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Cambridge City Council

Apply for up to £2,000 from the community grants fund

Community groups can apply for a grant of up to £2,000 to support activities that will reduce social or economic inequality (or both) for the people who participate. You can apply for funding for:

  • activities that will help people be more active
  • arts and cultural activities
  • activities that will bring communities together
  • activities that will reduce poverty
  • activities that will reduce social isolation and loneliness

You can apply for a grant until 3 October 2022.

The funding must be used for activities that will take place between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.

This small grant fund is part of our Community Grants programme. It’s new for 2022 and we are running it as a trial. The lower value of the grant is reflected in the streamlined application form, which is only available online. We hope it will encourage applications from new groups and those who might have felt the application process was too difficult.

Your group can apply for funding for one or two activities and for not more than £2,000 in total – you must submit separate applications for each activity.

You cannot apply for this grant if you are also applying for a grant from the main Community Grant fund.

We expect a high demand for this funding, so might not be able to award the full amount you request. Eligibility does not guarantee funding.

Eligibility

You must demonstrate that your group’s activity will reduce social or economic inequality for the people who take part.

The people that benefit from the activity must live in Cambridge. It’s fine for people from elsewhere to take part, but we can only provide funding for residents that live inside the city boundary. Please check our ward map if you are not sure.

We will fund the direct costs of running the activity and will consider a realistic and proportionate share of your organisation’s overheads.

Your activity should be open to all residents. If your beneficiaries only live in a small area of the city but your activity meets the other criteria, you should apply for Area Committee funding instead. The next round of Area Committee grants opens in December 2022 for activities being delivered between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.

Example projects

  • Activities for groups of people who face barriers to accessing arts and cultural opportunities.
  • Activities promoting healthy lifestyles for people experiencing financial hardship
  • Activities that help address social isolation and loneliness
  • Activities which will bring people together to improve integration and community cohesion
  • Activities to support people experiencing food poverty

This list is not exhaustive, and we welcome proposals from groups that wish to provide other activities which will reduce social and/or economic inequality and fit within one of our priority areas.

Activities that we cannot fund

We cannot fund: 

  • Activities that are for religious instruction or worship or involve proselytising. We will not fund trips to religious places of worship. Religious groups can apply for non-religious activities but will need to demonstrate that the activity is inclusive to all faiths and religions.
  • Activities that are the remit of another statutory organisation. For example, you should apply to the county council for funding for childcare or community education, or to the local health authority for medical support groups.
  • Activities that promote or appear to support a political party.
  • Activities that have already happened, or that will take place before 1 April 2023 or after 31 March 2024.
  • Expensive food and refreshments that are not integral to the activity’s outcome.
  • Activities that include hiring a bar or buying alcohol.
  • Activities that will make a private, personal or commercial profit.
  • Fundraising activities, including for charity shops.
  • Activities that are for people who can afford to pay.
  • Competitive activities.
  • Activities that will be held outside Cambridge, unless there is no suitable location in the city.
  • Activities that include trips to outside the United Kingdom or other unreasonable locations. We will only consider entrance fees and the use of cars in exceptional circumstances.

Group eligibility

Your group must be one of the following:

  • A constituted not-for-profit organisation such as a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee, an unincorporated association or club, a community interest company, or a charitable incorporated organisation
  • A group of local residents who keep simple financial records and have a dual-controlled bank account
  • A partnership of constituted groups and local residents

Your group must meet the following conditions, or be actively working towards meeting them:

  • You must have a constitution or set of rules defining your aims and procedures.
  • You must decide policy and overall management practice through a committee of at least three unrelated, elected, unpaid volunteers. By ‘unrelated’ we mean people who are not immediate family members, married couples or civil partners, or people living at the same address
  • You must meet the needs of Cambridge residents and be open to all eligible people
  • You must have structures in place to manage your affairs efficiently, hold regular meetings to plan and monitor activities, keep meeting minutes, and circulate information to group members
  • You must meet the legal responsibilities of an employer, if relevant
  • You must recruit and support volunteers appropriately
  • You must adopt appropriate health and safety policies and practices before any funding will be awarded, including:
    • risk assessments for activities
    • safeguarding measures for children and vulnerable adults, if appropriate to the activity
  • You must adopt appropriate data protection, environmental, and equality and diversity practices if your application is successful
  • You must keep proper financial records and show that financial help is needed
  • You must have a group bank account be taking steps to identify an organisation that could hold the funds for you

Groups we cannot fund

We cannot award funding to:

  • Individual applicants
  • Organisations that were set up or are managed wholly or partly by a statutory organisation
  • Groups based outside the UK
  • Groups that operate for private gain
  • Groups that are connected with any political party, involved in party politics or promote any political party or view
  • Groups that have not complied with the monitoring requirements for any grant previously received from us
  • Groups that are also applying for funding of more than £2,000 from our main Community Grant scheme

Further requirements

Safeguarding and governance

You must ensure that you have all the necessary permissions, insurance and safeguards in place to ensure that your activity is well run and participants are safe.

You must upload copies of these documents when you apply for the grant, or send them to us separately after applying.

Activities on council-owned land

You must have permission from us if you intend to run your activity on council-owned land.

You will need to submit a ‘notice of intent’ and should allow up to four weeks for us to respond.

Apply for a grant

Before you submit an application, please make sure you have read all the guidance above and have your accompanying documents ready to upload on the form. 

You must send us:

  • A spreadsheet showing your activity’s costs and sources of income
  • A signed copy of your organisation’s governing document (for example, your constitution or set of rules)
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts, if your organisation is more than one year old
  • A copy of a bank statement for your organisation’s account from the last three months, showing your organisation’s name
  • Your risk assessment for the activity

Your safeguarding policy, if children or vulnerable adults can participate in your activity

The closing date for applying is noon on Monday 3 October 2022.

Online form to apply for up to £2,000 from the community grants fund

Next steps

You will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt of your application soon after you submit it.

We will assess all the applications we received by the closing date, and present a report with funding recommendations at the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on 19 January 2023.

We will tell you whether your application has been successful in the week following this committee meeting – you will have no right to appeal against the decision if you are not awarded a grant. All awards will be subject to the approval of the overall Council budget in February 2023.

We will pay grant funds from 1 April 2023, after grant agreements are signed and any other conditions are met, such as returning monitoring reports from previous grants.

Reporting back on your activity

After your activity takes place, you must tell us how you used the grant and what difference it made to the participants.

We will provide a simple monitoring form, which you must complete and return to us within four weeks of the activity. You should attach supporting evidence such as publicity material and photographs.

We might ask for further information. Please keep all receipts and invoices related to the activity, as we might also ask to see these.

You must repay in full any grant that is not spent or if you cannot provide evidence that it was spent on the purpose it was allocated for.

Further information and support

Contact us to discuss whether your activity and group are eligible for a grant, or if you have any questions about your application. Contact us as early as possible to ensure you have enough time left to complete your application.

Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) can help you to complete your application form or develop your policies. They can provide template policies if your group does not have them yet. CCVS can also advise you how to gather and present financial information and share examples of good practice and procedures.

You can also contact the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum (CECF), who work with minority ethnic communities, for advice or support in helping you complete your application.

Webinar

We are holding an online seminar on Wednesday 14 September 2022 to go through the grant application forms, eligibility criteria and funding priorities.

Contact us to reserve your place – tell us your name, which group you represent, and your contact details. We will send you a link to join the webinar.

Privacy notice

We collect personal data for the following activities:

  • To respond to grant enquiries
  • To process grant applications
  • To process awards, payments and grant agreements
  • To monitor grant awards and ensure public money has been spent for the purpose allocated
  • To provide information about our grants and voluntary sector support and activities

We collect names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers and photographs relating to funded projects through online, phone, face-to-face and other written interactions.

We process your data on the assumption that we will be entering into a contract with your group.

Read our full privacy notice to find out about your rights regarding your personal data.

We will not share your personal data with external agencies or individuals. However, we might process the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and supply information to government agencies, law enforcement agencies, internal audit, regulators or other external bodies for such purposes.

We do not routinely process any information about you outside the European Economic Area, except in rare cases, where we use all appropriate safeguards.

We only keep your personal information as long as necessary. Our Retention Policy [PDF] provides more information.

We review our mailing lists every year. You can contact us at any point if you no longer want to be informed about grant opportunities.

We will delete all data from enquiries that do not result in an application after one year.

If you have a question about your rights, contact us at infogov@3csharedservices.org or on 01223 457000. You can also write to our Data Protection Officer at Cambridge City Council, PO Box 700, Cambridge CB1 0JH.

You have the right to register a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).