of funding by 25 June 2024.

Apply for the trust establishment and growth fund - GOV.UK (

Attracting new male participants into creative mental health programmes – Baring Foundation

A new round of funding has opened for arts organisations who would like to develop new participatory arts opportunities for men with mental health problems.

Grants of £20k to £50k are available for either of the following approaches, or a combination of the two:

  • Work which finds ways to achieve equal representation (or a significant increase) of men in mixed gender creative activities.
  • Men-only creative activities.

The Foundation is looking for projects which provide new and attractive creative opportunities for men who are not already taking part and target those men who are least likely otherwise to take part.

Projects should take place over at least one year, and preferably two or more years.

The deadline for applications is 23 April 2024.

New funding: Attracting new male participants into creative mental health programmes - The Baring Foundation

Tomorrow’s Climate Scientists – The Royal Society

Schools can apply for grants of up to £3,000 to run investigative STEM projects in partnership with STEM professionals from academia or industry. The programme provides an opportunity for students to have a voice in the direction of scientific research around climate change and biodiversity by working with their STEM partner. It also supports students to develop green skills as the UK moves towards a net zero future.

Free online training sessions are run for teachers, aimed to give attendees a better understanding of the grants scheme and application process.

The application round opened in February and will remain open across the year with three possible submission deadlines at the end of April, June, and November 2024.

Tomorrow’s Climate Scientists | Royal Society

Healthy Heart Grants – Heart Research UK

Healthy Heart Grants of up to £15,000 are available for community projects aimed at supporting adults to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease, helping them to live healthier, happier and longer lives. The grants are available to charities and community interest companies across the UK.

Projects must work solely with adults and have a main focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • healthy eating
  • physical activity
  • smoking

Application windows vary for different parts of the country. In England they are:

  • England North (8 May to 5 June).
  • England South (12 June to 10 July).

Healthy Heart Grants - Heart Research UK

VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme – Groundwork UK

The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme will help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) across England to deliver more efficient services for people and communities by saving money on their energy bills.

The Scheme is offering independent energy assessments to help identify energy-saving opportunities in your building. From January 2024, the scheme will also be offering capital grants to implement measures recommended in your assessment.

Applicant organisations must be a VCSE based in England and delivering frontline services. They must be able to demonstrate that they are financially sustainable, require support around energy and are not suitable for blended finance or loan support through other schemes.

The scheme is funded as part of a package of over £100 million of support being delivered by the Government to help frontline delivery organisations with the increased cost of living.

Capital Grants of between £2,000 and £150,000 can be used to install capital energy efficiency measures, identified in your Independent Energy Assessment (IEA), to reduce your building’s energy costs and support the delivery of your frontline services.

The next round of funding for capital grants is due to open in April 2024.

VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme - Groundwork

Village Halls Small Grants – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs & ACRE

In 2023, a £3 million village halls fund was launched to provide support for the modernisation and improvement of village halls in England.

Managed by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the fund has already awarded over £1 million to rural communities, helping them undertake ambitious improvements to their building. Works undertaken or scheduled to take place include new roofs, insulation, extensions, and more energy efficient heating systems.

The grant fund has now re-opened to new applicants who wish to undertake smaller projects such as disability access, toilet upgrades and new kitchens. Grant awards of between £2,000 to £5,000, and up to 20 per cent of eligible project costs, are on offer. Project expenditure must take place before 31 March 2025.

The fund is expected to stay open until December 2024, however it may be withdrawn before this.

Press release: Small grants made available to village halls in England - ACRE

Historic Houses Foundation Grants

The Historic Houses Foundation gives grants for the repair and conservation of rural historic buildings and structures in England and Wales, including their gardens, grounds and outbuildings. We also give grants for the restoration and conservation of works of art in historic house collections open to the public.

Grants are made to owners (charities, institutions, local authorities and individuals) who demonstrate a sustainable and long-term commitment to the care, management and public access of the historic country houses in their care.

The minimum Historic Houses Foundation grant is £1,000 and the maximum is £250,000 but an award of this size is only made under exceptional circumstances. Most grants are for less than £50,000.

Historic Houses Foundation

NFU Mutual Charitable Trust

The Trust was set up in 1998, to promote and support charities in the United Kingdom working in agriculture, rural development and insurance.

The Trust focuses on providing funding to larger initiatives, which would have a significant impact on the rural community. The Trustees are particularly interested in initiatives in the areas of education of young people in rural areas and relief of poverty within rural areas.

The Trustees meet twice a year to consider applications received. These meetings are currently held in June and November. Applications for the June meeting must be submitted by 24th May 2024 and for the November meeting they must be submitted by 25th October 2024.

NFU Mutual Charitable Trust: What do we do | NFU Mutual

Community and Environmental Grants – Veolia Environmental Trust

The Trust award grants towards projects that make improvements to community facilities and the natural environment.

The Trust’s Community Grant Scheme is available to constituted not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and Environmental Bodies (EBs). Grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 are available to create or improve buildings or outside spaces for the benefit of the community.

The Habitat and Biodiversity Grant Scheme offers grants between £10,000 and £75,000 whilst the Environmental Improvement Grant Scheme offers grants over £75,000. Nature Conservation grants are also available.

The closing date for the current round of applications is 11 April 2024.

Funding (

The Rowing Foundation

The Rowing Foundation purpose is to promote the participation in rowing of young people (those under 18 or still in full time education) and the disabled of all ages.

The Foundation gives grants of £500-£4,000 (up to 50% of the overall cost of the project) to help organisations and clubs involved in on water elements of the sport of Rowing who are individually affiliated to British Rowing (other than via their governing body) and whose requirements may be too small or who may be otherwise ineligible for an approach to the National Lottery or other similar sources of funds.

Funds are limited and statistically the Foundation favours giving grants for equipment that will be used on the water and exclusively for juniors and the disabled of all ages.

The deadline for applications is 20 May 2024.

The Rowing Foundation

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association (MA), supports museums and their community partners to develop together, using collections.

The Fund supports museums to improve their inclusive collections and participatory practice with, and sometimes led by, community partners. They are looking for museums that have established strategic aims for diversity, equity and inclusion; and that are ready to use their collections and this funding to support social and climate justice, in ways that are relevant to local contexts and relationships.

Grants of up to £100k over around two years are available, and they are expecting to award around 12 grants per year in two funding rounds.

The current round is open for expressions of interest until 22 April 2024.

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund - Museums Association

DHSC Community Automated External Defibrillator (AED) fund

Organisations across England are invited to bid for a share of £1 million of government funding to buy life-saving defibrillators for community spaces like town halls, local parks or post offices. The fund will support provision of 2000 AED's. These will be distributed across England during 2023-2024, supporting any organisation based in England that is not eligible for the current Department of Education AED programme. The funding for the scheme is based on a first come first served basis. The funding will be allocated on the following basis:

  • 100 applications will be selected by DHSC to receive a fully funded AED - selection is based on areas that are most in need of AED throughout England. Applicants will be advised in mid October and units shipped in mid November.
  • 1900 applications will receive partial DHSC funding for an AED - organisations will be required to provide their own match funding of c.£750.

The closing date for applications is 21 September 2024 – or once all the funding has been allocated.

DHSC Community Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Fund - GOV-UK Find a grant (

Neighbourhood Planning Grant Funding – Locality

This programme is currently closed. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has confirmed the continued importance which the Government attaches to supporting neighbourhood planning and that the Government intends that support will continue next financial year. Locality understand that options for the continuation of support provision remain under consideration and will update the website as soon as they have further advice on this from DLUHC.

Home - Locality Neighbourhood Planning

Open Grants Programme – The Clothworkers’ Foundation

The Foundation award grants to UK registered charities, CICs, and other registered UK not-for-profit organisations (including special schools). Grants are awarded towards capital projects, which they define as:

  • Buildings: purchase, construction, renovation or refurbishment.
  • Fittings, Fixtures, and Equipment: this includes but is not limited to office equipment/furniture, sports/gym equipment, digital/audio visual equipment, software and websites (more guidance on digital infrastructure can be found here), garden equipment, specialist therapeutic (excluding medical) equipment. It does not include equipment for one-off use, or which will be given to service users for personal use on a permanent basis.
  • Vehicles: This includes a minibus, car, caravan, people-carrier, or 4X4. We are unlikely to fund the total cost of a new vehicle and do not provide grants towards vehicle leasing.

They fund both large and small projects.

What We Fund | The Clothworkers' Foundation (

Bernard Sunley Foundation grants

The Foundation offers grants in the categories of Community, Education, Health or Social Welfare.

They offer three levels of grants. These are large grants of £20,000 and above; medium grants of up to £20,000 and small grants of £5,000 and under. Grants can be used for:

  • Capital projects which include new buildings, extensions, refurbishments and recreational spaces.
  • New minibuses and other vehicles that provide a vital service to those most in need in their local community.
  • Churches and other places of worship with a strong, secular community focus.
  • Charities or CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations) registered in England and Wales.
  • Certain organisations with exempt status such as specialist schools, scout and guide groups, housing associations, cooperatives, and community benefit societies.

Applications are accepted all year round.

What We Fund - Bernard Sunley Foundation

Thrive Together Fund – Social Investment Business

The Thrive Together Fund provides a funding package of loan (75%) and grant (25%) to eligible charities and social enterprises in England. 

The Fund is delivered by a partnership made up of Social Investment Business, Co-operative and Community Finance, Fredericks Foundation, Groundwork, Homeless Link and The Architectural Heritage Fund.

The fund is for small and medium sized charities and social enterprises based in and delivering impact in England, who are looking to grow or diversify their business models.

Between £25,000 and £150,000 is available to apply for (inclusive of loan and grant). The fund is currently open.

Thrive Together Fund | Funding | Social Investment Business (

Small Grants Programme – Sport England

The Small Grants Programme seeks to develop opportunities for communities to get more people physically active. New projects from not-for-profit organisations will be supported through providing National Lottery funding of between £300 and £15,000.

They want to support projects that bring communities together and provide sport and physical activities for people who may be less physically active.

They also particularly want to support projects focusing on environmental sustainability.

They believe that communities that work together and share resources provide a stronger and more sustainable impact. Therefore, Sport England want applications from projects that demonstrate how they connect with their communities, make best use of the existing skills and assets in an area, and will provide the biggest possible impact to those who need it most.

Small Grants Programme | Sport England

Project Viability Grants – the Architectural Heritage Fund

The Fund is offering grants of up to £10,000 to support early-stage feasibility work on historic building projects.

You may be thinking about forming an organisation, have been recently constituted, or be a longstanding organisation tackling a new project. You have identified a building - either already in your ownership or one you have a reasonable prospect of acquiring. You may have some ideas about how the building could be restored and used but want to explore the options and test whether these will work.

In 2023/24, we will prioritise projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Involve new use of a vacant historic building.
  • Help revive high streets.
  • Are in the top 30% most deprived areas (according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation).
  • Involve and support diverse communities.
  • Have a strong focus on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.
  • Contribute to local regeneration schemes.

These grants should help you to establish whether a project is feasible. Work will probably focus on understanding the condition of the building, how it might be used, and whether that intended use is appropriate for the building and likely to be sustainable.

This grant programme is supported by funding from Historic England.

England | The Architectural Heritage Fund (

Funding for Places – The Wolfson Foundation

The Trust’s main grants programme provides support for places. These grants are for capital initiatives, i.e. buildings (new build or refurbishment) and equipment.

They fund a broad range of organisations working across the fields of education, science & medicine, health & disability, heritage, humanities & the arts.

The Foundation accepts applications from the following types of organisation:

  • Charities working with disability.
  • Charities working in mental health.
  • Charities working with older people.
  • Historic buildings and landscapes.
  • Hospices and palliative care organisations.
  • Places of worship.
  • Libraries and archives.
  • Museums and galleries.
  • Performing arts organisations.
  • Public engagement with science organisations.
  • Secondary schools and sixth form colleges.
  • Special needs schools and colleges.
  • Universities and research institutions.

Specific funding criteria apply to each.

Decision dates are in June and December annually. Corresponding application deadlines are 5 January and 1 September each year.

Funding for places - The Wolfson Foundation

The Steel Charitable Trust

The Trust makes discretionary grants where they believe that their contribution will make a real difference.

Applications must be for charitable purposes that fall into one of the five core categories below:

  • Arts and Heritage
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Social or Economic Disadvantage

The minimum grant size is £10,000. Awards of more than £25,000 are rare.

Rolling grants programme – The Steel Charitable Trust

Building Improvement Grants – Benefact Trust

Benefact Trust’s Building Improvement Grants programme provides essential support to protect and enhance churches and Christian charity buildings, ensuring their continued use, viability, and the safeguarding of their heritage.

The programme is open to applications from churches, cathedrals, denominational bodies and Christian charities.

Under Building Improvement Grants, they are able to support direct capital costs relating to the following types of work:

  • Essential, one-off repairs or other capital works to ensure the continued use or viability of a building (capital work must be considered urgent or necessary within 12 months)
  • Minor capital works or equipment purchases to meet operational or accessibility requirements (e.g. essential operational equipment, AV equipment, hearing loops, ramps, etc)
  • Conservation or restoration of historic features (e.g. stained glass, carvings, interior furnishings, clocks, tower bells, organs etc) which contribute to preservation and appreciation of a building’s heritage
  • Other aesthetic enhancements (e.g. interior decoration, furnishings or public realm improvements) to improve indoor or outdoor spaces for users
  • Energy efficiency/renewable energy measures (e.g. heating/lighting upgrades, solar panels, etc) which improve the sustainability of church buildings/facilities and enable their continued use

All applicants will be expected to have secured funding for at least 30% of their total project costs before making an application.

New - Building Improvement Grants | Benefact Trust

Small grants programme – Theatres Trust

Theatres Trust's Small Grants Programme, supported by The Linbury Trust, funds small projects that make a big impact to a theatre’s resilience, sustainability, accessibility or improving the diversity of audiences.

This scheme provides grants of up to £5,000 for essential works to enable not-for-profit theatres across the UK to be viable and thrive in the future.

Eligible projects include small capital works, the installation of key plant and machinery and works which make theatre buildings digital-ready.

This scheme will prioritise improvements to buildings that protect theatre use and remove barriers to participation and attendance.

The deadline for the next round of applications is 7 June 2024.

Small Grants Programme supported by The Linbury Trust (

Urban Tree Challenge Fund – Forestry Commission

The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) is open for new applications, there is no application deadline, but it takes three to five months from submitting a valid and complete application to an agreement being offered.

The fund provides 80% of published standard costs for the planting and establishment of trees in urban and peri-urban areas. In 2023 payments for trial pits have been introduced to check for the presence of services. The remaining costs of planting and establishing trees supported under the UTCF must be met through match funding, either in the form of money or labour. Applications received from 1 July 2023 onward can only schedule tree planting to take place in 2024/25, the last year of the fund. There is a minimum application value of £10,000.

Applications are assessed year-round, if you want to plant trees in 2024/25 your application needs to be submitted no later than 30 June 2024.

Urban Tree Challenge Fund - GOV.UK (

Big Energy Saving Loans – Big Issue Invest

Big Issue Invest is offering loan finance between £20,000 to £200,000 to social enterprises and charities in England, for energy efficiency and renewable energy installation.

This lending programme is aimed at enabling social enterprises and charities to access loan funding to help save money on energy during the unprecedented cost of living crisis. Investment can be used for a variety of projects, including:

  • Insulation
  • Buying and installing renewable energy equipment
  • Heat exchangers and heat pumps
  • LED light installations
  • Replacing old gas fired boiler systems with new efficient ones
  • Property improvements, such as extra single glazing on existing windows, double glazing improvements, systematic draught improvements
  • Energy efficiency survey and technical assistance costs

The loans can be structured to your individual needs.  They can be unsecured which means they will not require you to put any personal guarantees in place, or interfere with other financing arrangements that require security.

Big Energy Saving Loans - The Big Issue


UnLtd have funding available to get your social business started, or progress to the next stage of your journey.

Up to £18,000 is available to fund organisational costs of businesses less than four years old, including a dedicated support manager, expert mentors, workshops and learning opportunities.

The next deadline for applications is 30 June 2024.

UnLtd - Awards | Funding and support to grow your impact |

Project Cost and Core Cost grants – BBC Children in Need

Children in Need often have several funding programmes open at any one time. These include:

  • Project Costs grants – support the aims and delivery of a specific piece of work. This work will usually be time-limited and based on a defined set of activities.
  • Core Costs grants – can be spent on an organisation’s central running and operational costs.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations can apply for these grants for up to three years. They aim to give quicker decisions for grants of £15,000 or less per year. There is no application deadline.

Apply For A Grant - BBC Children in Need

Defibrillator grants – London Hearts

Grants are available to fund Public Access Defibrillators in communities all over the country.

London Hearts is a charity aiming to help and support communities with the provision of heart defibrillators and teaching CPR/defibrillator skills. They can provide a grant of £300 towards the cost of a defibrillator and storage as well as a free online training video.

When someone has a cardiac arrest, timely intervention is the key to survival. By making more defibrillators available, and by training more people to use them, the better the chance of survival for a cardiac arrest victim.

London Hearts

Biffa Award – Main Grant Scheme

Biffa Award’s Main Grants Scheme is aimed at community and cultural groups and organisations, situated in the vicinity of landfill sites, that are in need of funding to improve the quality of life in their community or to conserve wildlife.

There are four themes - Community Buildings, Recreation, Cultural Facilities and Rebuilding Biodiversity. Under these themes we provide funding to create or improve community amenities. For example, upgrading kitchens, meeting rooms and toilets in village halls and community facilities; creating new playparks; installing new seating, lighting and exhibitions within theatres and museums; or establishing, protecting and enhancing habitats for biodiversity.

Between £10,000 and £75,000 can be awarded to projects that have a total cost of less than £200,000 including VAT.

Project sites must be within 5 miles of a significant Biffa Operation or active Biffa Landfill Site (15 miles for Rebuilding Biodiversity projects) and within 10 miles of

any licenced landfill site in England and Northern Ireland.

This is a rolling programme and as such there are no deadlines to submit an Expression of Interest in the Main Grants Scheme.

Home Page - Biffa Award (

Community Transport Grants – Motability

Through this new grant programme Motability aim to help charities and organisations to make an immediate impact for disabled people, by awarding funding to develop, expand and improve community transport options. The programme is focussed on:

  • Funding support for staff or volunteer training and costs.
  • Funding to increase the number of vehicles available in the community to help organisations support disabled people.
  • Funding local, regional, or national initiatives to increase awareness of community transport and influence its inclusion in transport strategy and policy.
  • Funding to schemes, programmes and initiatives that already exist, and who provide best practice solutions, but need further support to remain operational or scale up the service they can provide to help more disabled people.

Charities and organisations working in the community transport sector can apply for grants from £100,000 to £4 million at any point before March 2025.

Charitable Grants | Community Transport Grant | Motability

Listed Places of Worship grant scheme – Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme gives grants that cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs.

The Scheme has been run by DCMS with a focus on preserving heritage in the fabric of UK listed places of worship. Since its establishment in 2001, the Scheme has adapted to changes while continuing to support places of worship by delivering the fairest possible system of making grants and ensuring that all faiths and areas of the UK are equally able to make use of scheme.

The scheme only accepts applications where the minimum value of eligible work carried out on any one claim to the scheme is £1,000 (excluding VAT).

The Government has confirmed funding is available for the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme until 31 March 2025.

Listed Places of Worship - Home page (

Masonic Charitable Foundation

The Foundation is dedicated to supporting disadvantaged children and young people, as well as vulnerable older people, in England and Wales. Their Charity Grants programme is open to registered charities in England and Wales working with any of their four main priority groups:

  • People with dementia and their carers.
  • Children affected by domestic abuse.
  • Early years.
  • Children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Small grants are for charities whose annual income is between £25,000 and £500,000. These grants are unrestricted. Small grants range from £1,000-£5,000 per year, for up to three years.

Large grants are for larger charities whose annual income is between £500,000 and £10 million. They must be restricted to a project. Large grants usually range from £10,000 to £60,000. They can be awarded over one to three years.

Grants to charities - The Masonic Charitable Foundation (

Community Shares Booster – Power to Change

Delivered by the Community Shares Unit and funded by Power to Change, Community Shares Booster supports community businesses in the process of setting up and launching a community share offer that can demonstrate high levels of community impact, innovation and engagement. The programme provides:

  • Development grantsaveraging £5,000 to prepare a community share offer; financial planning, governance support, marketing costs and being awarded the Community Shares Standard Mark
  • Match equity investment– typically matching pound for pound up to £25,000 providing that the minimum share offer target is achieved
  • Ongoing support and adviceas an active investor in community businesses

Community Shares Booster - Power to Change

Forestry England Woodland Partnership

The Forestry England Woodland Partnership offers long-term leases with guaranteed income for public and private landowners to create new woodlands. The partnership scheme supports government plans for woodland creation, nature recovery and progress towards net zero targets.

Forestry England are looking for sites of at least 50 hectares suitable for woodland creation for leases of between 60 and 120 years, and landowners will receive a guaranteed annual rent throughout the lease period. Forestry England will design, plant and manage every woodland created, ensuring each is resilient to a changing climate, supports wildlife, and provides wider ecosystem services.

All woodlands created through the partnership scheme will be open to the public, providing valuable health and wellbeing opportunities for communities.

Part of the Nature for Climate Fund to support the government’s tree planting commitment, the Forestry England Woodland Partnership aims to create at least 2,000 hectares of predominantly broadleaf woodland over the next five years.

Applications are open all year round. Full details and brochures for public and private landowners are available on the Forestry England website.

Grants for Heritage – National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund provide different levels of funding to heritage of all shapes and sizes. Their grants range from £10,000 up to £10 millions.

Current programmes include:

  • National Lottery Heritage Grants - £10,000 to £250,000.
  • National Lottery Heritage Grants - £250,000 to £10 million.

Full information on all National Lottery Heritage Fund programmes is available on their website.

Welcome | The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Small, Medium and Large Grants – National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust is making changes to its grants programme.

They will continue to offer three types of grant. These will be:

  • Small grants - these were formerly called Foundation grants for maintenance. This programme offers grants of between £500 and £5,000 towards urgent maintenance works and small repairs identified as high priority within a recent Quinquennial Inspection or Survey Report. Also, small investigative works and surveys. Project costs should be up to £20,000 incl. VAT and awards will never exceed 50% of the costs. The next deadline for applications is 30 April 2024.
  • Medium grants - these were formerly called Gateway grants. This programme offers grants up to £10,000 towards urgent and essential maintenance and repair projects costing between £20,000 and £80,000. Also project development and investigative work up to RIBA planning stage 1, to support churches preparing for a major project, and in developing their project to the point at which they can approach a major grant funder. Grants will never exceed 50% of the net project costs (for this phase). The next deadline for applications is 16 April 2024.
  • Large grants – these were formerly called Cornerstone grants. This programme offers grants up to £50,000 towards the cost of major urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £80,000 including VAT. Grants of £40,000 to £50,000 are extremely limited and reserved for cases which demonstrate a very high case for investment. They will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT. Grants will never exceed 50% of the project cost. The next deadline for applications is 2 July 2024.

Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is a part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan.

It will offer funding to farmers and land managers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads. It is not an agri-environment scheme.

The programme will fund projects that:

  • support nature recovery
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change
  • provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and its cultural heritage
  • support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been developed by Defra with the support of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Park staff from across England.

The programme runs until March 2025.

Get funding for farming in protected landscapes - GOV.UK (

Energy Redress Scheme – Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules. The funds can pay for anything from making a home more energy efficient, to providing advice that helps consumers keep on top of their bills.

Energy Saving Trust has developed an open application process for charities seeking funding from the Energy Redress Scheme. Successful projects will be selected with input from an independent panel of experts and could cover a range of locations across England, Scotland and Wales.

The amount of funding available through the scheme varies throughout the year and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis in October, January, April and July. Eligible charities that have registered interest in the scheme will be notified when funds become available.

The minimum grant that can be requested is £20,000 and the maximum amount is the lesser of £2 million or the total value of the current fund.

The scheme can fund projects lasting up to two years, can fund 100 per cent of the project cost and can cover revenue and capital measures.

Round 13 of the Energy Redress Scheme is expected to open shortly. The previous round included the following elements:

  • The Main Fund aimed at projects seeking grants between £50,000 and £2 million that will support households in vulnerable situations.
  • The Small Project Fund aimed at projects seeking grants of between £20,000 and £49,999 that will support households in vulnerable situations.
  • Innovation Fund aimed at projects that will develop innovative products or services to benefit households. Applicants can apply for grants between £20,000 and £1 million.
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund is targeted at projects that will reduce UK carbon emissions and empower households to reduce their carbon footprint. Applicants can apply for grants between £20,000 and £1 million.

Garfield Weston Foundation

The Foundation support a wide range of charities that make a positive difference, working in different sectors in the UK. These include welfare, youth, community, environment, education, health, arts, heritage and faith.

They fund small local organisations and large national institutions. Grants range from £1,000 to several million pounds, depending on each charity’s size and scope of work. The grants can be for your organisation’s running costs, for a specific activity or for capital projects. The Foundation are flexible and fund what charities need the most.

Normally, capital grants are no more than 10% of a total project cost. However, for local community projects (e.g. village halls, community centres, places of worship, etc.), grants are unlikely to be over £30,000 regardless of the project size. If your organisation wants to apply for £100,000 or over, they expect your annual income or project to be over £1 million.

What we fund - Garfield Weston Foundation

FCC Community Action Fund

The FCC Community Action Fund provides grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 to not-for-profit organisations for amenity projects eligible under Object D of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).

The following types or organisation can apply:

  • Registered Charity which operates a community facility
  • A Church or Parochial Church Council
  • A Parish or Town Council or a Management Committee or User Association acting on behalf of a Parish or Town Council
  • A Local Authority
  • A CASC Registered Sports Club

Only applications for projects sited within 10 miles of an eligible FCC Environment waste facility can be accepted, you can check if you are located near an eligible site on their website.

The closing date for the next round of applications is 5 June 2024.

FCC Community Action Fund / FCC (

Morrisons Foundation

The Morrisons Foundation awards grant funding for charity projects which make a positive difference in local communities. Applications should deliver on (at least) one of three objectives to be considered for support, these are: Tackling poverty and social deprivation; Enhancing community spaces, facilities and services; Improving health and wellbeing.

Morrison Foundation Making a difference to people's lives (

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme – Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Project Gigabit is the government’s £5 billion programme that targets hard-to-reach areas where it is more difficult and more expensive to build digital infrastructure.  The majority of the rollout will come through local and regional contracts, providing subsidies to suppliers to extend their gigabit-capable networks to premises that are unlikely to be reached otherwise.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is part of Project Gigabit, focused on helping specific people and communities upgrade their broadband connection.  It mainly operates in areas where there is no existing coverage, planned commercial coverage or through Project Gigabit procurements.

Eligible homes and businesses can apply for up to £4,500 to cover the costs of a gigabit-capable connection.

You can check whether your premises is eligible for a voucher, find a list of registered suppliers, and see those who are active in your area on the website below.

Awards for All, Reaching Communities and Partnerships – The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF)

Awards for All:

TNLCF offer funding from £300 to £20,000 and can support your project for up to two years. You can apply for funding to deliver a new or existing activity or to support your organisation to change and adapt to new and future challenges.

They can fund projects that’ll do at least one of these things:

  • bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage
  • support people, communities and organisations facing more demands and challenges because of the cost-of-living crisis.

Reaching Communities England:

TNLCF fund projects and organisations that work to make positive changes in their community. By community they mean people living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences. They offer funding that starts at £20,001.

TNLCF can fund projects or organisations that’ll do at least one of these things:

  • bring people together to build strong relationships in and across communities
  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.


This funding is for organisations working together in partnership to help their community. This funding also starts at £20,001 and can fund projects that do at least one of the things also specified under the Reaching Communities programme.

Small Grants Scheme – Foyle Foundation

This Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities registered and operating in the United Kingdom, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.

Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum. Larger or national charities will normally not be considered under this scheme. 

The focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability.

The priority will be to support local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.

Grants are available between £2000 and £10,000.

Please note that the fund will stop accepting new applications to the Small Grants Scheme on 30 April 2025.

They can only consider applications for projects (and funding periods) which will be completed before the end of 2025.

Small Grants Scheme - (

Active Together – Sport England

This is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund, up to £10,000, successful Crowdfunder campaigns from a pot of £1.5m. The partnership with Crowdfunder also includes advice, guidance and training to help create a successful campaign.

Active Together | Sport England

National Lottery Project Grants – Arts Council England

National Lottery Project Grants is an open access programme for arts, libraries and museums projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

Individual artists and practitioners, community and cultural organisations, museums and libraries can all apply. National Lottery Project Grants is open all the time, there are no deadlines.

Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available.

Veterans’ Foundation grants

If you represent a charity or an organisation that provide assistance to serving and former members of the British Armed Forces who are in need, you can apply for a grant from the Veterans' Foundation. Grants are also available to operationally qualified seafarers and their dependants.

The closing date for the next round of applications is 23 April 2024.

Apply for a grant | Veterans' Foundation (

BlueSpark Foundation grants

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 and none are more than £5,000.

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 projects that the Foundation support.

Help the Homeless grants

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.

Grants to support repair and conservation of war memorials – War Memorials Trust

War Memorials Trust grants support repair and conservation works undertaken following best conservation practice. Almost all war memorials are eligible for support and custodians/owners can find information about eligibility and processes on the website.

Grants are normally awarded at 50% of eligible costs depending on the priority level of your project and are likely to be considered up to a maximum grant of £5,000 for non-freestanding war memorials while freestanding, non-beneficiary war memorials may be considered up to a maximum grant of £20,000. The minimum award is normally £125 but there is some discretion on minimum and maximum grant levels.

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. Details on current eligibility and deadline dates as well as how to apply can be found at the web address below.

Football Foundation grants

The Football Foundation provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing rooms, 3G pitches, fencing, portable floodlights, pitch improvements and clubhouse refurbishment. The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:

  • Improve facilities for football and other sport in local communities.
  • Sustain or increase participation amongst children and adults, regardless of background age, or ability.
  • Help children and adults to develop their physical, mental, social and moral capacities through regular participation in sport.

Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000.

Looking for funding | Football Foundation

Prepared by Andy Dean, Consultant to the Rural Services Network


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.