The Connect Fund
The Connect Fund aims to strengthen the social investment market in England to better meet the needs of charities and social enterprises. It is a £1.5million fund that supports intermediaries and infrastructure organisations to make social investment work better for a wider, diverse range of charities and social enterprises.
The Connect Fund will open for the next round of funding from 2 Oct to 5 Nov 2017. This expression of interest (EOI) will focus on feasibility grants for infrastructure organisations representing sectors or places to engage with social investment in England.
Find out more here.
Neighbourhood Planning Grants
Communities Across England will benefit from a £22.8m support package from The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). DCLG will provide funding of around £5.5 million each year from 2018 until 2022 to support local neighbourhood planning groups who want to have more of a say over development in their area.
The new programme will be the third time DCLG has provided funding for Neighbourhood Planning. The Government first set up the £9.5 million Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning programme which ran from 2013 to 2015. This was then followed by the £22.5 million Neighbourhood Planning Grants and Support Programme (2015-2018), which is drawing to an end.
Neighbourhood Plans gives local communities a real say in the development of their area including where homes, shops, green spaces and offices should be built and how they should look. Groups are eligible to apply for total grant funding of up to £9,000 over the three year programme from 2015-18.
Applications for grant for 2017-18 can be submitted until 31 January 2018.
Expenditure through a grant must be completed within six months or before 31 March 2018, whichever falls soonest. Examples of what you can use your grant for:
• Developing a website
• Training sessions for members of the steering group
• Help with putting together a project plan
• Undertaking a household survey
• Help with developing the evidence base
• Engaging a planning expert
• Venue hire, publicity materials, printing and other costs associated with consultation.
Find out more and read the Technical Support and Neighbourhood Planning Grant Guidance here before completing the Expression of Interest form (the first stage in the application process).
Arts Award Access Fund (England)
The Arts Award Access Fund is designed to help registered Arts Award centres that are experiencing a lack of funds. The programme is active in arts centres, colleges and schools, community projects, libraries, galleries, local authorities, theatres, youth clubs and youth justice settings. Grants of between £100 and £1,500 are available.
The second round for 2017 is now open to applications and closes on 20 October 2017.
Check eligibility for Shropshire based organisations here.
Connected Communities Innovation Fund
Working in partnership, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Nesta have set up a new £4 million fund that aims to widen volunteering opportunities for people 50 years and older in England.
The fund is designed to encourage more people to volunteer alongside public services, and inspire new ways of giving for those who have not previously volunteered. The fund has a specific focus on helping those aged 50 and over, those who want to give time infrequently rather than routinely, and those who want to give their time and skills from the comfort of their own home to good causes.
There are two separate funding tracks:
- Early Stage Ideas track – grants of between £50,000 and £75,000, along with non-financial support over 12-18 months to test concepts.
- Growing Great Ideas track – grants of between £100,000 and £250,000, along with two years of non-financial support, are available for innovations already in place and ready to scale.
It is expected that a total of around 20 innovations (through both tracks) will be funded.
The funding is for projects that address one of the following priorities:
- Bringing communities closer to create shared resources and support one another.
- Supporting community resilience in emergencies.
- Improving the environment.
- Creating new forms of digital social action.
Applications will be considered from public services, charities, social enterprises or partnerships led by these organisations can apply as long as their projects advance Nesta’s charitable objects for public benefit.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 October 2017. Find out more here.