Big Society Grant Fund 2013 -14
‘Helping communities to help themselves’
Following the success of the ‘Big Society’ Grant Fund in 2011-12 and 2012-13, Leicestershire County Council is pleased to announce a continuation of the Grants scheme in 2013-14.
The next Grant Panel will be on Wednesday 6th March 2014. The final closing date for applications and supporting information to enable them to be considered at this Panel was Wednesday 12th February 2014.
The Big Society Grant Scheme has now come to a close. The final Panel will meet on 6th March.
No further applications can be accepted for this grant scheme.
The Big Society Grant Fund (totalling £340,000) is intended to support grassroots, community and voluntary organisations to develop ideas, projects and initiatives which will help to make the Big Society a reality at a local level.
The ‘Big Society’ Grant will make funds (maximum £15,000) available for projects which:
- enable communities to identify and meet their own needs – “helping them to help themselves”
- provide the best local solutions to tackle local problems
- demonstrate local community commitment and involvement
- create active and empowered citizens
Projects which also meet the following key Leicestershire Together and Leicestershire County Council strategic priorities will be strongly considered for funding:
- An ageing population (including vulnerability and mental health)
- Troubled Families
- Unhealthy lifestyles
- Economic Growth (including worklessness/unemployment)
What sort of projects are we looking for?
In particular, we are looking to support the following projects
- Workshops/training/consultation events for communities to discuss issues and agree priorities together
- Specialist support for the preparation of a community/parish/neighbourhood plan (or other community participation process) to identify community needs, resources and priorities. (Applications for funding to support Neighbourhood Plans will be limited to £10,000).
- Technical/legal advice on the most appropriate structure to establish and/or run a new community enterprise
- Specialist advice on running a specific service or facility e.g. a community shop, transport scheme or volunteer supported library, or museum service
- A feasibility study (or business plan) to establish the viability of a project, service or facility. Applicants are advised that feasibility studies are encouraged, as these provide strong evidence of need for the sustainability of new projects.
- The development of a Business Plan to ensure the longevity of a project, service or facility
- Assistance with the purchase of public or private assets (for example advice, legal costs, feasibility studies) when they come up for disposal (community right to buy) or for community right to build projects
- Specific in-depth funding support e.g. assistance in writing a large funding bid
- Advice and support/training to help respond to tender/procurement processes
- Piloting a particular service or activity in order to establish its effectiveness and sustainability
- Set up costs associated with starting a project, service or facility (up to £15,000)
- Contributions towards larger capital projects will be considered (up to £15,000), although these must be part of a package of funding that demonstrates the overall benefit to the community, as well as sustainability of the project
- Training and development/mentoring/support for volunteers supporting a project or service
- Community Defibillator Projects.
- Costs towards re-structuring, merging or planning processes associated with moving towards a different business model
Who can apply for funding from the Big Society Grant Fund?
Projects will be able to demonstrate their success in enabling local communities to help themselves.
The key principles to be considered when applying for a Big Society grant are as follows:
- Applicants need to operate a ‘not-for-profit’ business model, i.e. charitable organisation, social enteprise, community interest company, or any other organisation which re-invests any income back into the social aims of the group/community. Parish/Town Councils are also eligible
- The aims of the organisation will include meeting the needs of, and making a positive difference to, the local community
- Funding will only support the development of ideas for new projects/activities, or ways of providing old activities in a new or different way
- Evidence of need and of community support for the project must be demonstrated in the application
- It is generally expected that applications will be supported by the relevant local County Councillor. This support should be evidenced by a letter, email or signature in the relevant section on the application form. For details of your local County Councillor, click on the link below.
- It is recommended that your project is discussed with your local Parish/Town Council (where relevant). We will also be looking for evidence that your project meets needs identified in a Parish Plan, where applicable
- Applicants need to have a bank account, with at least two signatories required
- Applicants requesting more than £1,000 from the Big Society Grant Fund should be a formally constituted voluntary or community group or registered charity.
- Applications from non-constituted groups for less than £1,000 will be considered but it is advisable to ensure your organisation is formally constituted if you are looking for funding from other sources as, in most cases, other grants/funding programmes will only accept applications from formally constituted organisations
- Applications for costs related to direct implementation of projects/activities will only be considered as part of a package of activity and if there is sufficient evidence that the project is needed and viable, and then only up to a total of £15,000. Applicants will otherwise be supported to pursue alternative funding mechanisms for implementation costs.
- Organisations with an annual turnover of over £500,000 are not eligible to apply for funding from the Big Society Grant Fund
How will the application be assessed?
Applications will be considered by an independent panel which will meet bi-monthly (from June 2013) until all the funds have been committed.
Applications will be assessed by giving due consideration to the evidence of need and proposed project outcomes demonstrated, in line with the eligibility criteria defined above.
For further Information, contact:
Communities and Places Officer
Communities and Places Team
Leicestershire County Council
Room 300B, County Hall
Tel: (0116) 3057269
Page Last Updated: 3 March 2014