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.
In May 2019, Historic England launched a new £44 million fund which will allow them to work with partners to find new ways to champion and revive historic high streets through the High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme.
Local authorities can apply to the scheme, which will give councils, businesses and community groups access to expert advice and investment to bring historic buildings back into use and support historic high streets to adapt to the challenges they face.
This aims to provide a four-year programme of physical improvements, community engagement and cultural activities to regenerate England’s struggling historic high streets and town centres around the country.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 12 July 2019.
Launching in late June 2019, a new £15 million fund will help support organisations contribute to the regeneration and reimagining of England’s high streets and town centres through the reuse of historic buildings. The Transforming Places Through Heritage programme is part of a wider initiative to revive heritage high streets in England, alongside Historic England’s Heritage Action Zones. Together, these programmes support the Future High Streets Fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The programme will aim to support projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England into thriving places, strengthening local communities and encouraging local economies to prosper.
The programme is for individual heritage buildings in, or transferring to, community ownership. It will provide funding and expert help to charities and social enterprises developing projects with the potential to bring new life to high streets by creating alternative uses for redundant or underused historic buildings in town centres.
The programme will focus on places where strategic regeneration programmes are planned or are already underway – primarily at projects within Heritage Action Zones or town/city centre Conservation Areas in places that have secured funding through the Future High Streets Fund. Historic building projects located within other area-based regeneration programmes, such as Townscape Heritage areas or where an applicant can demonstrate a significant community-led strategic approach is in place, will also be considered.
You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:
The Resource Action Fund is an £18million fund, provided by Defra to support resource efficiency projects, with the goal of diverting, reducing, and better managing, waste.
Grants will support key policy outcomes in the areas of food, plastics, textiles, recycling infrastructure and litter.
A series of grants will be made available. Current open grant schemes are as follows:
Future funding themes and rounds can be viewed on the website.
The Lloyds Banking Group Credit Union Development Fund is part of the Group’s ‘Helping Britain Prosper Plan,’ which was launched in March 2014, and is part of its commitment to improve financial inclusion levels across the UK. It was set up as a four-year fund with £1 million available each year. Following the success of the first four years, Lloyds Banking Group added an additional £2 million to the Fund for distribution in 2018 and 2019.
Grants are to existing credit unions which can show good performance and strong plans for their future development.
There are two types of grant:
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2019.
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.
This is a £3 million funding programme to fund renovations and improvements to veterans’ community centres.
Grants of up to £30,000 are available. A small number of grants of up to £150,000 will be made to more complex projects.
The Veterans’ Community Centres Programme is a specialist pot of funding. Applicants must be Armed Forces charities with an existing building that requires refurbishment.
Most grants will be for £30,000 or less. There will be three rounds of funding. The first round has closed. The second round closes on 3 June and the third round closes on 4 November 2019.
Grants of up to £150,000 will only be made in the final application round. Applicants seeking between £30,000 and £150,000 must have a mandatory conversation with the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust before submitting an application. Any mandatory discussion must take place by 27 September 2019.
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched a £7.5M programme to award grants to Armed Forces Charities or Community Interest Companies or Armed Forces Units working with Armed Forces Families.
This programme is about supporting Armed Forces Families facing challenges. Large grants will help to address substantial challenges; providing funding for transformative ideas. Medium grants will support projects that make a proven difference to Armed Forces Families and will support existing work.
The programme will make grants to projects where the project is addressing a clear need and where the idea will be of practical benefit to Armed Forces Families. The focus of the project should be on supporting the family; rather than serving personnel or veterans.
This programme will be delivered in two strands:
The deadline for applications to the medium strand is 12 September 2019. The deadline for applications to the large strand is 18 July 2019.
With grants totalling over £5 million each year, the Foundation helps thousands of disadvantaged and vulnerable people to live happy, fulfilling lives and participate actively in society.
Over the last forty years, they have provided over £130 million to charities. The MCF’s work is funded solely through the generous donations of Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of England, their families and friends.
They have conducted surveys which informed the areas about which Freemasons care most passionately. The grant-making programmes for charities target funding where it is most needed within these areas. Current target areas are:
The target areas are reviewed regularly to ensure our grants are making the greatest possible impact.
The next deadline for small grant applications is 27 September 2019. For large grant applications the deadline for first stage applications is 19 August 2019.
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 August 2019.
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 July 2019 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.
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.
The Government has made a commitment to provide every home and business in the UK with access to a basic broadband service so that browsing the web and keeping in touch with families and friends is easier.
The Better Broadband Scheme has been extended for a further year until 31st December 2019, ensuring that a subsidised basic broadband installation remains available to eligible applicants.
If you currently experience broadband speeds of less than 2 Megabits per second (Mbps), the Better Broadband Voucher Scheme may be able to help you access a basic broadband service that will offer download speeds of at least 10 Mbps.
The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme, developed by the UK government, provides a voucher worth up to £350 for basic broadband installation to homes and businesses that will not benefit from superfast broadband.
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust was set up in 1998, to promote and support charities in the United Kingdom working in agriculture, rural development and insurance.
The 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. Grants are available between £1000 and £50,000.
The Trustees meet twice a year to consider applications received. These meetings are currently held in June and November. Applications for the November meeting must be submitted by 1st November 2019.
Under the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme, grants of up to £20,000 are available for local projects that support community integration or local delivery of services.
Community Integration projects should create strong local links between the Armed Forces community, who are current and former members of their armed forces and their families) and civilian communities; and be able to clearly demonstrate how they will have impact in overcoming barriers to better integration; and improving perceptions, attitudes and understanding. For the project to be truly effective in achieving community integration there should be shared development, delivery and benefits for both communities.
Delivery of Local Services projects should be local projects which offer financial advice, housing, mental and physical health, employability or social support for serving armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families. Projects must be well connected, both to their beneficiaries and to other relevant organisations, and be able to demonstrate how the services they provide will be well-publicised, accessible and joined up.
Applications can be made up to 2 December 2019, although this will be reviewed quarterly.
The Coalfields Community Investment Programme (England) Funding Support element is a £500,000 fund created to support activities that tackle some of the key challenges that still remain in coalfield communities.
The fund is open to projects that deliver in the top 30% most deprived coalfield communities and that will make a positive difference in addressing the following themes:
The total fund value of £500,000 will be committed over the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020 at four decision making Committees which will take place quarterly (£125,000 allocated to each Committee).
Demand is envisaged to be highly competitive and based on the 2017/18 programme, the number of successful awards was 22% of all applications received.
The next eligibility survey closes on 30 August and the deadline for applications is 13 September 2019.
Interest free loans are available for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces.
Places and spaces for people to come together and enjoy shared interests are vitally important for building stronger communities. Venues such as parks and community centres need regular income so they can continue to meet the needs of people who use them, love them, and rely on them for local services and social contact.
If your community organisation is thinking about growing its trading activities to generate more sustainable income, the Co-op Foundation might be able to help your plans take off. They offer:
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.
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 government is making available £163 million across England up to 2020 to 2021 through the Community Housing Fund. The Fund aims to support an increase in housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; to provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity; and to deliver a lasting legacy for the community-led housing sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.
Under Phase One of the Fund, Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to support:
Under Phase Two of the Fund Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to help cover the capital costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes.
Both phases are now open.
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 Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) which supports the conservation and re-generation of historic buildings, has two further grants available:
The deadline for applications for both Project Viability Grants and Project Development Grants of up to £7,500 is the last day of each calendar month. Project Development Grant applications for more than £7,500 go to Trustee Grants Panel meetings for decision. The deadline for the next meeting is 29 July 2019.
The Family Fund helps families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. You can apply to Family Fund subject to a number of criteria which include that you are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under and that you have evidence of entitlement to one of the following: Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.
See the website for more details.
SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA) provides funding awards of up to £50,000 to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include:
Projects can be supported that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.
The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This includes:
For more information visit the website below.
A variety of funds under the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) are currently available in different parts of the country. ESIF includes money from the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Deadlines for applications vary. Please see the website below for more information.
Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the carrier bag charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK*. The projects must meet the criteria of bringing benefits to the community. In England the scheme is administered by Groundwork.
Bags of Help is always open for applications from charities and community organisations. Applications are assessed by Groundwork to ensure they are eligible. In areas where application numbers are high, Tesco colleagues will shortlist the projects to determine which go forward to the customer vote.
Three community projects in each local area will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the UK, with projects changing every other month. Following the vote, the project that received the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.
The government has created a £3 billion fund “to increase the number of homes built in England.” You can apply if you’re a private sector business that builds new homes or prepares sites for housing developments. This includes small builders, community builders, custom builders and regeneration specialists, as well as larger builders and developers.
The fund provides development finance and infrastructure finance via loans. More information on how the fund works and who can apply is available in ‘An Introduction to the Home Building Fund’ which you can access via the link below.
The Premier League Fans Fund is a three-year commitment from the Premier League to fund projects and organisations which improve the relationship between fans and their clubs, the way football supporters engage with each other and fans’ experience of the game.
The Fans Fund Small Grants Scheme offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that look to address the aims of the scheme which are to:
Applications are accepted at any time.
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 Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) and delivered by the Foundation. The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:
Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000.
Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network
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