Rural Funding Digest – August 2021 – Rural Services Network

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The National Lottery Heritage Fund provide different levels of funding to heritage of all shapes and sizes. Their grants range from £3,000 up to millions of pounds.
Current programmes include:
Full information on all National Lottery Heritage Fund programmes is available on their website.
Welcome | The National Lottery Heritage Fund
The £150 million Community Ownership Fund is for communities across the United Kingdom. It has been set up to help communities take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of closure. It will run for 4 years.
Voluntary and community organisations can bid for match funding.
Funding may support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities.
The fund will support a range of community ownership proposals. For example, projects may include:
Proposals will need to prove the value of the asset to local people and that the asset can run sustainably for the long-term benefit of the community.
The deadline for applications to Round One is 13 August 2021.
Round Two will open in December 2021 and Round Three will open in May 2022.
Community Ownership Fund: prospectus – GOV.UK (
The Arts Council has launched a new fund for organisations at imminent risk of failure, particular those who have not yet received grants from the Culture Recovery Fund, to support them until the end of the year.
Grants are available between £25,000 and £3 million (£1 million for for-profit organisations).
Applications are subject to permission to apply being granted. The latest date that a permission to apply request can be accepted is 30 September 2021. The deadline for applications is then 14 October 2021.
Culture Recovery Fund | Arts Council England
The Tree Council’s Close the Gap Community Hedge Fund can provide up to 100% grants for volunteer Tree Wardens and community groups in England to plant new hedgerows, hedgerow trees and gap up existing hedgerows in winter 2021/22. Planting can be in rural or urban areas on private or public land where the community will benefit.
The deadline for applications is 8 August 2021 and planting will need to take place by 30 January 2022.
Apply for our Community Hedge Fund – The Tree Council
The National Lottery Community Fund is investing £2 million into this second round of the Local Connection Fund. This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.
The funding is aimed at bringing people together in safe and secure ways, making people aware of what services are available to reduce loneliness and to build lasting connections.
The closing date for applications is 20 August 2021.
Local Connections Fund – Round 2 | The National Lottery Community Fund (
Not-for-profit organisations can apply for grants of up to three years for projects that support children and young people aged 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:
The work funded make differences in children’s lives that help prevent or overcome the effects of the disadvantages they face. Funded organisations achieve these differences by either working directly with children or seeking to improve their social and physical environments.
The Main Grants programme for grants over £10,000 per year is open now and closes on 23 August.
The Small Grants programme for grants up to £10,000 per year will open on 16 August.
Grants – BBC Children in Need
Launched in June 2021, this funding stream offers project grants to support any heritage asset which is:
A total of £40million is being distributed by NHMF, made up of two lots of £20m:
Distributing NHMF’s own commitment as a single fund with the Cultural Assets Fund aims to ensure a UK-wide balance of funding.
This funding is available until the end of April 2023. There are no deadlines for applications.
COVID-19 Response Fund | National Heritage Memorial Fund (
The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is a part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan.
It will offer funding to farmers and land managers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks and the Broads. It is not an agri-environment scheme.
The programme will fund projects that:
The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme has been developed by Defra with the support of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Park staff from across England.
The programme runs from July 2021 to March 2024.
Get funding for farming in protected landscapes – GOV.UK (
The Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme (NCPGS) provides funding to restore peatlands in the uplands and lowlands of England. It is a competitive grant scheme that will run until 2025.
The scheme is open to environmental groups, local authorities, charities, public bodies, individual landowners and organisations.
Natural England is looking for landscape scale applications that work to restore the whole hydrological unit of a peatland. This is likely to involve a number of sites and landowners, so applications from partnerships are encouraged.
Two grants are available:
Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme – GOV.UK (
The Audience Agency is looking for 10 to 15 action research projects for an exciting new opportunity funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage. It is offering funding and support for projects, that use digital technology in some way to engage communities with archiving or archive collections.
Each successful project will receive:
The deadline for applications is 13 August 2021.
Opening Archives: open call to archives and communities | The Audience Agency
This Fund has been developed to help more people in the UK become digitally and financially empowered.
Santander want to support UK charities to give people the digital confidence, knowledge, and skills to enable then to make better, more informed decisions about money and have access to financial services.
They aim to award 12 grants of up to a total of £150,000 per organisation. Grants will be awarded over a three-year period.
The closing date for applications is 13 August 2021.
The Santander Foundation | Santander Sustainability
The Co-op Community Fridge fund will support 100 groups all across the UK to establish a new Community Fridge project. 
This opportunity includes £4,000 funding to help cover project costs, along with full support, guidance and resources from Hubbub to help successfully establish your fridge.
Once set up, groups will be part of the 250 member strong Community Fridge Network which helps redistribute surplus food from businesses and households within the community, saving it from going to waste and bringing people together. Anyone and everyone can share and gift from a Community Fridge.
The deadline for applications is 16 August 2021.
Grant funding for Community Fridge | Hubbub Foundation
The Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) Transition Scheme supports the commercialisation of low-carbon heat network projects. It opened to applications in July 2021.
The GHNF is a capital grant fund open to public, private, and third sector applicants in England. It will capitalise on the progress made by the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP), by supporting the development of low and zero carbon (LZC) heat networks (including the supply of cooling). The GHNF aims to increase the utilisation of low-carbon heat in heat networks and contribute towards the overall decarbonisation of heat in the UK.
The final submission date for inclusion in Round One is 12 August and for Round Two is 7 October 2021.
Green Heat Network Fund Transition Scheme Overview (
Landowners, land managers and public bodies can apply to the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) for support to create new woodland, including through natural colonisation, on areas as small as 1 hectare. EWCO opened for applications on 9 June 2021 and replaces the Woodland Carbon Fund, which closed for applications in March 2021.
The grant is administered by the Forestry Commission and is funded through the Nature for Climate Fund.
There are four types of payments available under EWCO:
EWCO is a criteria-based, competitive scheme, with funding offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
England Woodland Creation Offer – GOV.UK (
Energy Saving Trust has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from energy companies who may have breached rules. The funds can pay for anything from making a home more energy efficient, to providing advice that helps consumers keep on top of their bills.
Energy Saving Trust has developed an open application process for charities seeking funding from the Energy Redress Scheme. Successful projects will be selected with input from an independent panel of experts and could cover a range of locations across England, Scotland and Wales.
The amount of funding available through the scheme varies throughout the year and will be reviewed on a quarterly basis in October, January, April and July. Eligible charities that have registered interest in the scheme will be notified when funds become available.
The minimum grant that can be requested is £20,000 and the maximum amount is the lesser of £2 million or the total value of the current fund.
The scheme can fund projects lasting up to two years, can fund 100 per cent of the project cost and can cover revenue and capital measures.
Round 13 of the Energy Redress Scheme is expected to open in September. The previous round included the following elements:
The Foundation supports UK registered charities working within the UK in the areas of Welfare, Youth, Community, Arts, Faith, Environment, Education, Health and Museums & Heritage.
The Foundation awards grants for Capital, Project and Revenue costs. Where they already have a funding history with you, the Trustees may consider a multi-year request for up to three years, provided you can demonstrate that a longer term commitment will add value to your organisation’s objectives.
There are no deadlines for applications under £100,000. Grants above this level are reviewed at one of 8 board meetings a year.
Grant Programmes – Garfield Weston Foundation
The FCC Community Action Fund provides grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 to not-for-profit organisations for amenity projects eligible under Object D of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).
The following types or organisation can apply:
Only applications for projects sited within 10 miles of an eligible FCC Environment waste facility can be accepted, you can check if you are located near an eligible site on their website.
The current round of applications closes on 1 September 2021.
FCC Community Action Fund / FCC (
The Morrisons Foundation awards grant funding for charity projects which make a positive difference in local communities. From support groups to children’s hospitals and homeless shelters to hospices, the grants aim to provide vital funding for good causes across England, Scotland and Wales.
In the main grants are available to fully fund projects up to £25,000.
Morrison Foundation Making a difference to people’s lives (
The objectives of the Trust are to donate to UK registered charities whose purposes encompass one or more of the following:
The Trust favours applications from smaller animal welfare charities:
The maximum pledge available is up to £35,000. The next deadline for applications is 1 September 2021.
Home – Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust was set up in 1998, to promote and support charities in the United Kingdom working in agriculture, rural development and insurance.
The Trust focuses on providing funding to larger initiatives, which would have a significant impact on the rural community. The Trustees are particularly interested in initiatives in the areas of education of young people in rural areas and relief of poverty within rural areas.
The Trustees meet twice a year to consider applications received. These meetings are currently held in June and November.
Applications for the November meeting must be submitted by 29th October 2021.
NFU Mutual Charitable Trust: What do we do | NFU Mutual
The £3m Sporting Capital Fund provides loan funding up to £150,000 to eligible projects. The Fund is England’s first social investment fund focused on the sports sector to support the development of community sports organisations and organisations that deliver impact through sport. Their goal is to help these organisations to become sustainable; using our investment to support the development of new, or retain and expand existing, revenue streams.
Examples of how loans can be used include:
In the region of 30 projects are expected to receive loans.
Sporting Capital Home Page | Sporting Capital
The Government is providing up to £210m worth of voucher funding as immediate help for people suffering from slow broadband speeds in rural areas.
Vouchers worth up to £1,500 for homes and £3,500 for businesses help to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband to people’s doorsteps.
The new UK Gigabit Voucher launched in April 2021 and is only available through a supplier who is registered with the scheme. 
You can check whether your premises is eligible for a voucher, find a list of registered suppliers, and see those who are active in your area on the website below.
The government has increased the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice. The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:
Employers will receive £3,000 for new employees of any age who start their apprenticeship from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021.
Applications clos on 30 November 2021.
Full details are available on the government’s website.
Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice – GOV.UK (
This programme will award grants of up to £10,000 for community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation.
One-year grants are available of up to £10,000 to support ideas that need small amounts of funding to deliver nimble and focused local projects to Armed Forces communities. Or they’ll make small grants to support services, projects and activities that are used by Armed Forces communities, but which are struggling as a result of the impact of the Covid pandemic.
The deadline for applications to round three of the programme is 19 November 2021.
Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change programme : The Armed Forces Covenant Trust
This programme will award grants of up to £100,000 for existing charitable projects to help charities to sustain activities and services that people from Armed Forces communities use and value.
There are two funding tracks available, and organisations can only pick one track and receive one grant award from this programme.
Round two of this programme will close on 9 September 2021.
Sustaining Support for Armed Forces Communities programme : The Armed Forces Covenant Trust (
Power to Change has launched the Community Business Renewal Initiative, a package of support for community businesses, in response to the covid-19 crisis.  One element of this support package remains open to applications as follows:
Community Business Renewal Initiative – Power to Change
Theatres Trust’s Theatre Improvement Scheme, in association with the Wolfson Foundation, offers capital funding for theatres.
The theme for the fund for the next three years is Improving Environmental Sustainability as this is an urgent priority for the sector.
Theatre operators can apply for grants of up to £20,000 towards their building or equipment as part of the scheme.
It is hoped that these grants will support a range of projects that consider different ways theatre buildings can reduce their environmental impact. From sedum roofs to new windows, building management systems to more efficient water heaters, funding will be given to projects that demonstrate how a small intervention can have a big impact.
The deadline for applications is 6 September 2021.
Wolfson/Theatres Trust Theatre Improvement Scheme | How We Help | Theatres Trust
The Eco Fund is funded by DPD’s circular economy initiative to protect the environment. The plastic shrink wrap used in their operation is broken down, and then recycled to create new plastic shrink wrap. DPD also re-use and recycle the wooden pallets used in their depots and the money generated from both these initiatives goes straight into the Eco Fund.
Anyone can apply for funding from the DPD Eco Fund, although they particularly encourage schools and educational facilities across the UK working on green projects with their students and start-up companies working on developing environmentally friendly products to apply.
Grants up to £2000 are available.
DPD UK | The UK’s Most Sustainable Delivery Company
The Foundation fund small and local charities, investing in their work helping people overcome complex social issues across England and Wales. They support charities with an annual income of £25,000 to £1 million with a proven track record of helping people on a journey of positive change through in-depth, holistic and person-centred support. The Foundation offer unrestricted funding, including around core costs, and tailored development support to help your charity be more effective.
The priority complex social issues are:
We Fund (
The aim of the organisations listed below is to support smaller charities and good causes in different parts of the country to make a difference to their community for the benefit of people and planet.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have funded good causes in every postcode area in Britain.
The different organisations are:
Funding rounds are held throughout the year. Click on each of the above links to see which might be applicable to your organisation.
This programme supports projects that will contribute to the transformation of high streets and town centres in England helping them become thriving places, strengthening local communities and encouraging local economies to prosper.  It is part of a wider initiative to revive heritage high streets in England, alongside Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones.
This programme is for individual heritage buildings in, or transferring to, community ownership. They will support charities and social enterprises to develop projects with the potential to bring new life to high streets by creating alternative uses for redundant or underused historic buildings in town centres.
A range of grants are available:
The National Lottery Community Fund is open to all applications that meet their criteria, including support during COVID-19. With the COVID-19 pandemic still with us, they’ll continue to support people and communities most adversely impacted by COVID-19. They can support you to:
The Awards for All programme can provide between £300 and £10,000 for up to one year. The Reaching Communities programme offers larger amounts of funding (over £10,000) for up to 5 years. The Partnerships programme also offers a larger amount of funding (over £10,000) for organisations that work together with a shared set of goals to help their community thrive – whether that’s a community living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.
This is a UK Portfolio funding programme aimed at supporting transformational, long-term change.
The UK Portfolio is where The Fund explores new approaches, experiment with how to do things differently, and look to fund work that is more future focussed.
The Growing Great Ideas programme has a focus on supporting transformational and long-term change. They are looking for visionary initiatives that go beyond individual organisations, and instead focus on ecologies, platforms, ecosystems, assemblages, networks and constellations. They expect these initiatives to be generating an infrastructure through which many things are possible.
They are looking to invest in different combinations of people, communities, networks and organisations that demonstrate an ability to seed and grow alternative systems, accelerate the deep transition of 21st-century civil society, and to learn and adapt as they go.
The minimum grant size is £150,000 and the minimum length is two years.
Growing Great Ideas | The National Lottery Community Fund (
This Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities registered and operating in the United Kingdom, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities.
Online applications can be accepted from charities that have an annual turnover of less than £150,000 per annum. Larger or national charities will normally not be considered under this scheme. 
The focus will be to make one-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability.
The priority will be to support local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.
Grants are available between £1000 and £10,000.
Small Grants Scheme – (
There are two parts to this new fund which remain open.
The Arts Council have reopened this fund with additional supplementary guidance which applies until 31 August 2021 to help fund independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers as quickly as possible. They also have a ring-fenced budget of £1.5 million until 31 March 2022 available within National Lottery Project Grants specifically to support the grassroots music sector.
Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available.
The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This includes:
For more information visit the website below.
You can find out more details about the government’s support for businesses through this website:
You can apply for three types of grant funding if you are preparing a Neighbourhood Plan:
All grants are now open.
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community.
RCEF provides support to rural communities in 2 stages:
RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact the relevant hub for your area.
The National Churches Trust has three grant programmes currently open:
Many armed forces charities struggle to raise sufficient funding to support serving and former members of the British Armed Forces’ and sometimes their dependants who are in need. The Veterans’ Foundation has been created to establish a new and nationwide source of funding to help these charities.  It acquires its funds through the Veterans’ Lottery and donations.
The trustees of the Veterans’ Foundation will disburse funds to Armed Forces charities and charitable activities.
They will support projects that:
You can apply for grants of any sum up to a maximum of £30K. Trustees will also consider a bid for a spread grant, i.e. £30K as £10K for each of the next three years. Please note that the trustees are likely to award more small grants than large grants. They will consider a range of factors including the service or item being applied for, the number of beneficiaries, the importance of the grant to the applicant charity and the needs of the beneficiaries.
Grants between £500 and £5000 are awarded to churches, chapels and other places of worship in the United Kingdom for the conservation of decorative features and monuments, but not for structural repairs.
Grants will be awarded to support smaller programmes of work concerned with the conservation of decorative or non-structural features such as:
The decorative feature, monument, etc must date from no later than 1896 (the year of William Morris’s death). The next deadline for applications is 31 August 2021.

The HIF offers tailored finance for charities, social enterprises and community businesses across the UK to develop sustainable heritage at the very heart of vibrant local economies.
Loans from £25,000 to £500,000 are available for up to five years with tailored terms and both flexible and incentivised interest rates for impactful projects. These could include both capital and interest repayment holidays.
HIF supports applicants across the UK who are undertaking a capital project or are looking to build upon or scale-up an existing enterprise.
The HIF is a joint initiative with contributions from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw and the Architectural Heritage Fund.
First Steps Enterprise Fund (FSEF) is a £300,000 pilot fund to support community organisations. The Social Investment Business manage this fund on behalf of the Asda Foundation.
Funding is available for community organisations (charities and social enterprises) based in England that are looking to take on their first loan to help them grow and become more sustainable. Particular preference is given to organisations that work in the following areas:
Funding packages of up to £30,000 are available (90% loan and 10% grant). The loan element is charged at 5% (fixed) to be repaid over a period of 4 years with an optional capital holiday for the first year. Up to £50,000 is available for exceptional cases.
Family Fund Business Services are working in collaboration with BBC Children in Need to deliver the Emergency Essentials programme supporting children and young people living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.
The programme can deliver or fund critical items such as:
Applications must be completed by a registered referrer who is part of an organisation that is supporting the family or young person and capable of assessing their needs.
Two funds are available to local communities to help with the disruption that will be caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2 between London and the West Midlands; the Community and Environment Fund and the Business and Local Economy Fund. The objective of these funds is to add benefit, over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation, to communities and local economies along the route.
The administration of these funds is managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork who will ensure both funds remain available for applications throughout the construction of Phase One.
Schools, colleges and community groups in England can apply for grants to Blue Spark Foundation for a wide range of projects. The Foundation value academic, vocational, artistic and sporting endeavour in equal measure but are particularly keen to support projects which will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.
Many grants will be under £2,000 and none are more than £5,000.
Projects which could be supported include drama, music, sport, art and design, debating, public speaking, academic education, vocational training, community projects, enterprise projects and educational excursions. This list is illustrative and not exclusive as to the types of project that the Foundation support.
The Family Fund helps families across the UK who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under. You can apply to Family Fund subject to a number of criteria which include that you are the parent or carer of a disabled or seriously ill child or young person aged 17 or under and that you have evidence of entitlement to one of the following: Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.
See the website for more details.
SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA) provides funding awards of up to £50,000 to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include:
Projects can be supported that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.
Help the Homeless makes grants to charitable organisations with the aim of helping homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life. Grants are available to small and medium-sized charitable organisations to fund the capital costs of projects with grants of up to £5,000. The quarterly deadlines for grant applications each year are: 15 March, 15 June, 15 September and 15 December.
War Memorials Trust grants support repair and conservation works undertaken following best conservation practice. Almost all war memorials are eligible for support and custodians/owners can find information about eligibility and processes on the website.
Grants are available between 25% and 75% of eligible costs and are likely to be considered up to a maximum grant of £5,000 for non-freestanding war memorials while freestanding, non-beneficiary war memorials may be considered up to a maximum grant of £30,000. There is no minimum award. 
War Memorials Trust seeks to help all war memorial custodians, whatever the nature and size of their war memorial by facilitating repair and conservation projects. Details on current eligibility and deadline dates as well as how to apply can be found at the web address below.

The Football Foundation provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing rooms, 3G pitches, fencing, portable floodlights, pitch improvements and clubhouse refurbishment. The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:
Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000. 

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