The first of this year’s funding updates. Featuring funding for loneliness, cultural organisations, encouraging people to access Windrush compensation, Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund for charities & social enterprises, and for public amenities, historic buildings and biodiversity:

Government’s Loneliness Fund

£7.5m has been announced as a new Loneliness Fund to tackle this issue during the winter. The support will target sectors that bring people and communities together including the arts, libraries, charities and radio. This builds on the £4m Local connections Fund announced in December (see below).

The funding will be distributed via three existing schemes:

  • £5 million to Arts Council England for arts and library services, of which £3.5 million has been awarded by DCMS to national charity The Reading Agency, for their Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes. (It is not clear how to apply for the remainder – check the Arts Council website for updates)
  • £2 million to extend the Government’s Loneliness Fund launched in May this year * see below
  • £500,000 to be distributed amongst the Audio Content Fund (*closing 18 Jan) and the Community Radio Fund (*closing 14 January) for local radio stations

Arts Council Cultural Recovery Funds grants

For cultural organisations based in England, which are properly constituted and registered with one of:

  • Companies House
  • Charity Commission
  • Financial Conduct Authority

The minimum grant is £25,000, with a maximum of £1m for commercial organisations and £3m for non-profits, local government or universities.

Applications are open midday 6 January, until midday Tuesday 26 January. Validation profiles must be submitted before an application is made, and the window for these closes on Thursday 21 January. See the website for more details.

Local Connections Fund, part of the Loneliness Grant, 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.

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.

Two rounds of funding
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.

Find out more on the website.

Windrush compensation awareness fund

Charities working with people affected by the Windrush scandal can apply for grants to spread awareness of a government compensation scheme.

The Windrush Community Fund will be managed by Voice4Change England (V4CE), and will make grants of up to £25,000 to charities, community groups and grassroots organisations.

Those grants can be used to raise levels of engagement with the government’s Windrush Scheme and Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Applications under Phase 1 close 12 February 2021. Phase 2 will be open between 1 April and 30 June.

Applications are also welcomed from organisations that have links with communities overseas. Applications from several organisations coming together as a consortium will also be considered. More information can be found at on the Gov.uk website. Civil Society has a short background on the scandal and the fund.

Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund – Social Investment Business

The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new loan fund for social enterprises and charities that are improving people’s lives across the UK who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19. It has been established to make an existing government scheme (the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) more easily accessible to charities and social enterprises.

RRLF closes to new applications on 31 January 2021 but operates on a First Come First Served basis.  The closing date of the fund is subject to constant review.

Find out more on the SIB Group website

Landfill Communities Fund – SUEZ Communities Trust

SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA) provides funding awards of up to £50,000 to not-for-profit organisations to undertake work that is eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF). Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF. These include:

  • Public Amenities – To provide, maintain or improve an amenity that is used primarily for leisure and recreation. The amenity must be open to all sections of the community for at least 104 days a year.
  • Historic Buildings, Structures or Sites – The maintenance, repair or restoration of a building, other structure or a site of archaeological interest which is a place of religious worship, or a site of historic or architectural or archaeological interest and is open to the public. Places of religious worship must be Grade I listed.
  • Biodiversity – The conservation of biodiversity through the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat or the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural habitat.

Projects can be supported that make physical improvements at sites located in any of 100 funding zones around qualifying sites owned by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK. The funding zones extend to 2.5 miles around any SUEZ site, and there are 28 sites in Cornwall (we think) so many places will qualify.

You can find out more on the SUEZ website, which includes a postcode checker. We can’t see a closing date.

More funds that have been previously mentioned by us, or may not apply to our readers, are listed here, on the Rural Services Network website.