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Cambridge City Council

Community Grants of less than £2,000

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

Applications are now closed for funding for activities that will take place between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025.

We will accept applications for future funding later in 2024.

This small grant fund is part of our Community Grants programme. The lower value of the grant is reflected in the streamlined application form, which is only available online.

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 may not be able to award the full amount you request. Eligibility does not guarantee funding.


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.

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 on 12 December 2023 for activities being delivered between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025.

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
  • Equipment, unless it is a small part of a fully costed activity
  • Activities that will make a private, personal or commercial profit
  • Fundraising activities, including for charity shops
  • Gifts and prizes
  • 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
  • Uniformed groups
  • 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.

Next steps

We will assess all the applications we receive by the closing date, and present a report with funding recommendations at the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 18 January 2024.

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 2024.

We will pay grant funds from 1 April 2024, after grant agreements are signed and any other conditions are met, such as returning monitoring reports from previous grants.

Reporting back on your activity

You will be provided with a simple template monitoring form to tell us what you did with the grant and what difference it made to the participants.  This must be returned within four weeks of completing the activity.

Monitoring reports should be accompanied by supporting evidence such as publicity material and photographs.  We may request further information.

Please keep all receipts and invoices related to the activity as we may ask to see these.

Any award that is not spent or evidenced for the purpose allocated will have to be repaid in full.

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

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

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] [PDF, 0.7MB] 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 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).

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form