Been a funny old week....

Well, what with one thing and another ,it has hasn't it?


Our Friends in the EU implied that the UK was hogging the C19 vaccines and then said they were not going to use them even if we sent them! All very strange. Closer to home, on Monday, I upset a bunch of really good & well meaning people - even though I said that wasn't my intention - Sorry Folks - just goes to show you have to be very careful on t 'internet! A big thanks though to all those who contacted in support but, as I say, I am suitably chastened by the amount of upset I caused and must try harder in future!!


Lets hope I can redeem myself a little by sharing a sizeable chunk of funding information that just landed on my virtual desk this morning:


Green Recovery Challenge Fund: Round Two (Grant – England) £50,000 to £2million*. Registered charities / partnership. * applicants must contribute at least five per cent of the project costs in cash (partnership funding) for all grants over £250k. This is a short-term competitive fund to kickstart environmental renewal while creating and retaining a range of jobs in England. Applications are welcomed from environmental charities, or partnerships involving at least one environmental charity. There are two grant levels:

  • £50k to £250k: deadline April 14th, 2021

  • £250k to £2m: deadline (Expressions of Interest) March 22nd, 2021

Projects must deliver against at least one of three themes:

  • Nature conservation and restoration

  • Nature-based solutions

  • Connecting people with nature.

Youth Centre Recovery Fund (Grant – England) Registered charities. Deadline March 31st, 2021. This fund is open to charities that run youth centres, to mitigate the impact of lost income due to Covid-19. Funding will cover eligible costs incurred for the period April 1st – September 30th 2021, meeting one of two aims:

  • Ensuring youth clubs at risk of permanent closure due to lack of income remain viable and are able to remain open or, where temporarily closed, to re-open when possible

  • Maintaining continuity of youth work and restoring temporarily paused activities (when restrictions allow), where lack of funding would otherwise reduce services.

Charities can request the amount needed to cover eligible costs for the aforementioned period, where this is not met by other confirmed funding, although successful applicants may not receive the full amount requested. Please note, uniformed youth groups are not eligible and charities must have at least two sets of published annual accounts.


Covid business grant allowances increased following removal of EU cap Charities could be able to access up to £9m in additional grant funding after the government lifted allowance limits that were capped by outdated EU state aid rules. The new guidance means charities with substantial retail, hospitality and leisure property portfolios, including charity shops, can now access up to £1.9m in business grants each, up from about £860k. An extra £9m, up from about £2.6m, will be available to charities that meet additional criteria including a 30 per cent reduction in turnover. The bodies are calling on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure local authorities apply the changes immediately, so charities don’t miss out on the increased funding. The first application deadline is March 31st.

New levelling up and community investments The government has announced three new community investment funds as part of its commitment to ‘levelling up across the whole of the United Kingdom to ensure that no community is left behind’. These new investment programmes are: Community Renewal Fund: An additional £220m funding to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. This fund aims to support the people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches, and will invest in skills, community and place, local business and supporting people into employment. One hundred priority places have been identified and each has a lead authority that will invite project proposals from a range of local applicants, including VCSE organisations, and then submit a shortlist up to a maximum of £3m per location to the government. In the North East, nine local authority areas have made the priority places list: County Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, and South Tyneside. Timelines are tight – between March and May, local partners need to be working up bids and submitting them to their lead authority, which must appraise the bids and send their shortlist to government by June 18th. Projects will need to be delivered between August 2021 and March 31st, 2022. Levelling Up Fund: This £4.8bn investment into infrastructure will improve everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets. The fund is especially intended to support investment in areas in which it can make the biggest difference to everyday life, including ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and coastal communities. The fund is competitive; the first round will prioritise bids that can demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the coming financial year. Bids need to be submitted by June 18th. There will be future opportunities to bid in subsequent rounds. The fund will focus investment on projects that require up to £20m of funding. However, there is also scope for investing in larger high value transport projects, by exception. Themes for the first round are: transport investments, regeneration and town centre investment and cultural investment. Community Ownership Fund: £150m to help ensure communities can support and continue to benefit from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them. From summer 2021, community groups will be able to bid for up to £250k matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses. In exceptional cases, up to £1m will be available to help establish a community-owned sports club or help buy a sports grounds at risk of being lost without community intervention.


Armed Forces Covenant Fund’s Force for Change (Grant – UK) Up to £10,000. Registered charities / CICs / other. Deadline April 12th, 2021. This programme will award grants to community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration, supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation. Applicants must be either a registered charity or CIC (with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities and registered for at least one year), an Armed Forces unit or base, a local authority or a school. Support will be given to ideas that need small amounts of funding to deliver nimble and focused local projects to Armed Forces communities. Small grants will also be made to support services, projects and activities that are used by Armed Forces communities, but that are struggling as a result of the impact of the pandemic. A wide range of projects will be funded, but applicants must be able to show that the project fits under one of these two main themes:

  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more engaged in their local area

  • Providing opportunities for isolated members of the Armed Forces community to take part in activities that improve general wellbeing.


Roseline Foundation Fund / Sir Tom Cowie Fund (Grants – Sunderland) £5,000 - £15,000. VCSE. Deadline April 12th, 2021. These two funds are seeking applications from organisations based in Sunderland with an income of £50k to £500k. Roseline Foundation Fund: Grants of £5k to £10k to help organisations recover from the impact of the pandemic on their work so they can continue to meet community needs in the city. The focus is organisations that have a strong track record of working with people that have been most severely impacted – those already experiencing poverty and health inequality, communities of colour, those with mental health problems and isolated older people. Funding can support core running costs and any one-off costs associated with having to make changes to operations so work can continue once the pandemic eases. Sir Tom Cowie Fund: Grants of £10k to £15k to support work with children, young people and their families in the city during the year ahead, with a particular focus on addressing the impact of the pandemic. That could be related to, for example, mental ill-health, reduced learning/training opportunities, bereavement, or loss of employment. The preference is to support an activity in full, or to make a major contribution towards the full costs, and priority will be given to organisations with plans in place to address the impact of the pandemic on their own finances and operations.


Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme (Grant / Other – UK) £1,000 - £7,000 plus support. Individuals. Deadline April 16th, 2021. The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, run in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, helps people to start up, build and scale social enterprises, charities, community projects and impact-led organisations. Support includes:

  • a free learning programme to help adapt to a post-Covid new normal

  • a grant of £1k to £7k

  • mentoring

  • a community of peers.

There are three levels available:

  • Start Up: the project is in the planning stages but ready to start, or less than two years old. It makes up to £15k a year

  • Trade Up: the project has been running for at least a year and makes at least £15k (Covid impact will be taken into account)

  • Scale Up: the project was probably established two or more years ago, and probably has two or more paid members of staff. It makes at least £75k (Covid impact will be taken into account).

Of particular interest are applications from those working in deprived areas, people of colour and from minoritized ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people and/or organisations supporting these groups.


Better Together Fund (Grant - Tees Valley) Deadline 29th April. The Better Together Fund has been created specifically in response to the rising issues of loneliness and isolation in the community as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of empowering local communities to address disadvantage and exclusion. Applications must be submitted by a support organisation that has detailed knowledge of the need or beneficiary.

Newcastle Building Society Community Fund (Grant – North East / Cumbria) £1,000 - £3,000. VCSE. Deadline April 30th, 2021. Grants are available for registered charities and constituted community groups based and working in the North East or Cumbria, near to a Newcastle Building Society branch, and tackling issues around food poverty or employability at a local level. The project must be able to start within three months of receipt of the grant (flexibility for any further Covid-19 restrictions) and the amount applied for must mean the project can go ahead, and not be part-funding for a larger project. Funding can cover activities, sessional staff costs and volunteer expenses, project resources and equipment, events, outings and trips (Covid-19 restrictions permitting).


Arnold Clark Community Fund (Grant - UK) Up to £1,000. VCSE. Deadline May 31st, 2021*. * final deadline – monthly awards made so early application encouraged. Charities and local community groups that are in need of financial assistance due to the coronavirus pandemic can apply for funding to continue their work during the crisis. The fund will award 500 grants through a monthly draw; entries must be received by 11.59pm on the last day of each month to be considered for that month. Applications that are unsuccessful one month will be kept in the draw for the following month.


Childs Charitable Trust (Grant – UK) No min/max amount. Registered/excepted charities. Deadline May 31st, 2021. The trust offers grants to Christian charities based in the UK and operating in countries worldwide. Projects will be considered that fall into the following categories:

  • Working in schools and with vulnerable and disengaged young people in the UK

  • All aspects of Christian outreach

  • Society i.e. social action and justice

  • All areas of Christian education.

The primary focus for grants allocated in 2021 will be to support organisations that actively share the Christian gospel in their work. In 2019/2020, £316,875 was awarded across 57 grants. Most were for less than £10k.


Standard Life Foundation (Grant – UK) Generally £10,000 - £200,000, over up to 3 years. VCSE/other. Deadline June 3rd, 2021. The foundation funds research, campaigning and policy work that improves financial wellbeing, in particular for those on low to middle incomes. The three areas of focus are income, spending and assets. Applications are invited from registered charities, voluntary organisations, think tanks, campaigning groups, research bodies and universities. Between 15 and 20 grants are awarded each year and priority is given to work focusing on younger generations. Please note, the foundation will not fund direct delivery of services for individual beneficiaries, unless this is testing and evaluating a new approach which has significant potential to lead to wider change and be of benefit for many people.


Theatre Improvement Scheme (Grant – UK) Up to £20,000. Deadline September 6th, 2021. This scheme, from the Theatres Trust in association with the Wolfson Foundation, offers capital funding for theatres. The theme for the next three years is improving environmental sustainability. Funding aims to support a range of projects that consider different ways in which theatre buildings can reduce their environmental impact. From sedum roofs to new windows, building management systems to more efficient water heaters, funding will be given to projects that demonstrate how a small intervention can have a big impact.


Many thanks to our good friends at Vonne.


Have a good weekend and good hunting on the funding folks!


Steve Donkin

VCAS Development Officer



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