Funding opportunities

On this page you will find external sources of funding, as well as specialist support and other opportunities from across a range of sectors.

We hope you'll be interested in these opportunities. Please let us know if you submit an application or receive funding, as this will help us to evaluate the impact of Fellowships and to identify further relevant opportunities in future.

My Community - Bright Ideas Fund
Coop Foundation: Community Spaces

Nesta - Cultural Impact and Development Fund
Heritage Lottery Fund - Heritage Project Grants
Homes England - Community Housing Fund
Blue Spark Foundation Grants
Social Investment Group - First Steps Enterprise Fund
National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement - STEM Funding 

 

My Community - Bright Ideas Fund

What is the funding for?

The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.

To find out more information about to help you decide if you should you should apply, you can watch the Bright Ideas Fund webinar, or visit their website.

How to apply

Applications are made online, where you can also read the gudiance notes and complete and eligiblity checker to determine if your idea is eligible.

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 30 September.

There will be additional funding rounds in February and August 2020.

 

Coop Foundation: Community spaces are everybody's business

What is the funding for?

The coop foundation is offering interest-free loans for enterprising ideas to improve community spaces.

  • Interest-free loans of up to £50,000 towards viable business ideas that will benefit the whole community – particularly those facing greater challenges.
  • No repayments for the first year, while your trading activities are developing

If you are based in a more deprived area, or your work mainly benefits more disadvantaged members of the community, we might also be able to offer some grant funding alongside a loan.

How to apply

If you think that this funding could help your community organisation to become more sustainable, you can fill out an expression of interest here. If you have any questions about this funding, you can get in touch with us at foundation@coop.co.uk.  

Deadline

No deadline currently.

 

Nesta - Cultural Impact and Development Fund

What is the funding for?

This £3.7 million fund provides small-scale repayable finance to socially-driven arts and cultural organisations. The Fund is supported by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment through the Growth Fund programme, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

The aims of the fund are to:

  • Enable risk-taking, ambitious organisations in the arts and cultural sector to take on small-scale repayable finance in order to achieve social outcomes;
  • Increase the capability of arts and cultural organisations to articulate, achieve, monitor and evaluate their intended social impact.

The Fund offers unsecured loans (and revenue participation agreements, where appropriate) between £25,000 and £150,000 with repayment terms of one to five years and interest rates ranging between 5.5% and 8.5%.

How to apply

For the criteria of the fund and details of the application process visit their website.

Deadline

The Investment window is between September 2018 and August 2021.

 

Heritage Lottery Fund - Heritage Project Grants

What is the funding for?

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funds projects which focus on heritage. HLF state that heritage can mean different things to different people. It can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. As a guide, this could include:

  • oral history
  • cultural traditions
  • nature
  • natural and designed landscapes
  • community archaeology
  • historic buildings, monuments and environments
  • collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives
  • histories of people and communities or places and events
  • the heritage of languages and dialects
  • places and objects linked to our industrial, maritime and transport history

How to apply

Different grant bands have different criteria and the amounts available depend on the type of organisation applying as follows:

  • Non-profits and partnerships led by non-profit organisations: £3,000 to £5million
  • Private owners of heritage: up to £100,000
  • Partnerships led by commercial organisations (for the purposes of achieving economic growth): £250,000 - £5m

Deadline

There is no deadline currently.

 

Homes England - Community Housing Fund

What is the funding for?

The Fund aims to support an increase in housing supply in England by increasing the number of additional homes delivered by the community-led housing sector; to provide housing that is affordable at local income levels and remains so in perpetuity; and to deliver a lasting legacy for the community-led housing sector in the form of an effective and financially self-sustaining body of expertise within the house building industry in England.

Under Phase One of the Fund, Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to support:

  • applications for revenue funding for capacity building and predevelopment costs, including revenue grants to local authorities to support community groups
  • capital bids for associated infrastructure costs which will support community housing development

Under Phase Two of the Fund Homes England is making available grants to eligible organisations to help cover the capital costs of acquiring land and building community-led housing schemes.

Both phases are now open.

How to apply

Full details of Community Housing Fund and how to bid are published in the prospectus on their website.

Deadline

Applications will be assessed on an on-going basis throughout the programme period.

 

Blue Spark Foundation Grants

What is the funding for?

Schools, colleges and community groups in England can apply for grants to Blue Spark Foundation for a wide range of projects. The Foundation value academic, vocational, artistic and sporting endeavour in equal measure but are particularly keen to support projects which will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.

Many grants will be under £2,000, most will be under £5,000 and only in a few cases will grants exceed £10,000.

Projects which could be supported include drama, music, sport, art and design, debating, public speaking, academic education, vocational training, community projects, enterprise projects and educational excursions. This list is illustrative and not exclusive as to the types of project that the Foundation support.

How to apply

Applications with an application form online.

Deadline

There is no deadline currently.

 

Social Investment Group - First Steps Enterprise Fund

What is the funding for?

First Steps Enterprise Fund (FSEF) is a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisations managed by Social Investment Group on behalf of the ASDA Foundation. Funding packages of up to £30,000* are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year.

Community organisations (charities and social enterprises) based in England that are looking to take on their first loan to help them grow and become more sustainable.

Particular preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:

  • Older people
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Employment for young people

How to apply

Details for how to apply can be found on their website.

Deadline

Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.

 

National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement - STEM Funding

For anyone looking for funding to support science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) public engagement activities, the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement website has links to a range of funding opportunities.

The website also contains a wealth of support features for all public engagement professionals.