A selection of funding available for volunteer groups, community groups and charities, as of January 2021. Keep checking Community Rail Network’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds, as well as signing up to our e-bulletin, Community Rail News for further funding opportunities.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has resumed accepting project funding and loan applications under a series of programmes including the following.
National Lottery Grants for Heritage (grants of £3,000 to £10,000 and £10,000 to £100,000): Resilience and inclusion project funding to support organisations working with heritage to adapt and respond to the changing environment they are now operating in. Open to projects that:
- Support organisations working with heritage to adapt and recover in the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, or
- Are focused on inclusion, led by and/or engaging diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage.
Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans (loans of £50,000 to £250,000): Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans are designed to help fund activities and costs that will develop and restart your organisation’s income generating potential. Loans offer fixed 0% interest rate, no fees for arrangement or early repayment, optional 12-month repayment holiday, repayment period is up to 5 years. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2021.
Culture Recovery Fund for heritage, second round (grants of £10,000 to £3 million): Supporting organisations struggling under the pressures of coronavirus (COVID-19) to make the transition towards full reopening. Funds are being distributed with Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Open for applications from 7 – 26 January 2021.
Digital Skills for Heritage: Funding is available to innovative organisations that can help support digital development in the heritage sector. A total fund of £1.4m is open to applications until 15 January 2021.
Awards for All, Reaching Communities and Partnerships – The National Lottery Community Fund
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:
- continue to deliver activity, whether you’re supporting your existing users, responding to the immediate crisis or undertaking recovery activity
- change and adapt, becoming more resilient in order to respond to new and future challenges.
In order to support communities to thrive, they aim to:
- build strong relationships in and across communities
- improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
- help more people to reach their potential, by supporting them at the earliest possible stage.
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.
Local Connections Fund – The National Lottery Community Fund
The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each. 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 Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding – which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021. Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.
The second round of funding will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and will launch in the summer of 2021.
Transforming Places through Heritage Grants – Architectural Heritage Fund
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:
- Project Viability Grants: up to £15,000, for early viability and feasibility work, open now for applications.
- Project Development Grants: up to £100,000, for capital project development costs, open now for applications.
- Crowdfunding Challenge Grants: up to £25,000, to match fund crowdfunding campaigns, open now for applications.
- Community Shares Booster Grants: supporting community share offers with development grants and matched investment.