If your organisation is a member of the RSN through the SPARSE, Rural Assembly, RSP or RHCA you can book your free place at the National Rural Conference now and join rural specialists to debate key issues. We have over 600 bookings already so book your place now!
The Green Homes Grant Scheme has been extended and now runs to March 2022. The government will provide a voucher worth up to £5,000 or £10,000 to help cover the cost of making energy efficient improvements to your home. Improvements could include insulating your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces.
The government will provide a voucher that covers two-thirds of the cost of qualifying energy efficiency or low carbon heating improvements to your home. The maximum value of the voucher is £5,000.
If you are on a low income and receive certain benefits, you can receive a voucher covering all of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of the voucher is £10,000.
To apply for the voucher, you must either:
On Sunday 8 November 2020, the government announced a package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period. This includes the £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which will be made available in early December 2020 and covers the period until the end of March 2021.
DWP will provide the grant scheme funding to county councils and unitary authorities who will administer the scheme and provide direct assistance to support families with children, other vulnerable households and individuals. The grant will be used to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other associated costs.
There are three parts to this new fund. Two have been adapted from pre-coronavirus funds, with one extended, and all three will now focus on supporting a safe return to play.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has resumed accepting small and medium project funding applications and launched an interest free loans pilot.
National Lottery Grants for Heritage (grants of £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000): Resilience and inclusion project funding to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in. Open to projects that:
Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans (loans of £50,000 to £250,000): Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans are designed to help fund activities and costs that will develop and restart your organisation’s income generating potential. Loans offer fixed 0% interest rate, no fees for arrangement or early repayment, optional 12-month repayment holiday, repayment period is up to 5 years. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2021.
The Thriving Communities Fund will support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise projects that bring together place-based partnerships to improve and increase the range and reach of available social prescribing community activities – especially for those people most impacted by COVID19 and health inequalities.
Partnerships supported by the fund will come together to plan and deliver community activities involving partners from:
Funded activities will increase social connectedness and help communities cope with the impact of COVID19. By working with those communities most impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, including Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities, the projects we will fund will help to:
Grants of between £25,000-£50,000 are available. Projects within the Thriving Communities Fund will run for a year including planning and delivery time. They are expected to commence on 15 March 2021, and end on 31 March 2022.
The deadline for applications is 8 January 2021.
The Museums Association has partnered with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and creative design agency The Liminal Space to launch a new £400k Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund for museums.
Following consultation with the sector, the new two strand programme will support museums during this unprecedented time of change and help them to creatively explore and innovate with their communities. The new fund will provide a series of grants of up to £50k to scale up and evaluate the new ways of working that they have developed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An associated programme, ‘Mindsets for Museums of the Future’, will support museums to probe and action their own post-Covid futures through a series of workshops and networking opportunities.
The deadline for applications is 21 December 2020.
Businesses could be eligible for £50,000 funding to help them reduce their food waste.
The Surplus With Purpose fund is open to companies seeking to unlock new or hard to reach surplus (or ‘waste’) food, as well as those that haven’t previously worked with FareShare.
Businesses could be eligible for up to £50,000 worth of funding (greater sums can be negotiated where appropriate for high volumes of surplus food).
FareShare will safely divert edible surplus food via their UK-wide network of almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups.
More information for businesses interested is available on the scheme’s website.
The More than a Pub programme provides business development support to enable the community control of pubs in both rural and urban communities across England.
Funded by Power to Change and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and led by the Plunkett Foundation, the More than a Pub programme has taken over 800 enquiries and supported 58 pubs into community control. During the covid-19 lockdown the MTAP programme provided small grants to around half of the community pubs in England.
Combined finance packages of up to £100,000 are available (£50,000 loan and £50,000 grant) to help community groups secure control of their local pub.
When you hire new apprentices between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, you can apply for extra funding to give your organisation a boost.
For apprentices aged:
The payment is in addition to the existing £1,000 you’ll already get for taking on an apprentice who is:
An incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice is different to the apprenticeship levy, and you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, you could spend it on facilities, uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You will not need to pay it back.
The Later Life Inclusion grants programme is open to local and national charities that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life.
Smaller charities whose annual income does not exceed £500,000 can currently apply for a small grant. They are to fund overhead costs. Small grants range from £500 to £15,000 and can be awarded over one to three years.
The current application period for Small Grants runs until 23 December.
This programme is open to national and local charities helping disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the barriers they face.
Charities whose annual income does not exceed £500,000 can currently apply for a small grant. These grants are unrestricted. Small grants range from £1000 to £15,000 and can be awarded over one to three years.
The current application period for Small Grants runs until 23 December.
The Arts Council has reopened this fund with a budget of £59.8 million available until April 2021. They have prioritised reopening this programme to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible.
Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available.
This programme supports projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England helping them become thriving places, strengthening local communities and encouraging local economies to prosper. It is part of a wider initiative to revive heritage high streets in England, alongside Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones.
This programme is for individual heritage buildings in, or transferring to, community ownership. They will support charities and social enterprises to develop projects with the potential to bring new life to high streets by creating alternative uses for redundant or underused historic buildings in town centres.
A range of grants are available:
Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the Government “is committed to a vision of a digitally connected Britain.”
Homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.
Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.
More information is available via the website.
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.
Seafarers UK is a leading provider of grants to maritime charities and charitable maritime projects, working to help serving and ex-serving seafarers and their families who are experiencing hardship.
Under the Covid-19 Emergency Fund, applications are welcomed from organisations delivering services to seafarers and their families. The following list provides some of the reasons why you may want to make a grant application to the Emergency Fund:
The National Lottery Community Fund are currently prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are reviewing the situation on an on-going basis and will share any updates or developments on their website. The Fund has limited funding to support as many organisations as possible.
They have closed the Government allocation of funding to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to new applications and should be finished distributing these funds by the end of October 2020. However, you can still apply for National Lottery funded grants to help your community through COVID-19.
In England, they are focusing on funding organisations supporting people and communities who experience disproportionate challenge and difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Sport England have committed another £1 million to combating the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on sports clubs and community activity groups, in the form of match funding through Crowdfunder.
This ‘Active Together’ partnership with Crowdfunder follows a successful collaboration from November 2018, which saw them committing to match fund 23 projects up to the value of £15,000 each.
This time they are matching crowd funds of up to £10,000 raised by clubs and organisations hit by the coronavirus crisis – and is in addition to the up to £210 million coronavirus support package already announced.
To be eligible, organisations must be:
You can find out more details about the government’s support for businesses through this website:
You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:
All grants are now open.
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community.
RCEF provides support to rural communities in 2 stages:
RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact the relevant hub for your area.
The National Churches Trust has three grant programmes currently open:
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.
The Comic Relief Community Fund (England) is offering grants to grassroots community organisations with an income of less than £250,000.
There are two types of grants available to organisations whose work delivers on one of Comic Relief’s four strategic themes:
Funding is available to help you develop your organisation through a Capacity Building Grant (up to £1000), to deliver projects through a Project Delivery Grant (up to £4000) or through a Covid-19 Community Grant (up to £4000).
Administration of the local funding is being managed by community charity, Groundwork, which specialises in transforming communities and the local environment for the better.
Many armed forces charities struggle to raise sufficient funding to support serving and former members of the British Armed Forces’ and sometimes their dependants who are in need. The Veterans' Foundation has been created to establish a new and nationwide source of funding to help these charities. It acquires its funds through the Veterans’ Lottery and donations.
The trustees of the Veterans' Foundation will disburse funds to Armed Forces charities and charitable activities.
They will support projects that:
You can apply for grants of any sum up to a maximum of £30K. Trustees will also consider a bid for a spread grant, i.e. £30K as £10K for each of the next three years. Please note that the trustees are likely to award more small grants than large grants. They will consider a range of factors including the service or item being applied for, the number of beneficiaries, the importance of the grant to the applicant charity and the needs of the beneficiaries.
Grants between £500 and £5000 are awarded to churches, chapels and other places of worship in the United Kingdom for the conservation of decorative features and monuments, but not for structural repairs.
Grants will be awarded to support smaller programmes of work concerned with the conservation of decorative or non-structural features such as:
The decorative feature, monument, etc must date from no later than 1896 (the year of William Morris’s death). The next deadline for applications is 31 March 2021.
The HIF offers tailored finance for charities, social enterprises and community businesses across the UK to develop sustainable heritage at the very heart of vibrant local economies.
Loans from £25,000 to £500,000 are available for up to three years with tailored terms and both flexible and incentivised interest rates for impactful projects. These could include both capital and interest repayment holidays.
HIF supports applicants across the UK who are undertaking a capital project or are looking to build upon or scale-up an existing enterprise.
The HIF is a joint initiative with contributions from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw and the Architectural Heritage Fund.
First Steps Enterprise Fund (FSEF) is a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisations. The Social Investment Business manage this fund on behalf of the Asda Foundation.
Funding is available for community organisations (charities and social enterprises) based in England that are looking to take on their first loan to help them grow and become more sustainable. Particular preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:
Funding packages of up to £30,000 are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year. Up to £50,000 is available for exceptional cases.
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.
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.
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 project that the Foundation support.
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.
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 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 available between 25% and 75% of eligible costs 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 £30,000. There is no minimum award.
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.
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:
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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