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Sustainable City funding

Sustainable City funding is available every year to help local non-profit groups run environmental projects in Cambridge.

We are seeking expressions of interest for projects that will take place between April 2019 and March 2020. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 21 January 2019.

Proposed projects should address the objectives outlined in our Climate Change Strategy 2016-21 [PDF, 7MB]. For example, you might aim to help local residents reduce their carbon footprint by improving recycling or using more sustainable transport methods.

Up to £10,000 is available per organisation. You can apply for funding for multiple projects, but the total of all your applications must not exceed £10,000. VAT costs can only be included if you are unable to recover them.

Match funding is required: this funding cannot be used to fund more than 50% of any project. Match funding can include donations of money, sponsorship, donated materials, or volunteer hours (at a suggested equivalent rate of £9 per hour).

Apply for funding

If you meet the eligibility criteria listed below, contact us to request an expression of interest form.

Please note that in phase two of the application process (see 'funding process and timetable', below), we will ask to see your organisation’s accounts, equal opportunities policy and safeguarding policy (if the project involves children or vulnerable adults), so please ensure you can provide these if requested.

Eligibility criteria

Your organisation must:

  • Be a voluntary or community organisation
  • Have a bank account
  • Have a governing document, such as a constitution

Your project must:

  • Be located in the city of Cambridge
  • Be completed before 31 March 2020
  • Benefit residents and/ or SMEs in Cambridge

Your application must:

  1. Demonstrate how the project will enable the following to take part, or benefit, in the activities and support to be provided:
  • City residents with the most need, including those on low incomes, or
  • SMEs with fewer than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover or €43m balance sheet total

2.  Address one of the 2019-20 funding priorities:

  • Reducing energy consumption and emissions from homes and businesses in Cambridge
  • Supporting businesses to improve energy efficiency and increase waste reduction
  • Reducing emissions from transport by promoting sustainable transport and encouraging behaviour change
  • Reducing consumption of resources, increasing recycling and reducing waste

  • Supporting residents and businesses of Cambridge to adapt to the impacts of climate change

3.  Achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Reduce energy consumption by residents and businesses, including through promoting take up of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources
  • Improve energy efficiency and increase waste reduction in businesses  
  • Behaviour change towards an increase in use of sustainable transport modes (walking, cycling, car sharing etc.)
  • Increase reuse and recycling, and reduce general waste produced by residents or businesses
  • Increase access to sustainably produced food for residents, visitors and those who work in Cambridge
  • Support vulnerable residents to respond to the potential impacts of climate change, including heatwaves, flooding and water shortages

Funding process and timetable

Phase 1: The Expression of Interest form seeks to gather the top-level information needed to assess which proposals the council would like to take forward to Phase 2.

  • 5 December 2018: Expression of interest form publicised
  • 21 January 2019, 5pm: Deadline for receipt of expressions of interest form

Phase 2: Applicants whose project proposals are taken to Phase 2 will be asked to attend an informal discussion with panel members to draw up a detailed project plan and confirm outcomes and timeframes. Funding and monitoring agreements will be issued to successful applicants.

  • Week commencing 25 February 2019: Organisations will be notified whether their projects have progressed to Phase 2. The panel will meet with the Phase 2 organisations in the following weeks to firm up projects, outcomes and monitoring expectations in order to prepare funding agreements
  • 1 April 2019: Funding will be transferred to successful applicants subject to the receipt of signed funding agreements

Other funding

If your project does not fit the criteria for Sustainable City funding you might consider applying for one of the many grants the council offers.

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