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:
Postcode Community Trust provides project-based funding in Great Britain under the themes 'improving community health & wellbeing, increasing participation in arts & physical recreation and reducing isolation.’ A range of not-for-profit organisations can apply for up to £2000.
The next round of funding opens on 21 January and closes on 4 February 2020.
The National Churches Trust has three grant programmes currently open:
Lloyds Bank Foundation’s new grant programme opened in December 2019. The programme supports charities with an annual income of £25,000 to £1 million with a proven track record of helping people on a journey of positive change through in-depth, holistic and person-centred support with long term funding and tailored support to develop.
In 2020 they aim to make around 170 new grants to small charities in England and Wales, half of which will be for £100,000 over 3 years and the other half for £45,000 over 3 years.
Their priority is to support charities which are helping people to deal with a range of complex social issues.
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 Ministry of Defence offers a grant for Armed Forces Day (27 June 2020) events up to the value of £10,000, depending on the size and format of the event. This grant is match-funded and can cover up to half the total cost of the event. For example, If the total cost of the event is £10,000 and you raise £5,000, the grant could cover up to £5,000.
To apply for this grant, you must first register your event on the Armed Forces Day website.
Ministry of Defence funding cannot be used to pay for:
Ministry of Defence funding can be used to pay for:
The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Growth Programme has reopened to support projects that invest in building businesses, creating new jobs and growing the economy in rural areas of England.
You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.
There are 3 types of grant:
The deadline for expressions of interest is 16 February 2020.
Power to Change has teamed up with Crowdfunder UK to deliver this programme to local communities to raise much needed money to bring new community businesses to life. The fund will also support existing community business to grow, by launching new business ideas that create positive changes for local communities in England. Crowdmatch helps to raise funding to cover key costs, build a network of supporters and provides match funding
Groups accepted onto the programme will receive help to raise funding to cover key costs, help build their network of supporters and receive match funding, up to £6000.
The Foundation’s grant-making programmes for charities target funding where it is most needed. Current target areas include:
Charities with incomes of under £500,000 can apply for a grant of between £500 and £15,000 over 1-3 years.
Charities with incomes of over £500,000 can seek a large grant for up to 3 years. Grants are between £10,000 and £80,000 however the average grant ranges from £20,000 to £60,000. Large grants must be used to fund a specific project.
The next deadline for small grant applications is 17 April 2020 and for large grant applications 17 February 2020.
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 £500) or to deliver projects through a Project Delivery 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.
This is a rolling programme and applications can be made at any time.
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.
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.
Businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to support ambitious projects developing new and more efficient ways to produce the UK’s food. The competition is seeking projects either developing new and efficient low-emission food production systems or addressing technological and other bottlenecks holding back state-of-the art systems from supplying consumers.
Areas of work could include indoor growing systems, aquaculture, and new food sources such as insects and fermentation-based systems.
Projects could range in size from £1 million to £10 million and the competition is open until 22 January 2020.
A new £25 million fund to tackle burglary, theft and other offences in crime hotspots has been announced by the Home Office.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales will be able to bid for Safer Streets Fund investment for measures aimed at preventing acquisitive crime in disproportionately affected areas.
Initiatives could target vehicle theft, robbery or burglary, among other crimes, and could include interventions to improve home security, such as installing better locks and gating alleyways, and make streets better lit at night.
The fund has been designed to ensure local communities can participate in the development of crime prevention plans and will also include money for community projects that complement them.
It will also target areas disproportionately affected by these crimes.
PCCs must work with local authorities and other partners to develop these plans, which need to be based on evidence, demonstrate value for money and engage local communities.
Funding will be available to areas from April 2020.
A £2 million fund to help farmers affected by summer flooding opened for applications 20 September 2019.
Through the Farming Recovery Fund, farmers in parts of North Yorkshire and Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property can now apply for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of repair costs.
Every farmer business can apply only once, from 20 September 2019 to 31 March 2020.
The Places to Ride programme will fund the development of new or the improvement of existing cycling facilities in communities across England.
The programme has been made possible through a new £15million commitment from Government and will be delivered over the next three years through a partnership of British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). The aims of the programme are as follows:
Applications can be made at any time and the closing date is 15 January 2021.
Want to take ownership of your local pub and run it for the benefit of the community? Need help getting it into community hands?
The More than a Pub programme provides business development support to enable the community ownership of pubs in both rural and urban communities across England.
Funded by Power to Change and delivered by Plunkett Foundation, the second round of the programme builds upon the success of the first, which saw over 450 enquiries received from communities across England and saw 28 pubs open under community ownership. Support and funding is available to the community pub sector until September 2020.
Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available and, as part of the government commitment to a vision of a full fibre Britain, in March 2018 they announced the £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project.
From May 2019, premises in the harder-to-reach places in the UK may be eligible for additional funding.
As part of the Government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme business and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the UK are eligible for additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.
Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps can use vouchers worth up to £3,500 for each small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and up to £1,500 per residential premise. to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. This is subject to the eligibility rules.
The Forestry Commission has launched the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, with grants available over the next two years to make urban areas (cities and towns) greener and help meet the government’s target of planting one million urban trees by 2022.
The first year of the fund is now closed. In year two individual applications will be accepted for small, single planting sites, and prospective individual applicants can complete an expression of interest form to register interest in applying in 2020.
The fund provides up to 50% funding of standard costs for planting large and small trees and their establishment costs for three years following planting, such as the costs associated with buying a tree, planting it in a grass verge, basic protection and the labour required to plant it. Establishment payments will then support the cost of weeding, watering and checking trees during multiple visits over a three-year period.
Anyone is able to apply for the fund as long as they either have full management control over the land or signed consent from those who do for the duration of the agreement.
You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:
Applications for grant for 2019-2020 can be submitted until 5pm on 31 January 2020. This means the last date for completing an Expression of Interest form for a grant application is 5pm on 30 January (you will still need to complete your application form by 5pm on the 31 January). Expenditure through a grant must be completed on or before 31 March 2020.
Information about applying for the 2020/2021 grant programme is due to be available soon. Please check the website below for updates.
Applications for technical support will be considered on a rolling basis and are not affected by these timeframes.
The Autumn 2018 budget announced that, to mark the centenary of the Armistice, government would support several initiatives, including making available grant funding to support improvement projects for village halls.
The grant funding will be managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra with support from the ACRE Network. The grant aims to help fund the updating and refurbishment of village halls so that they are fit for purpose and provide activities which seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for their communities:
There will be greater emphasis given to applications who have already secured most of the funding.
The scheme will fund up to 20% of eligible costs, with a minimum grant of £10,000 and a maximum grant of £75,000 payable. This means overall scheme costs would be between £50,000 and £375,000.
The Clothworkers’ 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 are defined as:
Applications must fit within one of the main programme areas: alcohol & substance misuse; disadvantaged minority communities; disadvantaged young people; domestic & sexual abuse; homelessness; older people; people with disabilities; prisoners & ex-offenders; visual impairment.
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 2020.
This is a funding stream for UK registered charities and recognised churches which are raising money for projects where the total cost is less than £1million. If you are raising money for a particular project for which the mainstay is capital costs (building work, refurbishment or the purchase of long-term equipment) or a one-off short-term activity (such as an annual respite break or holiday for disadvantaged young people) and have already raised a third of the total costs, you may be eligible for this.
The Rank Foundation are currently accepting applications for the January 2020 trustees’ meeting.
Together with the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, Locality and UK Cohousing, the National Community Land Trust Network have created ‘Community Led Homes’ to support their mission of making community led housing a mainstream housing option.
Community Led Homes will provide training, funding and practical support to community led housing groups, councils and developers. This includes a summary of various forms of funding available which you can view on their website: https://www.communityledhomes.org.uk/
New grants have been announced as follows:
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.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funds projects which focus on heritage. HLF state that heritage can mean different things to different people. It can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. As a guide, this could include:
Different grant bands have different criteria:
There are no application deadlines for applications up to £100,000. Quarterly deadlines apply for applications over £100,000. For Heritage Horizon Awards the deadline for submission of an expression of interest is 11 October 2019.
The amounts available depend on the type of organisation applying as follows:
A new funding portfolio was launched in January 2019. For information on all HLF programmes visit the website.
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.
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.
This £3.7 million fund provides small-scale repayable finance to socially-driven arts and cultural organisations. The Fund is supported by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment through the Growth Fund programme, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
The aims of the fund are to:
The Fund offers unsecured loans (and revenue participation agreements, where appropriate) between £25,000 and £150,000 with repayment terms of one to five years and interest rates ranging between 5.5% and 8.5%.
The investment window is open until August 2021.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Groundwork is working with Tesco on three local community grant schemes, where the money raised from plastic carrier bag sales is being used to fund thousands of local projects in communities right across the UK.
Projects that bring benefit to their community will get the green light – these range from improving community buildings and outdoor spaces to buying new equipment, training coaches or volunteers, and hosting community events.
There are currently three grant schemes covering different sizes of projects and parts of the country:
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 Small Grants Scheme aims to encourage and allow a broad variety of groups and projects to be funded. The Small Grants Scheme offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that look to address the Scheme’s aims.
Projects that strengthen the relationship between professional clubs and their fans will be favoured. Applications are accepted at any time.
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.
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 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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