Community Empowerment Fund
Caerphilly County Borough Council is committed to supporting communities to become strong and resilient, and recognise that one of our county borough’s greatest assets is the thriving network of local community groups and organisation’s across the area, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This grant scheme has been created to enable communities to develop and deliver projects aimed at meeting the needs of their residents. Key to this will be the involvement of local Ward Members as one of the key contact points in local communities, who will work with and support local community groups to develop project ideas that meet identified need on a ward basis.
The Council’s budget setting for 2021/22 includes a £328,000 annual funding allocation for a ‘Community Empowerment Fund’ to support community-led initiatives that complement and support those provided through public services.
It should be noted that the Community Empowerment Fund allocation of £328,000 for Caerphilly county borough during 2021/22 is allocated to wards, and not directly to local Ward Members.
However, in calculating allocations the £328,000 has been divided by 73 (the number of elected representatives within Caerphilly county borough), meaning an allocation of the equivalent of £4,490 per Ward Member. In wards where there are more than one Ward Member, the allocation is multiplied according to the number of Members. For example, Penyrheol ward has four elected representatives, therefore the Penyrheol ward would benefit from an allocation of £17,960 (£4,490 x 4).
Projects will aim to support communities to:
- Build community capacity
- Better understand and identify local aspirations and priorities
- Make good use of existing assets, with projects having the support of local communities
- Increase active inclusion and develop opportunities for enhanced engagement for groups that are more vulnerable and harder to reach
- Develop local assets, services and projects that respond to the needs of the people in local communities
- Develop projects that are capable of becoming sustainable community projects
- Complement existing services in an area by providing additional activity
Who can apply?
Projects must be managed by a non-profit organisation based within Caerphilly county borough, of one of the following types:
- Unincorporated voluntary/community organisation or club with an adopted constitution or rules
- Charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) registered with the Charities Commission
- Community organisations who are Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG) with no share capital and are registered with Companies House
- Community Interest Companies (CICs) which are not established or conducted for private gain: any surplus or assets are used exclusively for the benefit of the community
Please note: All organisations must have their own bank account in the name of the organisation. If the organisation does not currently have a bank account, this must be addressed before a formal grant offer can be made.
The following types of organisations will not be funded:
- Any commercial/trading or profit-making organisations where the profits are shared amongst the Directors or members
- Applications from individuals
- This list is not exhaustive
What can be funded?
The Council’s recent resident survey ‘The Caerphilly Conversation’ sought views on what the Community Empowerment Fund could be spent on, with seven priority areas emerging from the feedback. Therefore, these seven priority areas have formed the basis of the application criteria for projects:
- Environmental projects, including awareness of biodiversity and increasing community activity
- Projects that support greater community cohesion
- Projects that aim to tackle isolation and loneliness across the community
- Digital inclusion projects
- Projects to encourage greater physical and mental well-being
- Activities for young people/educational activities (non-statutory)
- Initiatives that promote and encourage community safety
- Supporting community groups to establish
Applicant organisations will be required to evidence the need for their project or activity and the lasting benefits it will provide for the local community.
What cannot be funded?
- Usual running costs of any organisation e.g. rent, utilities, insurance etc. The only exception to this is where the organisation has been formed in the six months immediately preceding the date of their application, where they can apply for one-off start-up costs.
- Subsequent grants for the same project or activity (by this we mean that any new application must be for activity substantially different to previous applications).
- Retrospective costs for any project i.e. costs for work already undertaken or equipment and/or materials that have been purchased or ordered prior to a formal grant offer being made and the Terms & Conditions of the grant being signed and submitted. An organisation should not make any agreement (verbal or in writing) with a contractor or supplier in advance of a formal grant offer being made.
- This list is indicative only and is not exhaustive.
When can an application be submitted?
The closing date for the first round of the grant scheme will be 31st October 2021. Subsequent rounds will be dependent upon there being funding remaining in the relevant ward pot, i.e. if all the funding in a ward is allocated in the first round in a particular financial year there will be no further grant rounds for that ward. However, there may be further application rounds in other wards. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application approximately 6-8 weeks after the closing date, depending on the number of grants submitted in each round.
Applicants cannot apply for further grants in successive financial years i.e. if a successful application is made in the 2021/22 financial year (i.e. between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022), the applicant cannot make a further application until 1st April 2023 at the earliest.
How much can be applied for?
The maximum amount available to any organisation/community group is £4,490. Approved projects where the total cost is less than £4,490 can be awarded a grant of up to 100% of the project costs. Larger projects costing over £4,490 can receive a grant of up to the maximum amount, with the expectation that the remainder of the funding required will be sourced by the organisation/community group from other sources.
Due to each Ward Member having an allocation of £4,490, organisations may be offered less than the maximum amount if there are multiple applications in individual wards in a single application round. Should this be the case, Ward Members in the relevant ward will be involved in discussions around prioritising which projects should be supported.
Applications should be for a minimum amount of £1,000, and this can be made up of a number of different items in order to reach this minimum amount. Applications for less than £1,000 will not be considered.
Applicants must submit comparable estimates/quotes to support their application. A minimum of two written estimates/quotes are required for every item listed in the ‘Financial Details’ section of the application form.
Estimates/quotes must be itemised, detailed and comparable (in terms of measurements, rates, quantities, specification etc.). They must also detail VAT where applicable.
Any grant offered is made on the basis of the cheapest quote provided. Applicants can choose a more expensive supplier or contractor to complete the work or provide goods/services, but this will be at the applicants’ cost.
50% of the grant amount will be paid when the grant is approved. The remaining 50% will be released on receipt of the necessary financial records to show the amount of grant released on project approval has been spent (e.g. invoices and bank statements). No further grant will be paid until this evidence has been provided.
All approved projects must be completed within 18 months of the date of the formal offer letter. The funding for any projects not completed within this timescale will be automatically withdrawn. Where no evidence of spend is provided in relation to the 50% grant released on grant approval, we will seek to recover the grant paid at the end of the 18-month period.
Who to contact?
For more information or if you have any queries, please contact Policy and Partnerships Team, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, CF82 7PG. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org