Funding News

Biffa Award

Biffa award

Biffa Award currently provides funding for projects between £10,000 - £75,000.

The Main Grant scheme Recreation and Community Building project theme requires an active Biffa operation to be within 5 miles of the project site OR an active Biffa Landfill site within 10 miles. In addition your project must be within 10 miles of any registered landfill site. However, if you’re applying under the Main Grants Rebuilding Biodiversity theme, the radius of the Biffa operation is extended to within 15 miles.

More information here on the Biffa Award website.

The Biffa Award Board meets three times annually. At each meeting the Board considers applications from two of the three project themes, with each theme being considered twice annually, as follows:

October 2017 - Community Buildings and Rebuilding Biodiversity

February 2018 - Rebuilding Biodiversity and Recreation

Once your application is received, it will be seen at the next appropriate Board meeting relevant to your theme.



Bright Ideas Fund, Round 2 is now open

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give your community group the support and tools to start setting up your community business. It will also give your group the early stage finance that you need need to carry out consultation with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.

What is a community business?
A community business is set up and led by local people to look after what matters to them. Any profits flow back into the business to deliver positive local impact.

Watch some case studies to hear some community business ideas.

What the Bright Ideas Fund offers

Register for the Bright Ideas Fund webinar
On 11 April, Power to Change and Locality hosted a webinar for those who are keen to find out more about the fund criteria, application process and FAQs.

You can listen again to this webinar here.

Future rounds


ocf logo

OCF award grants to local organisations with a charitable purpose that they believe will benefit Oxfordshire.

Their grants help a huge variety of community groups throughout Oxfordshire, with beneficiaries ranging from children with disabilities to people coping with homelessness, and vulnerable adults struggling with mental health, amongst many others.

One application for a grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation provides groups with access to the whole range of different funds that we manage. Whichever fund the grant is to be made from, OCF will always consider the following:

OCF check on the progress and success of projects they fund, and it is very important to them that evaluation of the project is completed.

For more information and details of how to apply check the OCF website.

Transparency Code –FREE MONEY! website

Two more Oxfordshire councils apply for grants in November 2016 (£1,377), over £23,000 in grants given so far

Latest good news - Additional funding for 2015/16 grant recipients

Councils who received funding during 2015/16 from the Transparency Fund are reminded that they may apply for additional funding to cover recurring costs, such as monthly internet costs, monthly staffing costs, and monthly website costs for this financial year. These costs have to be applied for on a yearly basis by completing the Transparency Fund application form and are subject to availability of funds. For further details please access the revised instructions for completing the application form on the NALC website here.

What can we do to make you apply for a grant?

The Transparency Fund will be available for the rest of this financial year to March 2017 but may not continue if sufficient applications aren’t made; do not leave this until a rainy day. If your council does not comply with the Code NALC tell us your council may be subject to Judicial Review.

The Transparency Code requires that smaller councils (turnover under £25,000) publish, on a freely available website, information about:

There has been an updating and clarification of the eligibility criteria - councils who exceed the £25,000 turnover limit were previously excluded. However, provided that the council does not exceed the turnover limit for more than three years in a row they are now eligible to apply.

Also, councils do not need to have their own website in order to be compliant. Councils may opt to upload relevant information on another organizations website, for example, a village website. These councils are also eligible to apply for funding to cover equipment costs (computer, scanner, software), website costs (annual running costs

This financial year 13 councils in Oxfordshire have received grants totaling £14,146 so far. Typical amounts of money available are:

The application form is available from OALC, 

For more information on completing the application form and Top Tips go to the NALC website here

NALC want to stress that the purpose of the Transparency Fund is to cover the extra burden incurred by smaller authorities as a result of complying with the Transparency Code. For this reason, the Fund cannot cover the cost of modernising a council’s website or purchasing more modern equipment. For example, as long as a council can upload the necessary information onto their website, even if the website has a basic design, is running on a free of charge platform, and is not mobile compatible, the council cannot claim funding from the Transparency Fund to cover the costs of setting up a new website. Also, if the council already owns a computer that allows them to perform the necessary tasks to comply with the Transparency Code, they may not apply for funding to cover the costs of a second machine. However, if the council uses a member’s equipment (computer and/or scanner) and does not have its own, then they may apply for funding to purchase their own.

Towards the end of the financial year, NALC and DCLG will follow up on a sample of applications, asking applicants to submit evidence on how the money was spent. It is your responsibility to hold proof of the way the grant funding was spent.




Has your community group done some amazing patient, service user or carer engagement work that’s improved healthcare services? If so NHS England want you to tell them about it. In fact, they want to support you to tell everyone about it!

NHS England will be awarding grants of up to £1,000 to a number of projects that showcase good practice around patient and citizen participation in healthcare.

In your application you will need to tell NHS England a bit about how you have been working with patients and citizens and, and how you plan to use the grant to share and showcase your work in a creative way.

The grants can only be awarded to a voluntary organisation. Please make sure that you read the guidance before you apply and that you can meet the criteria set out. You can apply here



Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund Community governance

This £10 million fund is now administered by the Ministry of Defense rather than Oxfordshire County Council. The following four priorities have been set for the financial year 2016-17. Priorities 2, 3 and 4 will be reviewed in two years’ time:

For each of the priorities there are different application deadlines, probably the most pertinent priority for town and parish councils is 4. Community integration. Small grants up to £20,000 and large grants up to £500,000 are potentially available. Go to the Ministry of Defense website for more information :





General environmental grant scheme

The next deadline for applications to the TOE2 environmental grant scheme is the 28th March. Most grants are up to £5,000 but grants can be awarded up to £10,000 depending on the nature of the project and the level of funds available.  Thanks to Grundon Waste Management and Oxfordshire County Council for supporting the TOE2 grant scheme. 

TOE2 invites applications for projects that;

We would particularly like to see applications for access improvements, enabling more people to reap the benefits of being out in the Oxfordshire countryside.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your project ideas - 01865 407003 or or visit our website and follow us on Twitter @TOE2_Oxon



LEADER Funding £1.55m for businesses in rural Oxfordshire

Grants are available from now until March 2020

Are you a farmer, forester, small or micro rural business or community? Do you have an idea that will create jobs and boost our local economy?

Does your project fit into one or more of our four themes?
• Growing, selling, eating more local food.
• Vibrant villages.
• Reviving the River Thames and associated waterways.
• Unlocking the potential of woodlands.

We want to hear from you if your project will create jobs, increase productivity / efficiency or develop new markets. Or if your idea will increase visitor spend in the area or provide an essential rural service.

For more information, check our webpages:
Or speak to Fran Walker - - 07717 271909



Funds Available for Projects in Chilterns back to home page

Special projects:

Many people, businesses, communities and local groups have great ideas for projects to care for the chilterns Area of Outstanding natural beauty and make it a better place to live, work and visit. The Chilterns conservation Board can help turn those ideas into reality through grants available from its easy to access Special Projects Scheme.

What kind of projects can be supported?

Projects that make a difference to the Chilterns and for those who live, work in and visit the AONB. Projects must clearly meet the following priorities:

What are this year's specific priorities?

Projects within one of these themes are particularly encouraged:

For more information, case studies and an application form go to the Chilterns AONB website here


The Rural Community Energy FundWRAP logo

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), is a £15 million programme, jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

The fund provides up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become investment ready

To find out more about the fund and eligibility criteria please click here.



Community building projects line up for grants

From community centres to brand new social housing schemes, the new £14 million Community Led Project Support fund is opening up possibilities for communities to push forward local building projects right across the country.

Locality is in touch with dozens of local groups and parish councils interested in taking up the grants to improve their communities. It is operating a free advice line through the My Community Rights support service to enable many more to come forward and discuss the options.

The grant pot managed by the HCA (Homes and Communities Agency) can be used to cover the cost of getting ideas for community building development off the drawing board and up to planning application stage, including paying for detailed site plans and professional fees.

Advice and support on all the Rights is being provided by Locality, which is the leading network of community groups in the country, with 700 members. Guidance on how to apply for Community Led Project Support funding is available through the My Community Rights advice service at or by visiting the Homes and Communities Agency website.


Sport England Small Grants Programme sport england

The Sport England Small Grants Programme uses Lottery funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sport.

The step by step guide is here



Supporting Libraries – Arts Council

An extra £6 million in grants for the arts funding of libraries Grants is now open to applications and will be available until March 2015. The funding will support projects that stimulate ambitious and innovative partnerships between libraries and artists and/or arts organisations, encouraging communities to participate in cultural activities.

Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 covering activities lasting up to three years. Applications can be made at any time.

Enhancing Communities Programme – SITA becomes SUEZ COMMUNITIES TRUST

landfill communities fund

We're here to support community and environmental improvement projects through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

SUEZ Communities Trust provides funds to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).

Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include: Public Amenities (Object D), Historic Buildings, Structures or Sites (Object E) and Biodiversity (Object DA).

We support projects that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by our donor, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.

Go to the SUEZ website for more information and application criteria

Sharing Heritage – Heritage Lottery Fund

This fund is available to not-for-profit groups wanting to explore, share and celebrate their community’s heritage. Activities supported can include events, exhibitions, festivals and celebrations, or producing local history publications, conservation of individual heritage items, volunteer training and support.

Whether you want to rescue a historic building, breathe new life into a collection or record people’s stories, Heritage Grants can help with awards over £100,000.

Everything you need to know is here on the heritage Lottery Fund website


Think Big

There is an opportunity for young people to apply for £300 for a community project. think big o2

Whether it's setting up a local football team, painting a community centre, running a campaign to educate young people about knife crime, young people are full of great ideas, energy and enthusiasm. But they need support and money to make it all happen.

Think Big is a programme aimed at young people aged 13-25 who want to make positive changes in their community. If they've got a great project idea, we'll help them get going.

Think Big aims to harness the incredible talents of young people to bring people together in their communities. We want to help young people make the most of their potential, and inspire others. To change the way young people think about themselves and their communities. And change the way people think about them.

Initially young people can apply for £300 (Think Big), for their community project. If they successfully complete their Think Big project they will have the opportunity to apply for £2,500 (Think Bigger). For more information or to apply for Think Big please visit the O2 Think Big website


How can TOE2 help your parish council?

The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) has been developed by the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC) to provide support and funding for local communities wishing to: 

TOE2 is a charity with a clear set of funding guidelines closely matched to strategic priorities in these three areas in Oxfordshire, supporting the delivery of projects at community level. 

What sorts of projects might TOE2 be able to support or fund in your parish?

1. Biodiversity

The Natural Environment and Communities Act (NERC) of 2006 recognized the key role that Parish Councils can play in conserving and enhancing the richness and variety of local wildlife, establishing the biodiversity duty of local authorities. TOE2 can support Parish Councils to manage and improve local green spaces and habitats.  

2. Sustainable use of resources

Community Woodland Management Programme – TOE2 is currently developing a programme for the local production of wood fuel and wood products through the management of local woods including community woodlands. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch, as we will shortly be visiting some Parish Councils with a brief presentation on how this could work for local communities.

3. Access to green spaces

TOE2 is keen to support projects which improve access to local green spaces and encourage more people to walk or cycle to local facilities and services.

For further information about TOE2 and its funding opportunities:

If you think that TOE2 might be able to support your project with a grant of up to £5,000, please contact Fiona Danks on 01865 883488 or


The Naturesave Trust

The Naturesave Trust was set up in 1995 to fund specific environmental and conservation projects throughout the UK.

It obtains 100% of its funds from the premiums generated by Naturesave Insurance, which uses the insurance industry as a vehicle for sustainable development.

The primary function of the Trust is to encourage the greater adoption of sustainable development, especially within the Small and Medium Sized business community (SMEs).

The Naturesave Trust also funds Environmental Performance Reviews for Naturesave Policies Commercial Combined clients, helping businesses and organisations to become greener.

For more information about how to apply for funding, see About the Naturesave Trust.

To apply for funding from the Naturesave, apply using our online application form or download the Naturesave Trust Application Form, complete and return, together with any further information that you think might be useful, to Bee West, Trust Administrator at:

The Naturesave Trust South Devon House, Babbage Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JA

or Email Us on

Flights Mill

Community Renewable Energy Grants are available as seed corn to help renewable enegy projects. Sustainable Kirklington Hydro electric project has benefited from this grant scheme. For more information about Naturesave grants go to their website.



OCVA Guide to Funding Opportunities OCVA

OCVA have general advice and guidance on potential sources of funding on their website. Their website provides pointers to specialised sources of funding by category and other useful tips and hints to help you make a successful grant application.




South Oxfordshire District Council Communities Capital Grants

You can apply for a minimum of £1,000 and up to 50 per cent* of the cost of a project if:

We have a guide to help you figure out if your project is capital or not, but as a general rule if it’s to improve, completely replace or create a new facility it’s probably capital. The only exception is vehicle purchases, which we don’t fund.

We also don’t fund projects that fall to other public sector bodies to provide, like roads/footpaths, health services and schools, academies or free schools.

*If you need to ask for more than 50 per cent of the cost or your project’s already started please give us a call, as we may still be able to help.

Opening dates

Our provisional opening dates for this year are:

Round one open: 1 February to 1 April 2016 for decisions by 10 July 2016 (NOW CLOSED)
Round two: 2 May to 1 July 2016 for decisions by 15 October 2016 (NOW CLOSED)
Round three open: 31 October to 23 December 2016 for decisions by 1 April 2017 (Budget permitting)
We’ll confirm them shortly after the council’s budget-setting meeting in February 2016.

Advice and exceptions

While we’d love to talk to anyone looking to start an application we’d really like to talk if you:

need to check if your organisation or project is eligible
need more than 50 per cent of the total cost
need money for a project that’s already started or will start before we make our decisions
have a project that’s outside the district, but benefits lots of our residents.

You can call us on 01235 422405 or drop us an email to



Funds Available for Projects in the Cotswolds AONBCotswolds Conservation Board

The Cotswolds Conservation Board’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) awards grants of upto £13,000 to projects which will have social, environmental and economic benefit for the AONB.

Grants will be for upto 50% of project costs (75% for not for profit organisations) and need to show that they are contributing towards the aims of the AONB. .

For further details of SDF go to:

the deadline for applications is 3rd october 2016 or call David Molloy, Rural Skills and Grants Officer on 01451 862002.


Reaching Communities Fund - The Big Lottery

The Reaching Communities programme has two strands.

Reaching Communities is for revenue or small capital project funding

If you are applying for funding of between £100,000 and £500,000 to support larger projects to improve the physical condition of a building, primarily through extension and refurbishment, please see the Reaching Communities buildings page.

Reaching Communities grants are for projects that help people and communities most in need. Grants range from £10,000 to £500,000. We encourage you to look for other funding to cover some project costs and the total project costs must be less than £750,000.

We can fund, salaries, running costs, a contribution towards core costs, equipment as well as funding buildings.

The application process

We want to let you know quickly whether or not we can fund your project. First of all you need to complete an outline proposal form. We will let you know whether your project is one that we might consider funding within 20 working days of receiving the outline proposal form.

If you are invited to apply, we will send you a full application form. You will have 4 months to complete this. Once we receive your completed form we will let you know our decision within 17 weeks.

Read the Reaching Communties guidance notes for revenue and small capital grants to make sure your project stands a good chance of success.

If you have questions about how to apply or plan your project, contact the Big Advice line on 0845 410 2030 or email: Or go to the website.


Rural Pubs

Plunkett Foundation

The Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities wanting to set up and run a community-owned facilities such as shops and pubs.They provide practical assistance through their website below, a network of community advisers, a national office and various publications.

A major new support and finance programme to help people take control of their local pub for the benefit of the community was announced in March 2016.

The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a £3.62 million, two-year programme that will see a comprehensive package of business development support, advice and loan and grant funding being delivered to community groups in England to help them establish community-owned pubs that can clearly demonstrate how they will bring significant social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities. Jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change, the programme will be led by Plunkett Foundation and delivered in collaboration with leading organisations within the sector.

Further details here or from : Plunkett Foundation, The Quadrangle, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1LH

Tel: 01993 810 730 Email:


Awards for All

  Visit the Awards for All website to get details about the new programme and to get an application form, or call 0845 4 10 20 30 .

This scheme will be the Fund’s biggest ever commitment to a small grant scheme supporting community projects, offering a more easily accessible programme with even quicker decision times.

Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available to grassroots groups in the community and voluntary sector, health bodies, schools and parish or town councils. Grants are available to ensure that:





Page last  updated: April 21, 2017