Erewash Borough Council

Community Grants Policy 2020-2024

Introduction

This Policy sets out the council’s approach to awarding funding to provide assistance to qualifying organisations in Erewash. The funding will be awarded to projects that improve the overall quality of life and wellbeing of residents in Erewash in line with the council’s priorities.

Our corporate vision is: “To put Erewash on the map – a first class borough in which people have pride and where they choose to live, work and play.”

Purpose of this policy

The application of this policy along with grant specific guidance notes will achieve the following outcomes for the council:

  • Clear guidance for applicants to help them bid for grants
  • Clear and simple rules to improve the awarding of funding in an equitable, transparent and fair manner.
  • Improved monitoring and management of grants awarded to qualifying organisations.
  • A streamlined and co-ordinated process for the award of all grant funding made under this policy.

Funding streams available annually

Small Grants Community chest. Minimum value: no minimum . Maximum value: £500. Value of grant pot: £5,000.

Community Grants. Minimum value: £500 . Maximum value: £2,000. Value of grant pot: £15,680.

Arts grants: Minimum value: £100 . Maximum value: £800. Value of grant pot: £1,700.

Members’ Grants: Minimum value: No minimum. Maximum value: £250. Value of grant pot: £11,750.

Funding streams and amounts are subject to change. All references to a community grant made within the policy refers to any of the above grants unless otherwise stated.

Special Project Fund

The council reserves the right to retain a portion of the community grants for consideration against special projects (over £2,000), which may be considered to help meet the council’s priorities. Requests over £2,000 will require Council Executive approval, please see guidance notes for further information.

How we will communicate grant funding

The council will advertise the funding schemes available annually, and will publish the details in the following ways:

  • On the council's website;
  • Communicate using a dedicated email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
  • Through the use of local press and social media;
  • In council publications such as its community magazine EBC today.

Application process

There are a number of funding schemes as identified above, each of which have their own application process and supporting guidance notes, these are available on the council’s website or by request.
Organisations should complete the application form electronically and send it to the Community Engagement Officer on the email above.
Paper versions of the application form will be available upon request for those unable to access digitally.
The opening date and deadline for the receipt of applications will be published when the scheme is launched (additional funding schemes and rounds may be issued throughout the year, and will be publicised accordingly). Application dates are detailed below but may be subject to change, in which case new/additional dates will be published on the website.

Small Grants community chest: Opens 1 April, closes 20 December.
Community grants: Opens 1 April and 1 September, closes 31 May and 31 October.
Arts grants: 1 April to 31 March.
Members' grants: Opens 1 March, closes 16 March.

Who can apply?

The qualifying criteria for the grant schemes vary for each specific scheme. Please refer to the supporting guidance notes for each scheme for full criteria and application procedure.
The schemes are open to community groups who meet the relevant criteria including, registered charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises.
These groups are referred to in this policy as qualifying organisations.

Eligibility criteria for funding

In order to qualify for consideration of a community grant the following criteria must be met:

  • The organisation must meet the definition of a qualifying organisation in line with the schemes guidance notes.
  • The organisation must have a formally adopted constitution whose aims and objectives are complementary to the council’s aims and objectives.
  • The organisation must have formal accounting arrangements and have a bank account in the name of the organisation, with two unrelated signatories.
  • The award will only be granted to projects that benefit Erewash residents.
  • Publicised deadlines for the receipt of completed applications will be strictly adhered to.
  • Each application must provide full details of any additional funding that has been secured or applied for. Funding will not be granted for the same elements of the project, promised or given from another source. Projects with any match funding will be considered more favourably.
  • Where capital and revenue expenditure is under £1,000 one written quote must be provided with the application. Applications will not be considered without this information.
  • Any items over £1,000 must be supported by three written quotes.
  • All applications must comply fully with this policy and any additional award specification detailed within the guidance notes for that scheme.
  • Funding must be spent in the same financial year (April – March) that it is awarded unless otherwise specified in the grant award notice or by exception on approval of the council in writing.

Funding aims, priorities and outcomes

The Community Grants programme focuses on outcomes looking at the differences that are made as a result of the activity and not the activity itself. We want to know what the benefits will be for the residents who participate in the activity or what positive changes will happen as a result of the activity.

Grant applications will need to;

Detail the outcome(s) that will be achieved by the activity.

Tell us how they will evidence that the specified outcomes have been achieved.

The council will give preference to funding applications which meets its priorities, including those detailed in the corporate plan and those detailed at the time the grant scheme is released and published on the council’s website.

In addition to these priorities, projects that can demonstrate a positive impact on one or more of the following areas will be welcomed. These could be subject to change over the life of this policy and will be published on the website at the time the funding round is released:

  • Improving community cohesion
  • Improving mental and physical health
  • Reducing social and economic inequality
  • Reducing barriers to activities

Areas to support these priorities include;

Improving prosperity

Activities could include:

  • Focusing on raising skills and employability for people on low incomes which are not the remit of others and have clearly defined and measurable outcomes.
  • Helping people get online and develop digital skills to access services and benefits, communicate with friends and family, or to develop basic and higher level digital skills needed in the workplace.
  • Promoting and supporting volunteering.
  • Improving physical and mental health outcomes such as those that promote exercise, healthy diets and healthy lifestyles and outreach advice services for residents experiencing mental health issues associated with living in poverty or on low income (we will not fund clinical activities).
  • Projects and/or purchases which enhance the life of and support the local community.

Community development activities

Activities which bring people together:

  • To improve wellbeing such as community and social groups, support groups, community training and development.
  • From different communities to improve and develop cohesion and integration.
  • That include intergenerational activities.
  • To train more people as volunteers.
  • To have a voice and influence services which affect them.
  • That focus on improving physical activity levels for those currently inactive (tackling sedentary behaviour).
  • To take part in informal sport and recreation.

Arts and cultural activities

  • Activities for groups of people who face barriers to accessing art and cultural activities.
  • Inclusion activities which bring people together to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Targeted projects to improve access to the arts including activities for minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those on low income.

The Community Grants programme will not fund the following

  • Retrospective funding for projects, such as applying for a project undertaken prior to the application date.
  • Applications for the same project year on year which have been previously funded.
  • More than one application from the same community group within a 12 month period.
  • Individuals, as they would not be a qualifying organisation.
  • Projects which involve or benefit one individual would not qualify.
  • Projects which involve working with young people and/or vulnerable adults where the applicant cannot demonstrate suitable checks or DBS records are in place.
  • Projects where organisations do not hold relevant insurance (please see guidance notes for more details).
  • Projects where the activity is to promote belief in, or support for, a religion, philosophy or political party, or to provide services on the basis of adherence to a religion, philosophy or political party.
  • Applications which request contributions towards funding for revenue costs in the form of ongoing year on year staffing costs, although some short term costs may be considered to enable project start-up.
  • Services/projects that would usually be provided by a statutory organisation such as a Local Education Authority or Academy Trust, Health and Local Authority functions including Parish Council statutory duties.
  • Projects that have high/disproportionate administrative and or management costs and are not good value for money as assessed by the awarding panel.

How applications will be processed and assessed

Each application will be assessed against its relevance and contribution to the outcomes that support the council’s priorities, or any specific priorities stated by the council at the time the funding scheme is published. The appraisal process will look at:

  • Your eligibility to apply;
  • The extent to which your project meets the Scheme’s priorities;
  • How many people will benefit from your project;
  • The level of need for the project;
  • The level of benefit to Erewash residents; and
  • The level of reserves held by your organisation.

In addition;

  • Applications are checked for completeness and eligibility. Additional information may be requested, where applications are received five working days prior to the closing date or earlier. However incomplete applications received later than five working days prior to the closing date will be declined.
  • For community grants, completed application forms must contain copies of the organisation’s most recent independently verified or audited accounts and verification of bank details including: the account name, number and sort code.
  • Projects must demonstrate realistic costs, detailed budgets/breakdown and quotes for all items of proposed expenditure £1,000 and over, in line with the council’s procurement processes.
  • Projects must not duplicate services already being provided, however they can complement, add to or enhance services provided by others working locally.
  • Applications must state any other partners involved with the project, their role and any financial contribution made or sought.
  • Applications must state clearly how the project will be advertised and promoted
  • The council favours applications that can demonstrate a match funding element. Match funding is not just restricted to monetary value, it can also include a gift in kind such as volunteer time, and goods and services.
  • Applications from organisations which show a high level of unrestricted reserves will not be considered.
  • The council may consider funding some staffing costs where this is required to enable new projects to start, however this will be a one-off only contribution, no further funding commitments will be made for ongoing revenue following year one start up.

Terms and conditions

  • The council’s award panel will decide the amount of award against each individual application. This may not necessarily be the full amount requested on the application.
  • Organisations must demonstrate sustainability of their projects as a grant award must be regarded as ‘one-off’ funding and not a commitment that on-going grants will be provided.
  • Grants must be used for the purposes specified in the application and/or the grant offer letter, which may contain additional comments. Any funds used for expenditure other than as stated on the application form must be repaid to the council immediately on demand.
  • All grant funding awarded which is not spent within the financial year, or within the conditions of the award notice, must be repaid to the council on demand.
  • Funding awarded in advance for an event/activity which the applicant subsequently cancels must be repaid.
  • Organisations awarded funding over £500 are required to submit details of the activities undertaken, final accounts for the agreed project and outcomes of the projects on the End of Project Evaluation report, together with any supporting evidence, for example copies of invoices which detail relevant expenditure.
  • Organisations receiving funding of £500 or less are required to provide confirmation of expenditure.
  • Organisations not returning a satisfactory End of Project Evaluation report within six months of the end of the financial year may be subjected to an audit review by the council and may be required to repay part or all of the funding awarded if the terms and conditions of the grant have not been met.
  • Failure to comply with the terms of the grant will result in the grant becoming repayable to the council on demand and exclusion of the organisation from applying for any future grants.
  • Any organisation receiving support from the council must acknowledge the award of such funding on their website, in promotional literature, in press articles or at their premises.
  • The award and release of grant funding to organisations is subject to their representatives making themselves available if requested at a mutually convenient time to be presented with a cheque by a member of the council executive.
  • All decisions are final and will not be subject to any appeals process.

Support to complete the Community Grant Application

  • The Community Engagement Officer (details at the end of this policy) will be able to provide further guidance on completing grant applications, including any specific requirements. Assistance tailored to individual needs can be considered on request.
  • Guidance is available on the council’s website which is also speech enabled.

What happens next?

We anticipate receiving more applications than we are able to support with the funding that is available. This means that some eligible applications, even if they are a good fit with our funding priorities and outcomes, may not receive funding from us, or may receive less than applied for.

The awarding panel will meet as soon as practicable after the deadline for applications. Decisions will be made promptly and transfer of funds to successful applications will follow shortly afterwards.

Please note that no expenditure should be incurred before being informed formally that your application has been successful and grant award approved.

Further information

Community Engagement Officer, Erewash Borough Council. Ilkeston Town Hall, Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5RP. 0115 907 2244.