Local Infrastructure Fund

The council recognises the value of community activity and the need to have sustainable infrastructure to deliver this. Through the Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF), communities can work with their local ward councillors to identify community infrastructure needs and apply for funding for projects that would make the most difference for local residents.

Since January 2014, when the LIF programme started, £5.5 million has been allocated to support 78 projects right across the borough. These projects have benefited local communities through extended and refurbished community centres and village halls, improved sports facilities and playgrounds, better parking and access arrangements and enriched public spaces.

However, it is important to note that this limited fund is receiving increasing numbers of applications. It is a competitive process so please look at the guidance carefully before applying and bear in mind that not all the proposals received can be funded.

Who can apply for the fund?

  • Constituted voluntary or community and not-for-profit making organisations representing their local communities
  • Parish or Town Councils
  • Schools and churches, but only where the project will benefit the wider community, see exclusions below.
  • Where no suitable applicant exists, ward councillors may present an application which, if supported, may be delivered via the council's capital programme. Agreement must first be reached with the relevant officers that the project can be delivered in this way.

What types of projects could be supported?

LIF grants are available from £3,000 to £200,000 to support projects that improve existing, or establish new, facilities for community, sport, education or public amenity use. Schemes should ensure that facilities are safe, accessible and fit for purpose and address gaps in local community provision or increase community involvement. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis but these are the main priorities for funding:

  • Health and safety requirements (such as roof repairs, sports-related play surfaces, boiler or heating system replacement, re-wiring, dry rot).
  • Improvements to accessibility (such as ramps, accessible toilets, parking, foot and cycle path, lighting).
  • Modernisation where there is evidence the existing condition is affecting use (such as kitchen, toilets, sports pitches, play parks hall flooring).
  • Extensions, new buildings or facilities to meet increased demand or proven deficits in local provision (such as extended community facilities, cemetery provision, skate parks, youth buildings) or feasibility studies to determine viability of such projects.

Exclusions for funding

There are some specific exclusions to LIF grants and you cannot apply for the following:
  • Revenue funding (staff and general running costs including low level repairs)
  • Projects where there is an alternative primary source of funding made available by the council (e.g. low carbon loans)
  • Equipment and non-fixed fittings such as furniture or curtains
  • Works on private property where public access is not secured or that mainly benefit an individual or for-profit organisation
  • Projects that exclusively promote political or religious activities
  • Projects that have already started before a funding decision is made

The following types of projects will be ineligible for funding except in the specific circumstances shown below. If your project:
  • involves work that would normally be the responsibility of another organisation, such as the borough or county council or a government agency, for highway improvements, street lighting, signage or similar work, it will be ineligible unless there is evidence of a broader public benefit (e.g. community safety) and the responsible authority confirms that the work is outside its scope and is prepared to take on future maintenance responsibility

  • relates to school or religious facilities it will be ineligible unless those facilities are made available for more general community use beyond predominantly school or church related activity, without discrimination. This wider community benefit and lack of alternative facilities will need to be clearly evidenced

  • is based outside of the borough it will be ineligible unless there is a clear reason for this and evidence to show a substantial benefit to Basingstoke and Deane residents.

If any of these points apply to your proposal this can be discussed at the Expression of Interest stage and, if the proposal is then taken forward, the application form allows you to provide more detailed evidence on which your proposal will be assessed.

What conditions are attached to an offer of funding?

Partnership funding

All applicants must contribute some partnership funding and the amount will depend on whether or not recent housing development has taken place in the area where the project takes place. LIF Officers will be able to confirm these areas.

  • In areas where recent housing development has taken place, partnership funding must be at least 10% of the total project cost, including the VAT on costs if this is not recoverable by the applicant. The maximum grant request will therefore be 90%.
  • In areas where no recent housing development has taken place, partnership funding must be at least 25% of the total project cost, including the VAT on costs if this is not recoverable by the applicant. The maximum grant request will therefore be 75%.

Partnership funding can come from the applicant’s own reserves, other funding organisations or fundraising activity but must be secured before the project can start.

Evidence of need

All applications must provide evidence that the project is needed by the local community and that it cannot be funded from the applicant’s own resources. There are various ways to provide this evidence:

  • The need might be identified in your local Community or Neighbourhood Plan, which will provide evidence that the community has already been consulted on the issue. Current Community Plans and Neighbourhood Plans are published on our website.
  • The need might also have been identified in a specific Council Strategy, which will confirm that the Council already believes the project is a priority. You can find strategic documents, as well as those relating specifically to sport and recreation.
  • If you have carried out your own community consultation, you can provide a summary of the results and the notes from any meetings or consultation events you have held. You may also be able to provide supporting evidence about the people in your community and their current and future needs from the Ward Profiles published on our website.
  • For projects relating to health and safety issues, you might have a survey or specialist’s report to confirm the extent of the work needed.

It will not be enough to make general statements about the need to improve facilities. We will need evidence that you are addressing one of the priorities listed previously, that you have investigated the best options and that you have community support for your project. You will also have to show that you do not have sufficient funds to carry out this work.

Local Councillor support

All applications must be supported in writing by all the borough councillors from the ward where the project takes place and you will need to engage with them before you submit your application. You can get borough councillor contact details from our website. If relevant, you will also need to get written support for your project from your local Parish or Town Council.

Sustainability

You must be able to maintain the improved or extended facilities without further financial support from the Council and you will be asked to provide a financial plan to show that this is the case. All projects must have an impact on the community for a minimum of five years and larger projects may be asked to prove longer-term sustainability.

Open Access

Any facility supported by funding must be available to all the local community at reasonable cost and benefits must not be restricted by any reference to a person’s race, age, gender, religion, belief, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic. Any restrictions that relate to the nature of community activity carried out must be fully explained in the application.

Property ownership

You must own the building or facility concerned, or have permission from the owner for the work to be carried out and security of tenure for at least five years, and we will ask for evidence of this.

Permissions

You will be responsible for securing all permissions for the works to be carried out, including planning, building control, amendments to lease or any relevant regulatory body requirements and we will ask for evidence that all permissions have been granted and conditions met before the project starts.

Procurement

You will be asked to follow the council’s procurement guidelines if a grant is awarded and this will be monitored to ensure compliance. Works valued between £10,000 and £75,000 (excluding VAT) must be commissioned on the basis of at least three competitive quotes, while works valued over £75,000 must be subject to a full tender process. More information will be provided if a grant is awarded. No costs can be included for work carried out before a funding decision is made.

Monitoring

If your application is successful your project will be monitored throughout to ensure that it is delivered as planned. Your funding agreement will also include some specific outcomes, taken from the information provided in your application, which will be monitored one year after project completion to ensure that the identified community benefits have been, and will continue to be, delivered.

How to apply for funding

This is a two stage process:

Stage one - Expression of interest

If you are considering apply to the scheme you will need to complete an Expression of Interest form. This is not an application to the fund, but you must submit this before you can make a full application.

Expression of interest may be submitted at any time during the year, however, the dates for funding rounds are fixed as per table below. Enquiries received after the deadline date for each round may not be eligible and may be carried forward to the next round. You cannot move to stage two of the application process, a full application, unless you submit an expression of interest first. We will contact you to confirm whether your proposal is eligible to move to a full application.

Expression of interest form

If you require a hard copy of the form please contact lif@basingstoke.gov.uk or write to LIF Administrator, Policy and Performance, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke RG21 4AH.

Stage two - full application

If your proposal is eligible we will send you an application pack and arrange a meeting to discuss your proposal in more detail and explain how to make a full application.

See table below for deadline dates to submit applications by.

Please note that confirmation to move to the full application stage does not guarantee that you will receive funding. It is a competitive process with limited funds available and not all proposals received can be funded.

Projects supported to date

Please see the documents below to view the projects supported to date:

Excel document LIF projects supported to March 2018 (XLSX) [20 kb]

Excel document LIF projects supported to March 2018 (CSV) [17 kb]

What are the deadlines for applications?

The deadlines for applications in 2018/19 are detailed below:

Deadline for Expression of Interest Deadline for Full Application and supporting documentation Likely decision date if considered this round
10 March 2018 5pm on 15 June 2018 September 2018
21 September 2018 5pm on 16 January 2019 March 2019

If you need this information in a different format, such as large print, please contact customer.service@basingstoke.gov.uk or call 01256 844844.

PDF document LIF initial guidance (PDF) [126 kb]

Contact details


Local Infrastructure Fund

Telephone: 01256 845462

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    Basingstoke
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    Fridays
    8.30am to 4.30pm