Published Thursday 1 August 2019 at 12:52
This insight outlines a range of funding opportunities open to the public sector, businesses, community groups etc. Regular funding opportunities are also available via the websites below:
Community groups can now access potential grant funding opportunities through the free Blackburn with Darwen Open4Community online search tool.
For all Blackburn with Darwen Council funding bids
Please check whether match funding is required, if it is please contact and inform your Finance colleague.
Funding opportunities greater than £100,00
£100 million National Lottery Climate Action Fund launched
The National Lottery Community Fund has launched a new £100 million Climate Action Fund that will enable people and communities to take the lead in tackling the climate emergency.
The new fund will build a network of people and communities, well-placed to drive change within, between and beyond their community.
Whilst the types of activities will differ from place to place it is expected that all funded projects will have one thing in common: the ability to deliver high impact community-led climate action. This includes in areas such as sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption, food and protecting and regenerating spaces and habitats.
The National Lottery Community Fund is also exploring ways to support the wider sector and its grantees to help them mitigate their impact on the climate, for example via its Climate Action Top-up scheme – which will soon be piloted in Wales.
£3 Million available for developing components for smart energy systems
UK businesses and researchers can apply for a share of up to £3 million to support projects to develop important technology components that improve the efficiency of local energy systems. The funding is available through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge.
The competition aims to fund projects that investigate innovative components that would improve the efficiency of local energy systems.
Areas supported could include:
- applications for monitoring gas and electricity hardware and software
- improving integration between local and national electricity networks and markets
- optimisation of generation in real time across many sites, operators and aggregators
- improving efficiency of heat networks
- heating and cold storage, especially inter-seasonal
- optimising the coupling of electricity, heat and transport
Funding is available for feasibility studies and for larger research and development projects.
The deadline for applications is at midday on 9 October 2019.
Business and academic partnerships: Apply for funding
Up to £40 million of funding has been allocated to support businesses in collaborating with an academic or research organisation and a graduate on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The KTP scheme enables businesses in the UK to innovate and grow by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.
A KTP enables an academic or research organisation as a partner to a business to recruit a suitable graduate (an Associate) to work at the company for the duration of the KTP. The business is thus able to access new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project. KTPs can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project and the needs of the business.
The KTP 3-way partnership will consist of:
- A UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organisation
- An academic or research organisation i.e. university, college or research and technology organisation in the UK
- A suitably qualified graduate with the capability to lead a strategic business project
The KTP can be part-funded by a grant from Innovate UK with the business partner contributing to the salary of the Associate plus the cost of a supervisor who will oversee the scheme. Contributions will depend on the scale and length of the project and the size of the company i.e.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute around £35,000 per year, about one-third of the project costs
- Large businesses contribute around £55,000 per year, or half of the project costs
Applications may be submitted either via a KTP Adviser who will check the feasibility of the idea and find the right partner or, where there is already a partnership with an academic or research organisation, via that organisation’s KTP office.
The deadline for applications to this round is the 2nd October 2019.
Seafood innovation fund opens for applications
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has launched a new £10 million research and development fund to encourage innovation in the UK fishing and seafood industries.
The Seafood Innovation Fund will provide grants to foster, encourage and financially support innovative technologies and methods to support more sustainable and productive fisheries and seafood production.
There are two options for applicants: smaller feasibility studies, or larger full R&D projects.
Feasibility studies are designed to test new ideas (proof of concept) and can be up to a maximum £50,000 over 3 months in duration.
- Full R&D projects are for more developed ideas that can be delivered in up to a maximum of £250,000 over 18 months.
- Feasibility studies will be expected to apply for full R&D funding if a successful outcome is delivered at the end of the feasibility stage
The focus will be on supporting projects that deliver longer-term, cutting-edge innovation in all areas of the seafood sector from catch techniques and fish feed to the management of fisheries.
Applications for collaborative projects that include both seafood sector organisations and technology businesses are encouraged.
The closing date for applications is noon on the 12th September 2019.
Funding to increase the recycle rates for non-household municipal waste
Environmental Charity WRAP has announced that grants of between £25,000 to £170,000 are available to increase recycling rate for non-household municipal business waste (NHM) which is generated by sectors such as hospitality and food service, education, health, transport, retail, wholesale and offices.
A total of £1million capital funding is available to organisations that either collect or facilitate collection of this waste to:
- Provide new or improved recycling services/operations.
- Provide new infrastructure and better access to services targeting/benefiting Small and Medium Business Enterprises (SMEs).
Project proposals will need to demonstrate a level of innovation that goes beyond the current industry norm and offer effective communication approaches to guide and support SMEs who are signing up to the new services.
For example, project proposals could include:
- Alterations to Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) to provide new or increased capacity for NHM waste materials
- Alterations to existing site or new bring sites allowing NHM waste
- Dedicated micro bring sites located on the likes of business parks
The closing date for applications is the 4th September 2019.
Call for proposals – The Networks of Towns
The European Commission has launched a new call for proposals under Networks of Towns initiative. This is part of the European Commission’s new Citizens for Europe Programme.
Through the Networks of Towns initiative grants are available for towns with existing town twinning links to come together in thematic networks that address issues of common concern. This Programme provides financial support for conferences and workshops that address specific themes, involving towns from four eligible countries of which one must be an EU country. These events should be the starting point for future joint initiatives between the twinned towns. The maximum grant to be awarded is €150,000.
Applications are accepted from municipalities and twinning committees, local and regional governments and associations representing local authorities. A project must involve municipalities from at least 4 eligible countries of which at least one is an EU Member State and the maximum project duration is 24 months.
The closing date for applications is the 2nd September 2019.
Masonic Charitable Foundation Programme to support disadvantaged and vulnerable older people
Local and national charities in England and Wales can apply to the Later Life Inclusions grants programme run by the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Later Life Inclusion grants programme is open to charities working to reduce loneliness and isolation of vulnerable and disadvantaged people over 50.
Grants can be offered to charities that provide:
- Mental and physical health support
- Gateway and access to service, e.g. transport and technology
- Community based approaches, i.e. volunteering, positive ageing and neighbourhood support
- Advocacy, social and welfare support
The type of activities that could be funded include:
- Support for emotional and psychological planning for later life
- Digital inclusion sessions to enable older people to access services
- Activities and clubs enabling older people to remain active and make friends
- Providing companionship and befriending schemes for periods of transition
- Advice and information on options for those with health conditions
- Carers and respite support
The programme offers both small grants of up to £15,000 to charities with an annual income of up to £500,000 for projects lasting up to three years; and grants of between £10,000 and £150,000 to charities with an annual income of above £500,000 for projects lasting up to three years.
The next closing date for the large grants programme is the 19th August 2019 (Stage 1 applications). The small grants programme has re-opened for applications with a closing date of the 27th September 2019.
Funding to enhance the cultural impact of arts organisations
Arts, cultural and creative organisations in England can apply for small-scale repayable finance from the Cultural Impact Development Fund to enhance their social impact and help them to become more resilient. The aim of this £3.7 million Fund is 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 and increase their capability to articulate, achieve, monitor and evaluate their intended social impact. Loans of £25,000 to £150,000 are available at repayment terms of one to five years and interest rates ranging between 5.5% and 8.5%.
The Cultural Impact Development Fund is pioneering the use of financial incentives to drive the achievement of social impact targets in its investment portfolio, making it one of the few impact investment funds with a clear trade-off of financial return for the attainment of social outcomes. The financial incentive takes the form of a reduction to the headline interest on a given loan in cases where the total loan term is 36 months or more. Managed by Nesta and funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, the finance is provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
Unsecured loans (and revenue participation agreements, where appropriate) of between £25,000 and £150,000 with repayment term of one to five years and interest rates ranging between 5.5% and 8.5% are offered to socially-driven arts and cultural organisations operating in England – these include:
- Arts and cultural venues
- Museums, libraries and archives
- Non-venue based organisations (e.g. touring organisations, production companies, festivals, etc.)
- Sector support organisations (e.g. development agencies, workspace providers, cultural education organisations).
Applications to the fund can be made at any time. For fund-specific enquiries, please contact Trishna Nath.
Funding available to support schools facing unexpected or imminent failure
Teaching schools, national support schools and multi-academy trusts can apply for funding through the Emergency School Improvement fund to support schools facing unexpected or imminent failure.
This can include primary schools; secondary schools; middle schools; all-through schools; alternative provision and special academies; maintained schools; and pupil referral units.
Applications can be made for short-term support while a longer-term sustainable solution is developed, for example through the support of a new academy sponsor. Applications can also be made for longer-term whole school support where no other sustainable solution can be found to address the school failure.
Schools or academy trusts seeking support through the emergency school improvement fund, should contact the relevant local authority or regional schools commissioner. If they agree that support through the emergency school improvement fund is necessary, they will agree which teaching schools, national support school or multi-academy trust should lead that support and submit an emergency funding application on their behalf.
Funding opportunities between £25,000 and £100,000
Grants to support children’s health and education
The next deadline to apply to the DM Thomas Foundation Central Grants Programme is the 8th October 2019. The Foundation distributes a total of around £200,000 per quarter.
Grants of up to £30,000 are available per year for up to two years to registered charities for projects that improve education and health for young people in three key areas:
- Children and young people with disabilities
- Children and young people who are sick in hospital
- Children and young people who are life limited (requiring palliative care)
The Foundation is a small charity and generally will not make awards of over £30,000 (per year). Funding can be requested for one-off projects or for up to 2 years work.
Applications from schools and hospitals are welcomed as long as they are made through an appropriate registered charity.
If favoured, grant applications for up to £5,000 can be approved by the Director, up to £10,000 can be approved by the Grants Committee, and applications for more than £10,000 are recommended to the Trustees for final approval.
Funding available to councils to help them meet their local housing needs
Local Authorities in England can apply for grants of up to £50,000 to help them meet their local housing need. The funding which is being made available through the Local Government Association’s Housing Advisers Programme 2019/20 is available to councils to help the them procure the provision of bespoke expert support to transform the delivery of homes and places, the quality and security of existing homes, and/or to prevent and reduce homelessness.
The programme will fund ambitious projects seeking to improve outcomes. This might involve looking at:
- service design
- delivery operations
The projects might focus on opportunities to:
- meet housing and wider support needs of low-income families
- refresh homelessness services and partnerships to focus on prevention
- sustainably provide temporary accommodation
- meet needs of groups at risk of homelessness to prevent it happening
- support improvements in the private rented sector
- improve the quality of existing housing
- reform the end to end planning process and the relations hip with developers
- achieve fair returns to communities from planning gain
- proactively enable the development of the types of homes
- directly build homes of the right mix of products, tenures and techniques
- empower council housing tenants.
The deadline for submission of your expression of interest is 5.00 pm on 19 September 2019.
Funding opportunities under £25,000
Funding to enhance the quality of life for people in need
Registered charities, Hospices and state schools catering wholly for students with additional needs, can apply for grants to support their work that enhances the quality of life for people in need, specifically the mentally and physically disabled. Priority is given to small and medium size charities making a significant impact in their community and who may lack the time and resources to be able to focus on their fundraising.
The Edward Gostling Foundation’s grants are awarded to projects that have a significant impact across one or more of four life “themes” and priority is given to organisations that clearly demonstrate this within their application for grant funding, these are: Health and Wellbeing; Independent Living at Home; Respite; and Transition.
Grants can support:
- Modifications to homes, state schools (wholly for students with additional needs), hospices etc
- The provision of specialist equipment such as the provision of specialised wheelchairs, other mobility aids and equipment including medical equipment to assist independent living
- Financial assistance towards the cost of short-term respite breaks at a registered respite centre.
Grants are awarded through two programmes:
- A fast-track Small Grants Programme for applications under £5,000
- A Large Grants Programme for applications of £5,000 or over.
There are no application deadlines; applications can be submitted at any time.
Grants to cover running costs for small charities
The Marsh Christian Trust was founded in 1981 with the sum of £75,000 by its current Chairman, Mr Brian Marsh OBE. His aim was to create a sustainable way to give something back to society by supporting organisations and people who are making a difference.
The Trust supports around 300 charities every year and focuses on providing funding which could help small organisations pay for various running costs, such as volunteer expenses, training days, equipment maintenance and other core outgoings. The Trust aims to build long-standing relationships with successful applicants and, subject to an annual review, continue its support over time.
Applicants must be a registered charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. This does not include Community Interest Companies (CICs). Charities will be working in the areas of:
- Arts and heritage
- Social welfare
- Environmental causes and animal welfare
- Education and training
Charities must have been established for more than one financial year and able to provide a full set of their most recent Annual Report and Accounts, or the equivalent financial information if their annual income is under £25,000.
Grants are unrestricted and range from £300 to £2,000 with new applications at the lower end of this scale.
Applications are considered on the basis of the organisation’s financial position, performance against charitable aims and objectives and the ratio of voluntary income against fundraising expenses.
Applications can be submitted at any time.
Examples of the support given include:
- Core costs for Compaid, a digital skills centre in Kent that supports people with disabilities and sensory impairments
- Glassdoor, an organisation that offers shelter to the homeless in London.
Greenhall Community Fund to re-open for applications
The next round of funding from the Greenhall Community Fund will re-open for applications on 1st September 2019.
The objectives of the fund are to improve lives: among the sick, the elderly, the disabled and the disadvantaged particularly in the UK. Overseas project are also supported provided that the applicant charity is registered in the UK. Only the first 100 applications received will be forwarded to the trustee board for consideration and they will meet in November 2019 to allocate the funds.
The grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are only available to UK registered charities. Preference will be given to applications for specific projects rather than to supplement funds used for general purposes. In this funding round grants will be awarded to charities with a turnover of £250,000 or less.
Funding to mark the International Year of the Periodic Table
The Royal Society for Chemistry is making grants of up to £1,000 available to its Network Members to run a project for the International Year of the Periodic Table in 2019. To be eligible, applicants should demonstrate:
- that the project supports the celebration of the International Year of Periodic Table
- that the project has a significant aspect which is related to the chemical sciences
- that the project has a clearly identified target audience
- that the intended impact on the audience has been defined
- that projects are planned to take place during 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table
Funding is open all year round and will considered at three checkpoints in the year with the next deadline for applications being the 14th October 2019. There are limited funds available and applications will be considered until all funds have been allocated.
Centre for Social Justice Awards 2020
Charities, grassroots organisations and social enterprises tackling social issues at the local level are invited to apply for the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards 2020.
The annual CSJ Awards programme recognises local groups that address a range of entrenched social issues.
This year’s categories are:
- Maxi Richards Addiction Award
- The Family Award
- The Work Award
- The Education Award
- The Criminal Justice Award
- The Financial Inclusion Award
Six winners will receive cash prizes of £10,000 to scale their impact and puts them in the spotlight for senior politicians, philanthropists and business and charity leaders to be inspired by and learn from.
The closing date for entries is the 7th October 2019.
£33.5 Million to support schools to Improve
A new £17 million Trust Capacity Fund will be launched in September to encourage high-performing academy trusts to provide assistance to schools that are most in need of school improvement. The funding will be available until the end of the financial year.
The Fund will also be available to:
- Provide high-potential academy trusts, who have emerging capacity to improve other schools, with funding to meet challenges associated with taking on more schools in different contexts as they develop, deploy school improvement support quickly across a trust, and support collaboration between schools.
- Support smaller academy trusts that wish to merge into existing or new academy trusts, creating new clusters of schools.
In addition, the Government is setting out more details on a new package of support, worth an estimated £16.5million, to support 2,400 underperforming schools to improve their leadership. Up to £16,000 in support, will be available to schools with two consecutive ‘requires improvement’ judgements from Ofsted, to help them improve in a sustainable way.
The Department will be contacting schools throughout the 2019/20 academic year to offer this support package.
The open fund for music creators
Songwriters, composers, and artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning other songwriters or composers can apply for grants of up to £5,000 to support the:
- Creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
- Enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
- Reaching new audiences
The funding is being made available through the PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Music Creators and can support activities such as:
- music creator residencies
- promotion and marketing
- commissions of new music by UK-based creators
- exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
- live performances featuring new UK music.
The closing date for applications is 6pm on the 1st October 2019.
Funding for schools to purchase musical equipment
Schools, teachers and individuals in full time education in the UK, that wish to purchase musical instruments and equipment or to fund music courses and training can apply for funding of up to £1,500 through the Universal Music UK Sound Foundation’s Instrument and/or Equipment Awards.
To date the Foundations (formerly known as the EMI Music Sound Foundation) has made awards to over two thousand schools, individual students and teachers improve their access to music through the purchase or upgrade of musical instruments and equipment. The funding has to be made for music education that is beyond statutory national curriculum music teaching. The Foundation cannot fund retrospectively and schools are not eligible for financial assistance under this scheme if they have already purchased their instruments or if they do so before their application has been approved. The Foundation also fund courses and training opportunities for music teachers who work within schools.
The closing date for applications is the 11th September 2019.
Science and chemistry equipment grants for schools
Teachers at primary or secondary schools can apply for a grant of up to £1,000 towards the purchase of equipment to support the delivery of Primary Science or Chemistry lessons. Bids are invited for the purchase of items of equipment that cannot be purchased through a school’s mainstream teaching budget and which would enrich the learning experience of students.
The Royal Society of Chemistry aims to support schools in presenting Chemistry lessons that enrich the learning experience of students in either primary (science) or secondary (chemistry) studies. The Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the Society awards Enhanced Equipment grants towards the purchase of equipment that supports delivery of the practical aspect of chemistry education. Applications will be enhanced by a demonstration of the diversity of application of the equipment within and between student cohorts.
A teacher at a primary or secondary school should make the application.
The funding is being made available through the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Enhanced Equipment grant scheme and applications to the scheme can be made at any time.
Enterprise Hub Launchpad competition opens for applications
The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced that the Enterprise Hub Launch Pad competition is open for applications. The Enterprise Hub Launchpad Competition will award entrepreneurs in the UK aged 18-25 with a cash prize and bespoke support to start a business based on an innovative idea.
The winner will receive:
- The JC Gammon Award
- £15,000 equity-free seed funding
- Lifetime membership of the Enterprise Hub
In addition successful applicants will receive:
- Training on how to establish a business and build a team.
- Tailored mentoring from successful entrepreneurs.
To date the Royal Academy of Engineering has supported 94 Entrepreneurs with £4.5 million of seed funding. They have raised over £83 million in further funding, and now employ over 400 staff.
There is a 3-stage application process. The closing date for stage-1 applications is the 2nd September 2019. Ten applicants will be selected with an opportunity to go through to stage 2 and 3 of the competition.
Collaborative research and development grants for emerging artists
Help Musicians UK is looking for exciting collaborations that create work across art forms, creative sectors and other disciplines. Applications to the Fusion Fund must be music-focused and projects should include contributions from at least one non-music discipline for example storytellers, lighting designers, choreographers, technologists, scientists, gaming designers, theatre directors, visual artists etc. Applications that consider unusual and extraordinary spaces to show work to new audiences are also of interest.
There should be tangible results of the collaboration, such as a body of work created for an upcoming recording or a new performance. Overall, the project should push the boundaries of what the artist does as a music creator or performer, exploring or testing something that they are not currently able to achieve without support.
Grants of £2,000 to £5,000 can cover reasonable costs associated with the project including:
- Venue and rehearsal space costs
- Recording costs (live or documentation)
- Travel costs
- Access costs
- Accommodation costs
- Fees for musicians, artists or collaborators time to allow for the project to happen
The fund is open to professional and emerging professional musicians of all genres and disciplines with an active career including: Solo instrumentalists, conductors, composers, vocalists, singer songwriters or multidisciplinary artists. Bands or ensembles with six members or less can also apply.
Applicants must be:
- Aged over 18 (no upper age limit)
- Based primarily in the UK and be eligible to work here
- Have been resident in the UK for at least three consecutive years
- In financial need and without significant backing
The closing date for this round is 9am on the 2nd September 2019.
Applicants that have an idea that they think fits with the scheme, they can find out more by booking a Skype or phone advice session with Creative Programme Officer Bex. Please read through the guidelines before the session.
Mandarin Excellence Programme – funding available for schools
Applications are now invited from state schools in England to join the Mandarin Excellence Programme for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Programme aims to deliver a minimum of 5,000 speakers of Mandarin on their way to a high level of fluency by 2020. Grants of a minimum of £20,000 per year are available to state-funded secondary schools in England.
In order to take part in the programme, it is highly desirable that schools should:
- have an Ofsted rating in your most recent inspection of 1 (outstanding) or 2 (good)
- already be committed to a strong presence of two or more languages on curriculum
- be committed to teaching Mandarin Chinese to MEP pupils for whom that is not their first language
Schools on the programme should also be able to do the following:
- provide a programme of at least eight hours a week, made up of a combination of class-time teaching, extra-curricular teaching, self-study and intensive language courses in China and the UK. This should include four hours of teacher-taught classroom lessons, ensuring a rigorous programme of study for all pupils in the programme.
- act as or work with a hub school, growing the number of schools and pupils in the local area on the programme, to contribute towards meeting the national minimum target of 5,000 Mandarin pupils on track to a high level of fluency by 2020. This includes retaining pupils on the programme so that they reach a high level of fluency, through the delivery of the rigorous programme of study and other activities.
- work to ensure that pupils will be on course to complete HSK IV and V exams within 6 years of starting the programme. Pupils should also be on course to complete Chinese GCSE and A Level, IB or Pre-U qualifications during and beyond the programme lifespan.
Some pupils will have the chance to visit China.
The next intake of Mandarin Excellence Programme schools will need to start delivering the programme in September 2019.
Schools interested in taking part in the programme should download and complete an Expression of Interest form. This document outlines the key programme requirements, funding arrangements, and allows schools to explain how the programme could work at their school.