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Cambridge City Council

Communities tackling inequality, climate change or homelessness can apply now for funding

Apply now to our £1 million Community Grants
Apply now to our £275,000 Homelessness Prevention Grants
Apply now to our £30,000 Sustainable City Grants


Three grant funds have launched this week and Cambridge’s charities, voluntary and community groups are being encouraged to apply now. The deadline to apply is 2 October 2023. The three grant funds are:

Community Grants: at least £1 million is available to tackle social and economic inequality in Cambridge

Sustainable City Grants: £30,000 is available for groups working to reduce energy, waste and emissions; and prepare for the impacts of climate change

Homelessness Prevention Grants: £275,000 is available to organisations preventing and relieving homelessness and rough sleeping in Cambridge.

Groups can apply to the Community Grants fund for any amount, with no upper ceiling on how much a group could be awarded if their proposed scheme was suitable. For those groups looking for £2,000 or under, the Small Grants scheme offers a simpler application process to make it easier to access smaller Community Grants.

To be eligible for Community Grants, activities need to support the council’s commitment to furthering social and economic equality across the city. The types of activities that could be eligible include:

  • helping people to be more active
  • widening access to arts and cultural activities
  • community development activities
  • reducing poverty
  • providing legal and/or financial advice
  • employment support
  • voluntary sector capacity building to achieve the above.

Groups can apply for up to £10,000 from the £30,000 Sustainable City Grant. To be eligible for Sustainable City Grants, activities need to support the objectives set out in the council’s Climate Change Strategy:

  • reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions from homes and businesses in Cambridge
  • reducing consumption of resources and waste, and increasing recycling by residents and businesses in Cambridge
  • reducing emissions from transport in Cambridge by promoting sustainable transport and encouraging behaviour change
  • increasing the provision of sustainable food in Cambridge
  • supporting Cambridge’s residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

To be eligible for the £275,000 Homelessness Prevention Grant organisations must be working to prevent or relieve homelessness. Applicants could consider how people who would otherwise have become homeless will be prevented from becoming so as a result of the project; or how people who are already homeless can be assisted into accommodation or moved on from temporary council accommodation. 

Cllr Mairéad Healy, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “We should all be incredibly grateful to the numerous voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations that work day in day out to look after the more vulnerable members of our community. We hear time and again that the council’s Community Grants are vital to keep these groups running, and so we have committed at least £1 million once again this year to help support this work to tackle social and economic inequality in Cambridge.

“It was brilliant to see last year that, thanks to the new Small Grants application process, we were able to award funding to some new groups for the first time. We hope once again to encourage applications from new groups and those who might have felt the application process was too difficult in the past. If you’ve never applied for this sort of funding before and would like some guidance on completing the application, just drop the team an email and they will be happy to help.”

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Action and Environment, said: “If you’ve got an existing project or a new idea to help us achieve our climate and environment goals for Cambridge, get in touch and we will help you work out whether your group could be eligible for funding to support your project. It could be an idea to make it easier for people in your local area to play their part – such as by running workshops for your neighbours about energy saving at home, or sustainable fashion. Or it could be an idea to help reduce waste – such as by hosting a repair café where people can go along and fix their bicycles, appliances, toys, clothes and more to stop items ending up in landfill. Whatever your idea is, please get in touch with the team to see whether you could be eligible for funding to help get your project off the ground.”

Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness, said: “We’re inviting community or voluntary groups to propose bold, imaginative, evidence-based solutions to complement the work already being done by organisations across the city to prevent and relieve homelessness. The council already does a great deal to prevent and relieve homelessness, and we support a range of local organisations and agencies providing excellent services. But we’re sure that there are local groups out there with bold new ideas that need a little money to help get started. If that sounds like your group, we want to hear from you.”

Each fund has detailed eligibility criteria available online. The closing date for applications for all three funds is noon on 2 October 2023.

The council is urging groups that have not previously applied for funding to get in touch and has offered to support new applicants to complete the application process, including advising groups about any eligibility requirements, such as on how to become a formalised group.  A webinar will be held on Tuesday 12 September to go through the funding requirements and answer any queries potential applicants may have. Contact the council’s Grants team for further information.

Awards will be considered by councillors in January and are subject to the council’s budget being approved at the full council meeting in February. Successful applicants will be paid grants from 1 April 2024. For all three grants, any funding received would need to be spent on projects running between April 2024 and March 2025.

Further information on all the funds is available. Alternatively potential applicants are encouraged to email for further information or guidance.