Community Capacity Building and Infrastructure Support Grants Policy
On 12 July 2022 Mole Valley District Council agreed, subject to receiving funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for 2022/23, to establish a Community Capacity Building and Infrastructure Support Grant scheme. This policy outlines how this grant fund will be administered and provides information for those seeking to apply 2023 – 2024 round of funding.
Grants are generally available to registered charities, community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations. Organisations that are not eligible include those that are trading as a commercial business, local authorities, and organisations that are traditionally funded by a local authority or councils. Other types of organisations, including community interest companies (CICs) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Awards will not be made to private individuals.
Grant support will only be provided for the benefit of Mole Valley residents and where local needs are met. Grant support is not normally available to national organisations unless they have a local operation dedicated to the District.
In submitting an application, the Organisation must provide evidence that it has adopted a Constitution and that a properly constituted committee of management has been appointed.
The Council must be satisfied that the applicant has the necessary expertise and resources to see the project through to successful completion.
Organisations will not be eligible if they have sufficient undesignated reserves or funding from other sources to cover the costs of the project or service being applied for. Applicants will be expected to have a written Reserves Policy in accordance with Charities Commission guidelines to justify the level of reserves being held.
In submitting an application, organisations are consenting to financial checks being carried out by Mole Valley District Council
Grants must be used to build capacity to deliver social action projects and/or carry out works to improve community infrastructure which helps to build pride in place and/or increase life chances.
Applications in support of projects which would help achieve the objectives outlined below are particularly welcome –
- Improve a town/village centre or high street
- Improve community infrastructure e.g a community building or space
- Create or improve a local green space
- Enhance the cultural, historic or heritage offer
- Reduce crime
- Enhance local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities
- Encourage people to visit and explore the local area
- Enhance sports activities
- Improve digital connectivity
- Reduce the cost of living
Grants will not be made in respect of completed projects/work, or in lieu of expenditure to which applicants are already committed.
Applications for grant awards to supplement statutory funding are not eligible.
Grants are not generally available for parties, entertaining, prizes or other non-essential expenditure.
Grants are not generally available to fund permanent staff positions but consideration will be given to maintain a number of hours of service delivery, or exceptionally towards posts on fixed–term contracts. Consideration will be given where salaries are included as part of the organisation’s start-up costs.
Membership of the organisation making the application should be open to all, with no application for membership being refused on anything other than reasonable grounds.
Grants are not generally available to fund an organisation’s running costs.
Applications should be completed in line with guidance provided in the application form.
All completed applications received before the publicised deadline will be considered.
Applications received after this date may be considered in any subsequent funding cycle.
The Council encourages all applicants to raise funding through as many sources as possible. While not essential, weighting will be given to applications where significant funding has already been raised from other sources. Consideration will be given to applications where it is demonstrated that a Council grant will help to attract or unlock significant additional funding from other sources.
Evidence must be provided that all required policies and practices are in place, as set out in the grant approval letter, before grant monies are paid.
Grants awarded may be subject to certain conditions which must be satisfied before payment is made. The applicant must indicate acceptance of such conditions when any offer of a grant is made.
It will be a condition of funding that the successful organisation mentions MVDC and the UKSPF as funders in their publicity material.
To ensure the grants awarded are adding value to our communities, recipient organisations will be required to provide a progress/end of project report detailing the outcomes that have been achieved and providing any necessary monitoring information.
Organisations are expected to use the grant received for the purpose outlined in their grant application. All projects must be complete within 12 months of the award of grant.
Recipients of grants should inform the Council of any problems with completing the project as early as possible. The Council will expect repayment of the grant in full if the project is not completed or necessary monitoring information is not received by a set date. The Council may consider requests to repay in part, or not at all if the project is not completed due to circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.
Equality and diversity
The Council is committed to the provision of equal opportunities, both within the activities of Mole Valley District Council and in the community. We encourage applications from all groups of people in Mole Valley and all applications will be considered against the same assessment framework.
Applicants are expected to consider whether there are any equality and diversity implications when making a grant application and any negative impact must be stated. The Council conducts an Equality Impact Assessment in relation to the organisations that it recommends grants for and this Assessment accompanies the Grants Report for decision making purposes.
Organisations that are making a grant application must have ‘due regard’ to the three aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty, as set out in the Equality Act 2010:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race and ethnicity, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage and civil partnership) and those who do not, including:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people
- Encouraging people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Support for applicants
Officers will be available to provide advice and guidance to applicants before an application is submitted.
Applicants will be encouraged to allow sufficient time to complete their application and to make a submission before the deadline. Potential applicants can request pre-application advice if they are unsure as to whether their organisation or project would be eligible for a grant.
Officers will provide additional support with completing an application form when required.
Determination of grant awards
Grant applications will be assessed for eligibility by Officers
- In applying, applicants are giving MVDC consent to carry out financial checks on their organisation
- In the event that the scheme is oversubscribed the number of people from the local community involved in delivering the proposed project and the number of people benefitting from the project will be important considerations in prioritising applications and final decision making.
- The Cabinet will determine all grant awards. All awards will be subject to the submission of necessary supporting documentation as stated in the grant award letter.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application as soon as possible after final decision being made.
Payment of grant awards
Grant payments will be made as soon as possible after the Cabinet Decision. All documentation must be received in order to enable grant payments to be made by 31 March in the relevant year.
The Council operates a corporate complaints procedure. If there are any complaints regarding the Council’s application of this policy, then they may be made and dealt with in accordance with the corporate complaints process.