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Rural Opportunities Bulletin
A monthly bulletin facilitated by your membership of the Rural Services Network highlighting a selection of current funding, consultation and other opportunities
Draft Response Service
This bulletin includes a suggested draft response in relation to the Post Office consultation. If you wish to view this draft response please click here
Opportunities Bulletin - December 2016
#iwill Fund – Big Lottery, Pears Foundation, Comic Relief, UK Community Foundations and the government
The ‘#iwill Fund’ is made up of a £40 million joint commitment by the UK Government and Big Lottery Fund, boosted today by Comic Relief; Pears Foundation; and UK Community Foundations. These match-funders will invest an additional £9.6 million to the #iwill Fund.
The investment from this first group of match-funders will be targeted specifically, to help reach a range of young people. Comic Relief will provide social action opportunities for young people in areas and backgrounds with below-average levels of participation; Pears Foundation will support activity within education, health and social care; and UK Community Foundations will distribute grants for local social action opportunities through their network of 43 Community Foundations in England. 
Step Up To Serve, the charity behind the #iwill campaign, was established in 2013 after government research into how public and private sectors could increase the number of young people engaging in social action was released. Currently, 4 in 10 young people regularly engage in social action – such as campaigning, fundraising, and volunteering.  The #iwill campaign has been launched to increase this to at least 6 in 10 10-20 year olds taking part, by the year 2020.
The fund will open for applications from the 5th December 2016. If you are thinking of applying, please speak to your local Community Foundation. To find your local Community Foundation, click here.
Parklife Football Hubs Programme – Sport England, the FA and the Premier League
The FA, the Premier League and Sport England have developed the Parklife Football Hubs Programme to target areas where pressures on the local game are greatest.
Expressions of Interest are invited from local authorities with a population of 200,000 or more, giving a direct opportunity for over 80 local authorities to access the programme. The reason for a population threshold, as stated by the funders, is “because evidence suggests a certain level of population density is required to create sufficient demand to support the Parklife model.” Smaller local authorities may partner with neighbouring areas in order to achieve the population threshold.
The aim of the new programme is to create a new sustainable model for football facilities based around artificial grass pitches on hub sites. The fund will provide significant new investment into local, accessible facilities and differs from traditional football investment streams as the funding partners are keen to see a portfolio approach that provides an area-wide solution, rather than a one-off site investment.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 27 January 2017.
Controlling Migration Fund – Department for Communities & Local Government and the Home Office
The Controlling Migration Fund is designed to support local areas facing pressures linked to recent immigration.
The Fund will be available over the 4 years from 2016-17 to 2019-20, and is in 2 parts:
  • a local service impacts part of £100 million, to help English local authorities and their communities experiencing high and unexpected volumes of immigration to ease pressures on local services
  • an enforcement part worth £40 million to direct enforcement action against people in the UK illegally in order to reduce the pressure on local areas
Officials in the Department for Communities and Local Government are keen to discuss proposals with areas.  Interested authorities should contact: . Further information is available at:
Community Fibre Partnerships – BT
£2 million of grants have been made available from BT Community Fibre Partnerships. Grants are for communities in the final 5% of the UK not covered by fibre broadband rollout plans. These provide match-funded grants of up to £20,000 toward the cost of their new fibre infrastructure if that could also serve their local school.
50% of the required funds could be available from the scheme with the community raising the additional 50%. BT has teamed up with the Crowdfunding website "Spacehive" to assist with  community fundraising.
Applications can be made at any time until the £2 million has been allocated.
Domestic Violence Fund – Department for Communities & Local Government
Local authorities can now bid for a share of a £20 million fund to support victims of domestic abuse, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced on 3 November 2016.
This new fund will be used to increase refuge spaces and other accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence. From ensuring that victims have somewhere safe to live and recover, to providing education, employment and life skills training, the fund will support a range of services to help victims rebuild their lives.
The deadline for bids is 16 December 2016.
Changemaker - Santander
Changemaker is a fund to help social enterprises, small charities and community groups to deliver projects in the UK that create innovative solutions to improve communities.
Santander has £200,000 to support Changemakers who turn to the Crowd to make great ideas happen.
The Changemaker Fund has been created to support projects that help disadvantaged people to have confidence in the future by building skills and knowledge or innovative ideas that help communities prosper.
If you have a project which the Crowd support Santander provide the final 50% to help you reach your target, up to £10,000.
New Funding – Sport England
Following publication of their new strategy, ‘Towards an Active Nation’, Sport England have announced new funding programmes. Further information will be available shortly as follows:
  • Volunteering Fund. In December 2016, full details will be announced of a new £3 million volunteering fund to diversify the range of people who volunteer, and as a first step, support people from lower socio-economic groups to volunteer in sport.
  • In December 2016 expressions of interest will be invited for 10 places to develop and implement local strategies for physical activity and sport. Pilot projects in both urban and rural areas will be supported.
  • Inactivity Fund. In December 2016 an investment guide will be published on inactivity, describing the type of projects Sport England are looking to support, the people they want to benefit and the outcomes they are seeking to achieve. The first phase of this Inactivity Fund will focus on projects that help older adults (55+) to get active.
  • Community Asset Fund. In December 2016 the first phase of the new Community Asset Fund will be launched. If you’re an organisation looking to take over sports facilities, a sports club that wants to expand or you have a great idea for a project that’s clearly needed in the local community, then Sport England say this could be the fund for you. £7.5 million will be available for single and multi-sport community facilities in this phase.
  •  Also in December 2016, Sport England will launch a £2 million fund to help engage a much broader range of people in and around major sporting events.
You can find out more information on the Sport England website.
Young People Leaving Care – Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
10,000 young people over 16 leave care each year, a third before their 18th birthday. This is in stark contrast to the general population where 50% are still living with their parents at 24. Through this programme, Esme Fairbairn wish to see care leavers supported by the system and by their networks to feel emotionally stable and be financially secure, ultimately making a successful transition to independence.
Funding is limited to the charitable work of organisations, and could be for core or project costs, including staff salaries and overheads. There are no limits on grant size or length, with the median average 2015 grant being £100,000 over 3 years. Most support is likely to be in the form of grants, but we social investments will also be considered.
Tesco Bags of Help – Tesco and Groundwork
The money raised from the 5p bag charge in Tesco stores in England, Wales and Scotland is being used to support community participation in the development and use of open spaces. Projects that will get the green light as a result of the funding will include volunteer training, physical improvements of open spaces, equipment purchases, community events and sports and leisure activities.
Administration of the local funding is being managed by the community charity Groundwork.
Bags of Help is always open to applications from community projects. Groundwork assesses all of the applications received to ensure they are eligible. This is followed up by Tesco shortlisting groups who decide which projects go forward to the in-store vote. Three local community projects will be voted on in Tesco stores each month across Tesco regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In each region, the project that received the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant of up to £5,000. The second placed project receives up to £2,000 and third placed up to £1,000. Every year, over 7000 projects will receive funding through this scheme.
Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure – Office for Low Emission Vehicles
The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles via the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). This includes:
  • The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at domestic properties across the UK.
  • The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations.
For more information visit the website below.
Regional Academy Growth Fund – Department for Education
The regional academy growth fund (RAGF) supports successful trusts to grow and to improve standards in underperforming schools. Regional schools commissioners (RSCs) will prioritise applications that meet the specific needs in their region and of opportunity areas where applicable. Contact your RSC office to find out more.
There are 3 categories of eligibility as follows:
  • Sponsor Capacity. This category is for new and existing sponsors looking for extra funding to build capacity to take on underperforming schools. Sponsor capacity grants are usually between £50,000 and £100,000. In exceptional circumstances, they may be higher or lower.
  • Multi-academy Trust Growth. This category is for MATs that need additional funding to support expansion. Multi-academy trust growth grants will be between £50,000 and £100,000. In exceptional circumstances, they may be higher or lower.
  • New Hubs. This category is to support high-performing sponsors to establish a new presence or ‘hub’ in a geographical area. The amount of funding available depends on each individual case. RSCs will take account of regional circumstances and the details and quality of the application.
The deadline for submitting applications is 20 January 2017.
Woodland Carbon Fund – Forestry Commission
Receive up to £6,800 per hectare to create new woodland, or up to £8,500 per hectare if you provide permissive access across the woodland (dependent on its location). Applications for the Woodland Carbon Fund opened on 10 November 2016.
The Woodland Carbon Fund is described as a simple, demand-led grant scheme to boost the rate of woodland creation and to visibly demonstrate how, by taking a natural capital approach, woodland creation can help to meet government’s future carbon targets alongside delivering other benefits. Successful applications will be for large-scale (>30 ha with a minimum block size of 10 ha), predominantly productive woodland and, where possible, have sought opportunities to improve public access and achieve wider environmental outcomes in line with the UK Forestry Standard.
Community Business Fund – Power to Change
The third window for applications for the £10 million Community Business Fund is now open. Grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 are available to community businesses in England towards capital costs (including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs) or project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees and volunteer costs. For building projects, applicants will either need to own or be taking on ownership of the building or have a long lease in proportion to the amount of grant being requested (or the largest grants, this would need to be 25 years or more.)
The deadline for applications is 16 December 2016.
Home Building Fund – Homes & Communities Agency
The government has created a £3 billion fund “to increase the number of homes built in England.” You can apply if you’re a private sector business that builds new homes or prepares sites for housing developments. This includes small builders, community builders, custom builders and regeneration specialists, as well as larger builders and developers.
The fund provides development finance and infrastructure finance via loans. More information on how the fund works and who can apply is available in ‘An Introduction to the Home Building Fund’ which you can access via the link below.
Main Grants programme – Children in Need
The Children in Need Main Grants programme is open to charities and not-for-profit organisations applying for grants over £10,000 per year for up to three years.
Grants are available for projects involving children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:
  1. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  2. Any kind of disability
  3. Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  4. Living in poverty or situations of deprivation
Projects funded need to make differences in children’s lives that help prevent or overcome the effects of the disadvantages they face. Projects achieve these differences by either working directly with children or seeking to improve their social and physical environments.
The next deadline for applications is 13 January.
Community Shares Booster Programme – Power to Change
This is a new initiative to support and stimulate public involvement with community share offers in England, particularly in more disadvantaged areas and sectors where community businesses are under-represented. It is being delivered by Co-operatives UK and Locality, via the Community Shares Unit (CSU), funded by The Power to Change (PtC), and is taking place during 2016 with a contribution of £1 million.
The programme is intended to be an exploratory programme, in which new and innovative models for community shares can explored through working with a series of groups which receive support at all the key stages, namely: development, offer period and post-launch.
If successful your community group or business could receive a business development support grant up to £10,000 in advance of launching your community share offer. After that, your organisation could have access to up to £100,000 match funding in the form of an equity investment by Co-operatives UK when the share offer goes live.
There is no fixed deadline for applications. Applications will be assessed on a monthly basis and the Booster Programme will close once all the funds have been committed.
Fans Fund Small Grants Scheme – Football
The Premier League Fans Fund is a three-year commitment from the Premier League to fund projects and organisations which improve the relationship between fans and their clubs, the way football supporters engage with each other and fans’ experience of the game.
The Fans Fund Small Grants Scheme offers grants of up to £20,000 for projects that look to address the aims of the scheme which are to:
  • Improve the relationship between fans and their clubs
  • Improve the way football supporters engage with each other
  • Improve fans’ experience of the game.
Applications are accepted at any time.
Community Support Grants – Masonic Charitable Foundation
These grants are only available to charities that are registered with the Charity Commission. The charity and/or project must also be located in England and/or Wales. Charities which deliver community support can apply for either a Large Grant (over £5,000) or a Small Grant (under £5,000).
Charities that have an annual income under £500,000 are encouraged to apply for a Small Grant of £5,000 or less.  Charities with an income of over £500,000 can apply for a Large Grant or Small Grant. Applications need to meet one of more of the following aims: financial hardship; social exclusion and disadvantage; health and disability; education and employability.
The next deadline for small grant applications is 16 December 2016. For large grant applications an initial enquiry form must be submitted by 13 January.
Heritage Project Grants – Heritage Lottery Fund
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funds projects which focus on heritage.  HLF offer a range of different grant programmes with grants from £3,000 to over £5million. In assessing applications, HLF take account of the broad range of outcomes for heritage, people and communities that projects will achieve.  HLF programmes include:
  • Kick the Dust – this programme aims to make heritage relevant to the lives of young people, aged 11-25, now and in to the future. Building on their needs and interests, HLF want to see a greater number and diversity of young people benefit from high quality engagement with heritage.  This programme is also about developing the skills and confidence of heritage sites and services to sustain their work with young people over the long-term. You can apply for between £500,000 and £1 million as a consortium of three or more organisations, including heritage and youth organisations. The deadline for initial Project Enquiry forms is 2 December 2016.
  • Resilient Heritage grants – this is a new programme. Grants of £3,000-£250,000 are available to organisations in the UK who want to build their capacity or achieve strategic change to improve the management of heritage. Grants can fund activities to help you acquire new skills or knowledge, or new models of governance, leadership and business to put your organisation in a better position for the future. Organisations in the early stages of planning their activities may also apply. Whether you’re facing challenges around income and fundraising, or preparing to take on new forms of investment, such as social investment, Resilient Heritage can support these processes.
  • Heritage Endowments – these grants are available to organisations in the UK who we are currently funding or have funded in the past. This is a match funding scheme – where the HLF grant matches every pound raised by grant recipients. You can apply for a Heritage Endowments grant of £250,000, £500,000 or £1million, to be matched £1:£1 by private donations you raise. Payments of the award will be made when evidence of the matched funding can be shown.
  • Grants for Places of Worship – historic places of worship are often at the heart of communities. Grants from £10,000–£250,000 can fund urgent structural repairs and help to make them better places for everyone to visit.
  • Parks for People – for projects related to historic parks and cemeteries in the UK. You can apply for a grant from £100,000 to £5million. Applications go through a two round process and must be submitted by either 28 February for a decision in June or by 31 August for a decision in December.
  • Heritage Enterprise – supports enterprising community organisations across the UK to rescue neglected historic buildings and sites and unlock their economic potential.  You can apply for a grant from £100,000 to £5million.
  • Sharing Heritage – for any type of project related to national, regional or local heritage in the UK.  Applications can be made for a grant from £3,000 to £10,000.  The fund is available to not-for-profit organisations or partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations wanting to explore, share and celebrate their community’s heritage.  This is a rolling programme and applications can be submitted at any time.
  • Our Heritage – for any type of project related to national, regional or local heritage in the UK. Applications can be made for a grant of more than £10,000 and up to £100,000.  HLF fund applications from not-for-profit organisations, private owners of heritage (including individuals and for-profit organisations) and partnerships.  This is a rolling programme and applications can be made at any time.
  • Heritage Grants – HLF’s open programme for any type of project related to the national, regional, or local heritage in the UK. You can apply for a grant of over £100,000. Heritage Grants applications go through a two-round process. This is so that you can apply at an early stage of planning your project and get an idea of whether you have a good chance of getting a grant before you submit your proposals in greater detail.
  • Young Roots – for projects that engage young people with heritage in the UK.  Applications can be made for a grant of more than £10,000 and up to £50,000.  Under this programme, HLF fund partnerships of heritage and youth organisations to help young people shape and deliver their own projects in safe environments.  This is a rolling programme and applications can be made at any time.
  • Townscape Heritage – helps communities regenerate deprived towns and cities across the UK by improving their built historic environment. Grants range from £100,000 to £2million. Townscape Heritage schemes aim to reverse the decline of our best-loved historic townscapes. Local, regional and national organisations work together to repair buildings in conservation areas and bring them back to life.
For information on all HLF programmes visit the website.
Grants for the Arts – Arts Council England
Grants of between £1000 and £100,000 are available for eligible individuals, organisations, libraries and museums for a range of activities including: Audio-visual, broadcast and transmission, buildings and infrastructure, capacity building, commissioning, digital creation, diversity and equality, education and learning, exhibition, festival, organisational development, original work, participation, performance, production, professional development, publishing, research and development, sector development, talent development and touring.
This is a rolling programme with no deadlines.
More than a Pub – Plunkett Foundation
The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a unique two year programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England. Its value is £3.62 million and is jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change. A comprehensive package of business development support, advice and loan and grant funding has been developed to assist community pub businesses consider their viability at all stages of their development which includes:
  • A flexible package of support including:
    • an advice line
    • Events
    • Workshops
    • peer-to-peer study visits
    • business development advice.
  • Flexible bursary awards of up to £2,500 (inclusive of VAT) to fund pre-feasibility costs such as public consultation and valuations.
  • Combined loan and grant funding up to £150,000 but not exceeding £75,000 in grant
The Discovery Foundation
In 2016, The Santander Foundation has become The Discovery Foundation.
The Discovery Foundation will provide grants to support knowledge, skills and innovation to give disadvantaged people the confidence to discover and create a new world of opportunities. The Foundation's previous three grants schemes have been combined into a single new scheme called Discovery Grants making it simpler to apply for funding.
Discovery Grants of up to £5,000 are available to UK Registered Charities, Community Interest Companies and Credit Unions to fund local projects helping disadvantaged people.
Website grant programme – Transform Foundation
This programme can cover the upfront costs of a new charity-specific website including strategy, design, development and training. The grant will pay for the entire upfront costs of £18,000.
The Foundation will be rolling out other grant programmes later in the year, which they are currently in the process of designing.
The Website Grant is aimed at small to medium-sized charities and other not for profit organisations with a social mission (including, for example Community Interest Companies). The grant is most suitable for non-profits with an income between £400,000 and £20 million.
Applications can currently be made on a rolling basis.
Help the Homeless grants
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.
European Structural and Investment Funds – Department for Communities and Local Government
A variety of funds under the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) are currently available in different parts of the country. ESIF includes money from the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Deadlines for applications vary.  Please see the website below for more information.
Big Potential – Big Lottery Fund
Big Potential, a BIG Lottery Fund grant fund, will deliver approximately £10m of grant funding over 3 years to eligible VCSE organisations (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations) with the aim of improving the sustainability, capacity and scale of VCSE organisations in order that they may deliver greater social impact.  
The programme aims to raise awareness of the social investment market and support VCSEs who want to prepare themselves for social investment.
Two application routes are available:
  • Breakthrough - specialist one to one support for VCSE organisations from Big Potential programme partners followed by a potential application for grants between £20,000 and £75,000 for more in-depth investment readiness work.
  • Advanced - for VCSEs that are clear about how social investment could work for them and need help to close possible deals with investors or need help securing a contract. Grants of between £50,000 and £150,000 are available.
Big Potential’s website can be accessed here.
Grants for the Arts Libraries Fund – Arts Council
The aim of this fund is to inspire innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations, and encourage library users and those living locally to take part in artistic and cultural activities.
It is hoped that this second phase of funding, which will be rolled out between April 2015 and March 2018, will once again inspire ambitious, innovative partnerships between libraries and arts organisations, and encourage library users and those living locally to take part in artistic and cultural activities.
Public libraries can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 covering activities lasting up to three years. The fund opened to applications on 1 April 2015 and will run until 31 March 2018.
The Arts Impact Fund – Arts Council
This fund aims to invest for artistic, social and financial return. The Arts Impact Fund will offer repayable finance to arts organisations working in England that can show how they are sustainable; have great artistic ambitions; and have a positive impact on society.
The Fund, created and funded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta, supported by Arts Council England and with additional funding from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, will offer repayable finance to arts organisations working in England that can show how they are sustainable; have great artistic ambitions; and have a positive impact on society.  It will provide repayable loan finance between £150,000 up to £600,000, and funding needs can vary. For example, an applicant may want to buy or refurbish a building or purchase equipment or need to pay salaries or buy in additional services to help the organisation generate more income, perhaps for a tour or exhibition.
There will be at least five funding rounds from April 2015 to April 2017.
Growth Programme: Grants for the Rural Economy – Defra
The Growth Programme provides funding to help projects in England which create jobs and help rural economy growth. These grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
The RPA will publish calls for applications. These calls invite applications for grants in specific LEP areas. Each call will reflect the priorities set by the LEP and will clearly state:
  • what types of grants are open for applications
  • the opening and closing dates and times for applications
Applications received after the closing date and time will not be accepted. Grants are available for:
  • business development
  • food processing
  • small-scale tourism infrastructure
  • tourism cooperation
Community-led Buildings Grants – Locality
Any Town or Parish Council, Neighbourhood Forum or qualifying community group can apply for Pre-Feasibility grants (£1000 to £10,000) and Project Support grants (£5000 to £40,000) to help move a community-led building or community-led housing project to the point at which a Community Right to Build Order, or (in the case of community led housing projects only) a traditional planning permission application, can be submitted.  These are revenue grants which means that they do not cover the capital costs of land acquisition or actually constructing a building.
Neighbourhood Planning Grants – Locality
All groups writing a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order are eligible to apply for between £1000 and £9,000 in grant. Groups facing a range of complex issues are able to apply for further support from the programme.
This support can come in two forms:
  1. Technical support provided by AECOM – there are a range of technical support packages that groups are able to apply for as and when they become needed.
  2. Groups are also be eligible to apply for a further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.
If your group has already received £8,000 in funding and are still working on your plan, you may apply for further funding up to the maximum of £9,000 (or £15,000 for complex groups).
The current programme runs from 2015-18. You can only apply for funds that you can spend within six months or before the end of the current financial year, whichever is the earliest.
Grants for War Memorials – War Memorials Trust
War Memorials Trust administers a number of grants schemes which between them cover the whole of the UK.  Currently programme funders include the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Historic England, Historic Scotland and War Memorials Trust. Grants are currently available up to 75% of eligible costs with a normal maximum grant of £30,000.
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. 
Annual deadlines are 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December.
Rural Community Energy Fund
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.  The fund will provide up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become investment ready. RCEF provides support in two stages:
  • Stage 1 provides a grant of up to approximately £20,000 to pay for an initial investigation into the feasibility of a renewable energy project.
  • Stage 2 provides an unsecured loan of up to approximately £130,000 to support planning applications and develop a robust business case to attract further investment.
The fund is being delivered on behalf of the government by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis and there is no set deadline for bids
Reaching Communities England – Big Lottery Fund
Reaching Communities funding is for projects that help people and communities most in need. Grants are available from £10,000, upwards and funding can last for up to 5 years. If you think you need more than £500,000 you must call Big Lottery before applying to discuss why you believe a larger project is appropriate. There is no upper limit for total project costs.  Reaching Communities can fund salaries, running costs, a contribution towards core costs and equipment.  Reaching Communities can also fund up to £100,000 for land, buildings or refurbishment capital costs.
All projects must address one or more of the following outcomes:
  • People have better chances in life, with better access to training and development to improve their life skills,
  • Stronger communities, with more active citizens, working together to tackle their problems,
  • Improved rural and urban environments, which communities are better able to access and enjoy,
  • Healthier and more active people and communities
There is a two stage application process.  After submitting a Reaching Communities Stage One application form, applicants will be told within 6 weeks whether the project is one that might be considered for funding. If successful, the applicant will be sent a Stage Two application form. Applicants will usually have four months to complete this.
Reaching Communities Buildings – Big Lottery Fund
The buildings strand of Reaching Communities provides funding for land and buildings projects costing more than £100,000. It can also provide revenue funding to help to get the building running and deliver project activities (for revenue funding or funding for a land and buildings project of less than £100,000, see Reaching Communities England).
Funding is available for building grants up to 2015 and there are currently no deadlines for applications. However, the programme is regularly reviewed and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they are ready.  To ensure that this funding makes the biggest difference to those most in need, it is targeted at buildings or sites based in the most deprived ‘Lower Super Output Areas’ in England.
Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund – Football Foundation
The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) and delivered by the Foundation.  The Fund is available to football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations and gives grants for projects that:
  • Improve facilities for football and other sport in local communities.
  • Sustain or increase participation amongst children and adults, regardless of background age, or ability.
  • Help children and adults to develop their physical, mental, social and moral capacities through regular participation in sport.
Grants are available for between £10,000 and £500,000.
Post Office Network consultation – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Government provides funding to maintain a national network of post office branches that is accessible to everyone. They are seeking views on what people expect from the post office network.
The consultation states that responses will be used to help determine the funding provided to the post office after the existing agreement with Post Office Limited ends in 2018.
It further states that the government is not proposing any changes to the network through this consultation.
This consultation closes on 21 December 2016.
Social housing regulation: using a Legislative Reform Order to establish the Regulator as a stand-alone body – Department for Communities & Local Government consultation
The Tailored Review of the Homes and Communities Agency recommends the separation of the social housing regulator into a new standalone non-departmental public body, to address the potential conflict of interest that arises from the Agency’s current configuration.
The aim of this consultation is to set out the proposed legislative changes to the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 to implement the separation of the social housing regulator to reflect the principles of better regulation, especially transparency and accountability. This measure will not change how registered providers are regulated; the regulatory framework and regulatory powers will not alter as a result of the Review.
This consultation closes on 27 January 2016.
Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation: proposed changes for 2017 – Department for Transport
This consultation seeks the views of the public and stakeholders on proposed changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Order (RTFO).
In particular it concerns increases to the obligation level, the appropriate level for the contribution of renewable fuels created from agricultural crops, and increases to the use of advanced renewable fuels.
The proposals are intended to increase the supply and sustainability of renewable transport fuels in order to meet national and international climate change commitments.
This consultation will be of particular interest if you are:
  • a supplier of fossil and / or renewable fuels
  • a body or individual with an interest in renewable fuels
  • a body or individual with an interest in the environmental concerns related to the use and production of renewable fuels
This consultation closes on 22 January 2017.
Funding for Supported Housing – Department for Communities & Local Government and Department for Work & Pensions consultation
This consultation seeks views on the government’s plans for a new housing costs funding model for supported housing as well as views on how funding for emergency and short term placements should work. It covers the following areas:
  • devolved top-up funding to local authorities in England
  • funding for emergency and short term supported housing placements across Great Britain.
This consultation closes on 13 February 2017.
Houses in multiple occupation and residential property licensing reforms – Department for Communities & Local Government consultation
This consultation seeks views on the government’s proposed details for:
  • the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation
  • the assumptions made in its associated impact assessment
  • national room sizes
  • the fit and proper person test
  • refuse disposal facilities
  • purpose built student accommodation
This consultation closes on 13 December 2016.
Review of Parliamentary Constituencies in England – Boundary Commission for England consultation
The Commission published on 13 September 2016 initial proposals for new constituencies in England. Members of the public can have their say by giving the Commission their views on these proposals during the 12-week consultation period following that date, either via the consultation website or in person at public hearings being held in every region.
Schools that work for everyone – Department for Education consultation
The government is consulting on proposals to create more good school places. The proposals include:
  • expecting independent schools to support existing state schools, open new state schools or offer funded places to children whose families can’t afford to pay fees
  • asking universities to commit to sponsoring or setting up new schools in exchange for the ability to charge higher fees
  • allowing existing selective schools to expand and new selective schools to open, while making sure they support non-selective schools
  • allowing new faith free schools to select up to 100% of pupils based on their faith, while making sure they include pupils from different backgrounds
This consultation closes on 12 December 2016
Understanding and valuing the impacts of transport investment: wider impacts transport appraisal guidance (WebTAG) – Department for Transport consultation
To improve analysis and communication, the Department for Transport is proposing a major update and restructure of the wider economic impacts guidance that forms part of the Transport appraisal guidance (WebTAG).
This consultation closes on 22 December 2016.
Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network
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