Guidance on small grants fund 2023/24 (round 2)

Introduction

Reading Borough Council has allocated £100k for round 2 of the small grants to the voluntary and community sector for the year 2023/24.

The council is inviting applications for funding to support the residents to become more self-sufficient, built on a bedrock of valued educational attainment, strong skills and practical knowledge that enables them to realise their potential through accessing suitable employment opportunities.  We aim to deliver this through an innovative and targeted place-based approach to addressing the underlying determinants of deprivation within the borough that adversely affect education, skills, and training.

The deadline for applications was 30 January 2024. We aim to notify outcome of the application by the first week of March 2024.

If you have any queries please contact Bikal Shrestha, Funding Officer – Community and Government Programmes email: bikal.shrestha@reading.gov.uk / tel: 0118 937 3324.

Purpose of the funding

The Council’s Corporate Plan 2022-25 ‘Investing in Readings Future’ sets out the vision for Reading to reach its potential and to ensure that everyone living and working can share the benefits of our town’s success.  This commitment is also central to the Council’s Tackling Inequality Strategy 2023-26 which demonstrates how the Council will go beyond our existing activities and strategies to achieve a more consistent quality of life for our residents in our most deprived areas.

The specific scope of the Tacking Inequality Strategy is how to go beyond our existing activities and strategies to achieve a more consistent quality of life for our residents in our most deprived areas.  The key focus is supporting and guiding our residents to become more self-sufficient, built on a bedrock of valued educational attainment, strong skills and practical knowledge that enables them to realise their potential through accessing suitable employment opportunities.  We will deliver this through an innovative and targeted place-based approach to addressing the underlying determinants of deprivation within the Borough that adversely affect Education, Skills, and Training.

The small grants fund is focussed on supporting the broader objectives of the Tackling Inequality Strategy to create further opportunity for local voluntary and community organisations to play an active role in making Reading a more equal place to live for its residents.

What can you apply for?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available – increased to £10,000 for bids made in partnership proposing a co-ordinated approach by more than one organisation to support the infrastructure and/or additional capacity needed by organisations to expand existing service, deliver services in a different way or to develop new services.

Small Grant Fund round 2 – scoring matrix

Who can apply?

The grants programme is aimed at voluntary and community groups and schools based in Reading borough:

  • Charitable organisations
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Community groups
  • Faith groups
  • Sports groups
  • Arts groups
  • Cultural organisations
  • Uniformed groups (scouts, guides etc)
  • Schools
  • Not-for-profit social enterprises

What will be funded?

  1. The intention is to encourage grassroots and innovative community action and the criteria is non-prescriptive to enable communities to apply for funding to support activities that are right for their community, but applications should demonstrate how they support the following key elements of Tackling Inequality Strategy:
  • Enable everyone within the borough to share in Reading’s success 
  • Drive attainment in skills, education and training and access to quality employment
  • Support people in the areas of the town where need is greatest
  • Support the diverse personal life experiences of our residents and how these can contribute to their equal enjoyment of life and achievements within the borough
  • Provide more by complementing existing strategies, work, and partnerships aimed at making Reading a more equal place to live

2. Grants can be awarded for purposes such as:

  • Local ‘one off’ and small projects
  • Running events
  • Minor start-up costs (for example, to get a new idea/project ‘off the ground’)
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Sessional costs

3. To make sure that the funding is not dominated by the more established VCS organisations funding will only be given to a project or activity that addresses an unmet need of Reading residents and is not funded or able to be funded through other sources. Applicants will be expected to disclose their other funding sources.

What should applications include?

Within the provision of the information about the application, bidders will need to provide details of the following to demonstrate the impact and realistic viability of their proposals:

  • Project title and aim of the project
  • Evidence of need (data, research, community feedback, examples)
  • Description of what the grant will be used for and how many people are expected to benefit
  • Statement of how it will make a difference/how this will address the need
  • A realistic plan for delivery with a key timeline and potential risks
  • Details of any match funding and the source of this funding
  • Provide the organisation’s constitution if you are not a registered charity or CIC

Funding conditions

The funding will be required to be spent within 12 months of the award. Successful applicants will be expected to provide an Interim report on their project after 6 months and a Full report at the end of the project (12 months).

Last updated on 31/01/2024