Funding Opportunities

Pocket Parks 2019/2020

One-off grants are available for community-led organisations working in partnership with their local authority to create new pocket parks or bringing existing green spaces up to a safe, usable and inviting standard.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has launched the new £1.35 million Pocket Parks fund to support the development of new pocket parks and to refurbish existing parks that have fallen into disrepair where their restoration could have a significant positive impact on the local community and address a specific local need.

The funding is intended to help put communities and their partners in a position to take on the management of green spaces of value to them, and contribute resource towards upgrading spaces so that they are in good condition and communities can focus on managing them for the future. The funding is intended to help deliver the objective of the programme, which is to deliver, across all areas of England, new pocket parks and support refurbishment of parks that have fallen into disrepair where their restoration will make a significant positive impact in the local community.

There is a total of £1.35 million allocated to this programme for 2019/2020 with grants of up to:

  • £15,000 for new pocket parks.
  • £25,000 for refurbishment of existing parks split between capital and revenue.

The funding should be spent by 31 Mach 2020.

An extra £500 will be allocated within the grant to enable successful applicants, should they need it, to pay a local organisation such as a Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) to help them with their evaluation should this be required.

Communities are ‘strongly encouraged’ to obtain match-funding towards the grant awarded and they need to provide evidence that a minimum of 30% of the grant applied for has been secured. This is in addition to the grant and not part of the grant.

Match funding can be from local authorities, charitable bodies or foundations, from community events, crowd-funding, local business and/or elsewhere. Match funding can take the form of financial support, materials or labour.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a community group in England. This might include friends’ groups, tenants or residents’ groups, community gardeners’ associations, town teams, coastal community teams, voluntary and community organisations, town and parish councils or even Business Improvement Districts and Community Interest Companies (CiC)
  • Have a formal constitution.
  • Have the written support of their local authority, which must be willing to work in partnership with the applicant, hold the grant and pass it on to the community applicant.
  • Provide written evidence of agreement from the landowner to the works or activities outlined in the application. (Ownership of the site in which the park is located may rest with the community, the local authority or other public sector body, or a private sector body or trust including a housing association.)

Pocket parks are defined for this programme as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.

The funding will support communities to develop new green spaces or improve existing ones that are in poor condition, that provide people with better quality spaces; increasing opportunities for social mixing, healthy living, relaxation, play, food growing and contact with nature addressing health and wellbeing, integration social isolation or loneliness.

The funding support will enable, for example, (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Capital – support to prepare a site, earth-works, landscaping, tree planting, structural works etc. and put it into a good condition for further development.
  • Resource – to secure support from relevant experts (ie. landscape architects, lawyers, horticulturalists or wider green sector experts) and/or to connect with existing green space support networks.

Renovation of parks or parts of a park should address specific local needs and lead to a significant increase in the use of the park, such as:

  • Bringing a children’s play area back into use.
  • Encouraging local people to use parks for exercise and physical activities and improve physical or mental wellbeing.
  • Bringing communities together to overcome social barriers, for instance younger and older people or people from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Encouraging people to use the park who may be less likely to do so, for instance disabled people or people from BAME backgrounds.

Click here to find out more and apply.

Banister Charitable Trust

Grants are available to charitable organisations that are working to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in the UK.

The funding is for work that meets the charity’s objects which are to:

  • Promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in the UK.
  • Further such other purpose or purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the law of England and Wales in such manner as the Trustees may in their absolute discretion think fit.

Around £1.3 million was awarded in grants last year.

Funding is at the discretion of the Trustees. Grants tend to be in the £5,000 to £50,000 range, with a few lower or higher grants awarded. Applications will be considered from UK registered charities whose core purposes meet the Trust’s objectives which are the promotion, conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in the UK.

The Trust does not maintain a website or an email address.

Groups should write or call the Trust for further details on how and when to apply.

Trustee Department
Banister Charitable Trust
Messrs Coutts and Co.
1st Floor
Trinity Quay 1
Avon Street
Tel: 03453042424

CAF Tourle Foundation Fund

Grants are available to small local charitable organisations that are providing a service to the heart of their community within the UK for projects that meet a need and will make a difference to local people. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Tourle Foundation Fund is a ten year programme funded through a £4.5 million legacy left for CAF to distribute. The funding is for local charitable organisations delivering services for local people in all parts of the UK.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

The total project costs must not exceed £25,000.

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Organisations not providing local services for local people.
  • Organisations that are regional and national.
  • Organisations that are not charitable.
  • Organisations based outside the UK and/or delivering outside of the UK.
  • Organisations that have an annual income over £75,000.
  • Organisations in receipt of a grant from this programme within the last two years.
  • Political organisations or those promoting one faith/religion.
  • Requests for retrospective funding.
  • Individuals.
  • Full cost or contribution towards capital build – although refurbishments may be considered.
  • Core costs.
  • Salaries (may be considered in exceptional circumstances).

Organisations must be able to evidence that the project will be delivered to local people, whilst demonstrating the need and difference it will make.

Areas considered may include:

  • Projects with a community led ethos – this may be born from a community challenge or idea and run by members of the local community.
  • Organisations that find it difficult to attract mainstream funding.
  • Projects demonstrating the organisation is providing something which would not otherwise be available locally.
  • Projects demonstrating the organisation is doing great work that they are not recognised for.

Examples of eligible projects would include funding a charitable organisation set up by the community in a village, providing services to older people in isolation; a small community group on an estate providing drop in sessions for teenagers, etc.

Projects must be completed within a year from the date of the award.

The Fund is open for applications until 11 November (midnight). Groups will be notified of the outcome of their application in January 2020 with grant payment made in February 2020.

Application guidelines and an application form are available here.

National Garden Scheme – Community Gardens Award

Grants are available to amateur gardeners from community groups in England and Wales to create a garden or similar project with horticultural focus for the benefit of their local community.

The Community Gardens Award was set up in 2011 by the National Garden Scheme and managed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society. From 2019 the Award will be wholly managed by the National Garden Scheme.

The Award was set up in memory of Elspeth Thompson, a garden writer and journalist and supporter of the National Garden Scheme who died in 2010. The funding is for gardening projects carried out within local communities all over England and Wales. No fixed minimum or maximum amount is set but awards do not usually exceed £5,000. Match funding is not a requirement but organisations should state in their application if they have obtained, or are applying for, funding from elsewhere, giving the amount and the source.

The funding is for the creation of a garden or a similar project (such as an allotment) with horticultural focus for the benefit of the local community.

The project should aim to bring a community together by creating a space people can share, by the acquisition and sharing of gardening knowledge and skills and by inspiring a love of gardening.

Funding could cover expenses such as:

  • Site preparation (including hire of small mechanical tools such as rotavators).
  • Hand tools.
  • Plants.
  • Trees.
  • Shrubs.
  • Containers.
  • Seating

Applications open annually in early September and close on 31 December.

Application guidelines and an application form are available here.

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