We are still here at the RSN for all of our customers and partners. We remain working from home, ready to support you all to ensure that the rural voice is heard at a national level. We'd love to hear from you if you have any queries or want to get in touch email@example.com
On 18 February the government announced the availability of funding support for people affected by flooding following Storms Dennis and Ciara.
Under the Flood Recovery Framework and as some affected areas move into recovery, families and businesses will receive funding from their local councils after a set of support packages were announced by the Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Under the measures announced:
For more information follow the link below.
Storm damaged pitches and facilities could be back in use sooner than expected thanks to Sport England’s new emergency flood relief fund.
The effects of Storms Ciara and Dennis are still being fully assessed but, in an attempt to rectify the damage as soon as possible, local authorities and community sports organisations are being invited to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to pay for emergency repairs.
The grants, which will come from Sport England’s Community Asset Fund, can be provided in as little as three weeks.
For organisations where football is the main activity, applications for funding can be made through the Football Foundation.
The rural mobility fund is part of the government’s better deal for bus users.
English local authorities can bid for funding to trial on-demand bus services in rural or suburban areas.
The focus of the fund is on setting up services where they do not already exist.
A total of £20 million is available with funding expected of between £500,000 and £1.5 million.
All tiers of local government in England with responsibility for transport, except London boroughs, can apply and will need to demonstrate that services predominantly serve communities in areas that have a population of fewer than 10,000 residents.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 April 2020.
The Department for Transport has invited MPs, local authorities and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local rail services and restore closed stations.
Funding is available for 3 purposes.
You can read more via the link below.
If your community project is sitting off the mains gas grid and in the need of financial support you can apply for funding from Calor’s Rural Community Fund to give your project the boost it deserves.
There are three levels of funding available, depending on the size of your project: 11 grants of £5,000; 6 grants of £2,500; and 5 grants of £1,000 grants to the winning rural projects. Even if you’re not a winner, every finalist will receive £500.
The funding you apply for must equate to 50% or more of your total project cost.
Applications will open on 10 March 2020.
This programme, developed in partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and The Kings Fund, aims to support local areas to develop effective and sustainable partnerships between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and empower communities.
As well as providing grant funding, the programme will support the development of relationships between partners, identifying and agreeing how best to work together, to ensure the involvement of organisations working across communities, and create a plan of activities.
The programme consists of two phases. In phase 1, a maximum of six areas will receive up to £50,000 funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and a package of learning and development support from the King’s Fund for up to nine months to develop their partnership and project plans.
Applications for phase 1 are to be submitted by 27 March, and with projects for phase 1 are projected to start in July 2020.
At the end of this phase, each site will be invited to apply for phase 2 of the programme for further funding and support.
Applications for phase 2 will be assessed on the strength of the partnerships that have developed, their involvement of relevant organisations working across communities, and the strength and feasibility of their project plans to deliver meaningful benefits for people and communities.
Successful partnerships will receive up to £450,000, as well as ongoing learning and development support from The King’s Fund, over a further three years.
This Fund is delivered by a consortium including Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK, led by Locality and Power to Change. It aims to give community groups in England the support necessary to start up their community business.
Groups accepted on to the programme will receive tailored business support, mentoring and visits and can apply for a small grant of up to £15,000 to fund development and start-up costs.
This funding round closes on 7 April 2020.
WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) is looking to identify new behaviour change interventions that can be tailored to food waste prevention. The intervention must encourage citizens to waste less food. If you have a new idea that can achieve the above, please download an application pack.
Applications for this grant will follow a two-stage assessment process:
Stage 1 – Outline Proposal
Stage 2 – Full Application
Applications for Stage 1 are open for registration until 25 March 2020.
Applications must demonstrate that project ideas will have a direct influence in changing behaviour. For example, applying an already proven intervention that has been tried and tested before, which may have covered a different subject matter or has been tested within a different environment, and can now be tailored and applied to citizens’ food waste prevention.
WRAP are looking to support interventions that will specifically focus on two behaviours:
Examples could be interventions that:
The scheme is open to small or medium size enterprises or not-for-profit and public funded organisations (such as a local authority) in England only. The scheme will award grants between £25,000 and £100,000 for both capital and revenue project expenditure.
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 10 March and closes on 24 March 2020.
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.
British Cycling is working closely with Sport England to develop a national network of new cycling facilities which meets local demand, making use of a £15 million investment programme called Places to Ride.
The funding is available to any organisation that is developing cycling activity in their community and can be used for anything from equipment packages to activate your local space, through to a brand-new cycling facility. The programme is open until January 2021.
Large scale grants (£50,000 - £500,000) are available, typically for new facilities or significant improvements to existing venues, small scale grants (£1000 to £50,000) for equipment, cycle storage, small-scale facilities or venue improvements. Equipment packages are also available to activate your local space.
The National Churches Trust has three grant programmes currently open:
The Youth Accelerator Fund has been set up to address urgent needs in the youth sector and expand existing successful projects run by Sport England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and British Film Institute.
Youth clubs and organisations in sport, arts, film and heritage will receive a share of the fund, to deliver a range of positive activities for young people to develop skills and contribute to their local communities.
UK Youth, the membership organisation for youth clubs in the UK, will distribute £1.15 million to run a small grants programme to deliver extra sessions in youth clubs and youth groups across England.
The following organisations will also receive funding:
Additionally, over £2 million of the funding will go towards setting up new Local Partnerships across the country, designed to effectively coordinate and sustain local youth activities. Areas will be encouraged to bid for a Local Partnership, that will bring together existing providers, statutory partners and the private sector to deliver programmes for young people.
You can read more via the link below.
The overall focus of this programme is on developing and promoting sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based paradigm. The Fund will support a range of actions to achieve these aims:
1. Better economics – work that:
2. Beyond consumerism – they will fund:
3. New voices – they will fund:
The deadline for applications is 23 March 2020.
The strategy and development grant supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people. The Museums Association award the fund on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to projects that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness and power of collections to people.
Grants of up to £250,000 are available for projects running for up to five years to support initiatives that use collections to support the established strategy of an organisation for a long-term benefit.
This type of grant aims to accelerate the development of museums that are committed to finding new ways to involve their audience and communities with collections. It is designed to help organisations overcome some of the barriers of traditional project funding, so they will offer additional coaching to projects that could benefit from their skills and network.
Before submitting an expression of interest, you will need to speak to a member of the team at the Museums Association to discuss your project. Suitable projects will then be invited to submit expressions of interest in May 2020.
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:
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.
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 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 is 15 June 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.
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.
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 100Mbps 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.
You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:
Applications for grant for 2019-2020 have now closed.
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 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.
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 National Lottery Heritage Fund funds projects which focus on heritage. The Fund 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.
The amounts available depend on the type of organisation applying as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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
Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.