Funding Round Up

£1.5 Million Fund Announced to Support People in England Back into Work Following Time Out Caring

The Minister for Women and Equalities, Amber Rudd, has announced a £1.5 million programme to support people back into work after time spent away from the labour market while undertaking a role in caring.

The Returners Fund offers grants to projects which help people to return to work in the private sector. These projects could help returners update their skills, provide other training or support businesses to increase employment opportunities for returners.

The Fund will prioritise projects that focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employers outside of London, and projects that support returners at all skills levels. This is part of the government’s wider strategy to develop the evidence base on what may help to close the gender pay gap.

The upper limit for grants is £300,000. However, it is anticipated the majority of awards will be between £50,000 and £150,000. The grants can only be used for the start-up costs of new projects, training, and related support for returners.

All types of organisations in England that can demonstrate they can support returners are eligible. This includes voluntary and community sector organisations, local training providers, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), academic institutions, local authorities and private sector organisations. It is anticipated that most of the grant recipients under the Returners Fund will be voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises and training providers.

Launching the Fund, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Amber Rudd, said:

“It is truly striking that nearly 90% of people out of paid work because they are caring for the home or family are women.

“Too often people struggle to get back into paid work after taking time out to care for others. That is a huge loss not only to those individuals, but to our economy and to businesses all over the country.

“That’s why I’m delighted to announce this government will be launching a £1.5 million fund to support people, particularly women, back into work after time out looking after children and other relatives.”

Expressions of interest for the first round of bidding must be submitted by 30 March 2018. Click here for more information.


Arts Council England Invites Applications to New National Lottery Project Grants

The new National Lottery Project Grants programme has replaced the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts as well as absorbed some elements of other Arts Council England funds, which have now closed to applications. The new Project Grants has been designed to be more open to supporting those working in creative and digital media than the previous Grants for the Arts.

Under the new programme, community and cultural organisations, museums and libraries and individual artists can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 to support a wide range of arts projects as well as creative and digital media projects. The funding can support projects lasting up to a maximum of three years.

Applications must meet the programme’s four criteria of quality, public engagement, finance and management as well as focus on at least one of these areas: music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, combined arts, museum practice (accredited museums only), or libraries (arts-focused projects only).

The budget of £97.3 million per year is intended to further support the integration of museums and libraries into the Arts Council’s total investment approach. Some aspects of the Strategic Touring and Ambition for Excellence funds will be absorbed into Project Grants, with £14 million per year reserved to support nationally significant and national touring projects of over £100,000. National Portfolio Organisations will be able to apply for some of the national activity previously supported by Strategic Touring and Ambition for Excellence.

The following funds closed on 1 March:

  • Grants for the Arts
  • Strategic Touring fund
  • Ambition for Excellence fund
  • PRISM Grant Fund
  • Grants for the Arts Libraries fund

There are no deadlines as applications can be submitted at any time. Click here for more information.


European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) – Calls for Proposals Open in The Marches

Four calls for proposals are open to applications under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) strand of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

SME Support Call

Grants from a minimum of £500,000 are available to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in The Marches.

The Call specifically aims to:

  • Promote entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators.
  • Support the creation and the extension of advanced capacities for products, services and development.
  • Support the capacity of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to grow in regional, national and international markets and to engage in innovation processes.

The total budget for the call is £4 million (£1 million for the More Developed Region (Herefordshire) and £3 million for the Transition Region (Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin)). It is anticipated that funding will be awarded for up to three years.

Research and Innovation Call – Transition Region Only (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin)

Grants from a minimum of £500,000 are available to run a project promoting research and innovation in The Marches.

This call is looking to support research and innovation, specifically:

  • Enhancing research and innovation infrastructure and capacities to develop research and innovation excellence, and promoting centres of competence, in particular those of European interest.
  • Promoting business investment in research and innovation.

The total budget for the call is £1 million. It is anticipated that funding will be awarded for up to three years and projects must cover the transition region (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin) of The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area.

Low Carbon Call – Transition Region Only (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin)

Grants from a minimum of £500,000 are available to run a project supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in Coast to Capital.

The Call specifically aims to:

  • Promote the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources.
  • Promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use in enterprises.
  • Support energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in public infrastructure, including in public buildings, and in the housing sector.
  • Promote low-carbon strategies for all types of territories, in particular for urban areas, including the promotion of sustainable multimodal urban mobility and mitigation-relevant adaptation measures.
  • Promote research and innovation in, and adoption of, low-carbon technologies.

The total budget for the call is £1.5 million. It is anticipated that funding will be awarded for up to three years and projects must cover the transition region (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin) of The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area.

Environment and Resource Efficiency Call – Transition Region Only (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin)

A grant of a minimum of £500,000 is available to run a project focussed on preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency in the Marches, specifically by protecting and restoring biodiversity and soil and promoting ecosystem services, including through Natura 2000, and green infrastructure.

The total budget for the call is £500,000. It is anticipated that funding will be awarded for up to three years and projects must cover the transition region (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin) of The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area.

The deadline for outline applications to all calls is 20 April 2018. Click here for more information.


Pink Ribbon Foundation Re-opens for 2018 Applications

The Pink Ribbon Foundation’s mission is to fund projects and provide financial support to UK charities which relieve the needs of people who are suffering from, or who have been affected by breast cancer or who work to advance the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for revenue, capital or project costs.

The Foundation provides financial support to charities in the UK whose objects are:

  • To relieve the needs of people who are suffering from, or have been affected by, breast cancer by providing, or assisting in the provision of, information, care or emotional, practical and financial support.
  • To advance public education in the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment, in particular but not exclusively by commissioning, or conducting, research into the causes, detection and treatment of breast cancer and by disseminating the results of such research.

The Foundation will consider applications from general cancer charities if any grant made will be used to benefit those suffering from, or affected by, 50% of patients that suffer from Breast Cancer or for research into, or the dissemination of information about, breast cancer.

The Foundation is keen to support initiatives which promote a positive view of living with breast cancer.

The Foundation welcomes applications from all ethnic and minority groups.

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2018. Click here for more information.


The Good Help Award Extends Deadline

Nesta are seeking applications from organisations that demonstrate they are helping people transform their lives through ‘good help’ activities.

‘Good help’ is core to many organisations trying to help people take action and improve their lives. Yet too many people receive ‘bad help’ which can have acute consequences, such as homelessness or addiction, but also chronic and subtle effects which make activities, such as parenting and healthy eating, much harder, and sometimes impossible.

The Good Help Award will reward an organisation or team that demonstrates they are helping people to find their sense of purpose and develop their confidence to take action to transform their lives, rather than focusing on fixing a problem for them.

Nesta will use the award process to identify and celebrate all of the most promising ‘good help’ projects – not just the winners – and will be looking for opportunities to share best practice and learning in ways that can help them all increase their impact.

There are three awards available – one £15,000 winner, and two £5,000 runners up.

Any organisation or team from within the public, voluntary, community or social enterprise sectors in the UK are eligible to apply.

Commissioners and/or providers are also eligible to apply.

All applicants must be offering ‘good help’ through an established (ie operational for at least 12 months or more) project, programme or service in the UK.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 18 May 2018. Click here for more information.

Shortlisted applicants will be announced in June and invited to an exploration workshop in July. Winners will be announced at a celebration event on 13 September.


On International Women’s Day Innovate UK Confirms Plans for a Second Phase of its Women in Innovation Awards

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Innovate UK (IUK) has announced that it will run a second phase of its Women in Innovation Awards.

The programme, which is set to launch later this year, will consist of a funding competition and support package to encourage more female-led innovation. Alongside this, IUK will begin operating quarterly innovation accelerator workshops to help get more women innovating in business nationwide. The agency will also review its existing programmes to determine how it can better promote and inspire diversity.

The first Women in Innovation programme was launched in 2016, following research that found just one in seven applications for IUK funding came from women. To address this, IUK ran its first women-only competition with awards offering innovation grant funding and a tailored programme of mentoring and business support. This provided £50,000 in funding each for 15 female-led businesses plus mentoring.

Since the programme launched there has been a 10% increase in female registrations for IUK support.

The second Women in Innovation competition will seek ideas that address the four grand challenges posed by the government’s Industrial Strategy, which are:

  • AI and the data economy
  • Clean growth
  • Future of mobility
  • Ageing society

Commenting on the announcement, Doctor Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said:

“It is fantastic that more women are coming to us for innovation funding and support, but we need to go further.

“Our 2018 Women in Innovation programme is designed to help many more women achieve their business ambitions, drive UK growth and productivity, and harness the full talent pool.”


Road Safety Trust Applications Due by 31 March

The Road Safety Trust, an independent charitable trust, works to support projects and research that will make the UK’s roads safer for all road users and reduce the numbers of people killed or injured on UK roads.

The Trust provides funding to public and professional UK organisations, including charities and university departments, for projects that are innovative and will enhance the knowledge and practice of the road safety community. Applicants should be able to give a clear indication of their project’s benefit to road safety.

Grants of up to £100,000 are available over a period of up to three years to support projects that meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • Raising road safety awareness and sharing knowledge and learning.
  • Supporting the development of evidence based approaches to road safety.
  • Improving road safety policy and practice.
  • Encouraging partnership working, as a way to achieve these aims

The grants can cover projects costs, but not the core business of the applying organisation.

Education, enforcement and/or engineering approaches are likely to underpin successful applications.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2018. Click here for more information.


Triangle Trust 1949 Fund Opens for Organisations Working with Unpaid Carers

The Triangle Trust provides funding through its Development Grants programme twice a year to registered charities, not-for-profit social enterprises and community interest companies in the UK whose primary purpose is to support unpaid carers (spring round) and the rehabilitation of offenders or ex-offenders (autumn round).

Applications from organisations working in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales are particularly welcome. Organisations must have a constitution whose primary purpose is to support unpaid carers.

Development Grants provide funds towards any costs incurred by the applicant in undertaking its core business so that sustainable income sources can be developed and the organisation’s income will not be reduced when the grant comes to an end. The grant could, for example, be used to enable an organisation to make a step change such as diversifying its income streams or setting up a social enterprise to help it become more sustainable in the long term.

Grants are available for up to £80,000 over three years with a maximum of £35,000 in year one. The amount requested each year is expected to taper down as applicants develop other sustainable income streams.

The emphasis of the Development Grant is to support the development of a solid foundation for the future. The grant could, for example, be used to enable an organisation to make a step change such as diversifying its income streams or setting up a social enterprise to help it become more sustainable in the long term.

Please note this funding is not available for charities with a broader remit that are running a project to support unpaid carers.

This is a highly competitive fund with only five Carer Development grants awarded in 2017.

The deadline for applications to the Spring round is 3 May 2018 (12 noon). Click here for more information.

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