Councillor Community Grants Scheme

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Councillor Community Grant scheme has been introduced to provide flexible funding for small-scale, local initiatives that will make a difference to people’s lives and help bring communities together.

The scheme details

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Councillor Community Grant scheme provides flexible funding to voluntary and community organisations to help them make a difference to people’s lives and bring communities together. It is open to a wide variety of organisations that are active in their local communities.

Our priorities for this scheme link to the council plan and particularly aim to support small, local projects which will help us to achieve:

  • a place where people can live happily
  • a borough where the environment flourishes
  • a council that provides good quality services for our residents

Find out more about the Council Plan

Applications for this scheme are made via borough councillors. Each councillor has a total allocation of £2,000 which they can use to support organisations providing services or facilities that benefit the residents in their ward.

Councillors choose how they want to spend their allocation and can individually support applications for grants of between £250 and £2,000. They also have the option to pool all or some of their allocation with one or two other councillors within Basingstoke and Deane up to a maximum total grant of £3,000.

Applications can be submitted throughout the year and are approved monthly so organisations are encouraged to apply early. No applications will be accepted after the scheme closing date of 1 March 2024. This means that the application, supporting documentation and evidence of councillor/s approval must be sent to grants@basingstoke.gov.uk by this date.

In exceptional circumstances organisations can apply for more than one grant if they manage multiple community facilities at different locations within the borough or act as an umbrella organisation for smaller groups operating in different parts of the borough.

Who can apply

Any not-for-profit organisation that represents or works with a specific community or group of people within a Basingstoke and Deane ward can apply. It will need its own bank account in the organisation’s name and be able to demonstrate that it is an organised group with stated objectives that are for the benefit of the community and has an agreed way of working. This could be demonstrated by a constitution, statement of purpose, annual report, notes from meetings, or other organisational documentation. This documentation should be recent (or recently reviewed).

This includes:

  • voluntary or community groups that represent a specific location or group of people
  • not-for-profit organisations such as registered charities, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest Companies, uniformed youth groups and community benefit societies
  • town or parish councils, providing the project is not part of their core service

Whilst schools may apply, grant funding will only be approved if clear and sufficient benefit to the wider community is demonstrated. The wider community relates to those other than the students, parents/guardians, governors and staff. Funding cannot be used to supplement the curriculum or other statutory duties or to improve school facilities or provide equipment that will primarily be for the use of the school and not the wider community.

Churches can only apply where there is clear benefit to those other than the usual church congregation.

You cannot apply for these grants if you are an individual, for-profit-organisation, political party or organisation formed to campaign on a single issue.

Please note that the grants are discretionary, and subject to the availability of funds. Being an eligible organisation does not give any automatic entitlement to a grant.

What can be applied for

  • The grant can be used for the purchase of physical items and any costs associated with their initial set up and installation. Some non-physical items (such as software, subscriptions or hire charges) can be funded but the money cannot be used to cover an organisations core running or operating costs and funding will not be given to support the same item, project, event or activity year on year.
  • You will need to explain how the funding will make a difference to people’s lives and help bring communities together. If what you plan to use the money for relates to one off or time limited activities, you will also need to demonstrate an ongoing and specific community benefit.
  • You can apply for between £250 and £3,000 and this must be sufficient to cover the full cost of the item/s unless you can show that you have other funds in place to cover the difference. We will not accept applications for contributions towards a larger fundraising total.
  • If you are applying for £2,000 or less this can be funded by one councillor, or two or three councillors can agree to jointly fund this from their allocations. If you wish to apply for more than £2,000 you will need the support of two or three councillors.
  • As part of the application process, applicants will need to provide quotes to evidence costs that are of a reasonable value. These will be held digitally along with all documentation submitted.
  • You must ensure that any necessary permissions related to the purchase, installation, use and storage of the item/s are obtained to carry out the funded work including such things as planning consents, or landowner’s approval. These must be in writing and submitted with the application form.
  • You must be able to maintain the funded item/s without relying on future grants and any future maintenance, repair, renewal or replacement will be the responsibility of the organisation.
  • Any costs incurred prior to the date of the formal grant agreement will not be funded.
  • You must acknowledge the council’s support if a grant is provided and we will tell you how to do this.

We don’t want to be prescriptive about what the grants can be used for, as there are likely to be many different ideas, but examples include gardening tools for a community group, play equipment for a community centre or pots and pans for a lunch club. We could also fund hiring equipment and other costs related to a community engagement activity such as a PA system or interpreter, or costs linked to a programme of activities, such as venue hire or sessional workers (not employed staff) where a clear ongoing community benefit is demonstrated in the application.

How to apply

1. Check that your proposal meets the criteria above and that you are eligible to apply.

2. Get confirmed costs to support the amount of grant you are requesting. This can be a quote from a supplier or a cost taken from a website or catalogue, but make sure you include any VAT payable (unless your organisation is VAT registered in which case you should not include any VAT you will be able to recover) and associated costs such as delivery or installation.

3. Contact your chosen councillor(s) to explain your idea and find out whether they think it is appropriate for funding and if they have sufficient budget to support your request. Councillors will need to see a clear benefit to the residents in their ward before agreeing to support an application so applicants should consider where they deliver their services, or where people travel from to access their services when deciding which councillor/s to approach.

Check the ward and parish areas

Find all the relevant contact details for ward councillors

If the chosen councillor/s have already allocated all of their annual allocation, you may be asked to apply again at the start of the next financial year.

4. If the councillor agrees to support your request, complete the blue sections (one to six) of the application form. Confirm your acceptance of the terms and conditions and send it to them for approval with the relevant supporting documentation.

5. Your councillor will let you know if they are happy with your application, in which case they will send it on to council officers to process. They will contact you if they have questions they would like you to answer or if there is any missing documentation.

6. You will be notified when your application has been received by officers and told when a decision will be made, which should be within six weeks. You will be asked at this stage to provide any other documentation relevant to your application (for example permissions).

7. Do not make any purchases unless you have received a formal grant agreement letter from us.

Awarding of grants

You will be notified by email if a grant is awarded. You will need to accept the terms and conditions as set out in the Grant Agreement attached to the email and you will have eight weeks to purchase the item/s and submit proof of payment for reimbursement. Payment will be made direct into your organisation’s bank account.

Once the grant funds have been paid you will have up to two months to report back to us on the impact or difference the item/s has made, using a form we will provide. We will ask to see photos of the purchased item/s in place/use and confirmation that council support has been acknowledged.

We expect our grant funded partners to be open and inclusive to all people within their communities. The grant funded items should reflect this and we welcome applications to support different members of the community including children and young people, families, older people, members of the LGBT+ community, refugees and asylum seekers, communities experiencing racial inequity and disabled people. Please consider this this when providing your monitoring feedback and explain how you target and engage with the wider community to ensure maximum benefit of your grant funded item.

All grants awarded will be published on the council’s website.

Documents

Word document Councillor Community Grant Scheme Application form(DOCX) [72 kb]

PDF document Councillor Community Grant Scheme - Guidance notes for applicants(PDF) [530 kb]

PDF document Grants awarded through the 2022 to 2023 scheme(PDF) [141 kb]

PDF document Grants awarded through the 2021 to 2022 scheme(PDF) [136 kb]

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