Grants & funding

Grants & funding

Here you will find information on grants and funding for individuals, organisations and businesses in Northumberland.

Grants & funding

This page will tell you about funding opportunities available through Northumberland County Council.

Funding eBulletin
The Corporate Programmes and External Funding team produce a regular Funding Bulletin which is distributed by email to; NCC staff, external organisations, individuals and businesses in Northumberland and beyond. This Bulletin includes various live funding opportunities from; national and local charities, trusts, government and other sources. There is a brief description of the funding opportunity, and an active web link to take you directly to the funder’s website.

You can access the latest and other recent editions below:

Latest Funding 'e'Bulletin:

Previous issues:

To be added to the distribution list, please email: or telephone 01670 623888.

For NCC staff whose function involves searching for funding to support or develop Council provision, we can provide a free licence to access the full range of Grantfinder services. Grantfinder is distributed by the Idox group and is Europe’s leading provider of up-to-date funding and policy information.

The availability of licences is restricted by number and by service, so if your service already has a licence you may have to arrange to share. To ask about a licence, please email:    

Links to potential funders and other support
If you’re a community group, business or funder and you wish to promote a funding opportunity or related funding activity, please email:

Note: the editor’s decision on what is considered appropriate is final.

The information contained in these webpages is meant as a general guide only. It has been prepared from information provided by third parties and NCC accepts no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken in reliance on or in connection with this information.

Where reference or links (which may not be active links) are made to external publications or websites, the views expressed are those of the authors of those publications or websites, which are not necessarily those of NCC. NCC accepts no responsibility for the contents or accuracy of those publications or websites.
Supporting businesses
Arch, the development company for Northumberland, is responsible for the council’s business development activities. This includes being responsible for inward investment, strategic account management and the commissioning of a range of business support initiatives.

Its mission is to:
  • attract private sector investment in business and property
  • promote enterprise and support business growth
  • support the regeneration of disadvantaged places and neighbourhoods
  • help create prosperous, attractive, sustainable communities throughout Northumberland
For further information, please go to Arch's website.

Tel: 01670 528400
Arch corporate strategy

Arch Corporate Strategy 2012 - 2015

Arch Business Plan
Contracts Finder
Contracts Finder lets you search for information about contracts with the government and its agencies which are worth more than £10,000.
TED (Tenders Electronic Daily)
TED provides free access to business opportunities and is updated five times a week with approximately 1,500 public procurement notices. These are from the European Union, the European economic area and beyond.

You can browse, search and sort procurement notices by country, region and business sector. For further information, visit TED's website. 

Community Ownership & Management of Assets programme (COMA)
COMA supports partnerships between local public bodies and community groups to develop multiple asset transfers or a single ground-breaking asset projects. Direct support and certain grants will be available for up to 50 partnership areas through COMA in 2015/16.

The programme will focus on tackling things like deprivation, management of green space, abandoned buildings and underused land. Partnership areas with a clear commitment to partnership working are invited to apply.

Grants of up to £10,000 per organisation will be available. It is expected that the 50 places will be filled within eight weeks of the scheme opening.
Shire Leasing
Leasing and asset finance from Shire Leasing are alternative sources of finance for small to medium enterprises.

It allows them to invest in assets or equipment for growth, including communication equipment and catering equipment, and has even supported the purchase of livestock and small wind turbines.

The average lease size is £6,000 and the average agreement term is four years.
North East micro-loan fund
Rivers Capital Partners manage a micro-loan fund from the finance for business North East programme. It’s designed to support small businesses looking for funding to expand operations and start-ups.

There is just over £2m to invest in loans up until the end of 2015. The fund works exclusively with struggling businesses to secure mainstream finance, stimulating the creation of new business and securing jobs.

They can offer:
  • loans between £1,000 and £25,000
  • credit for those with a bad credit history
  • fast solutions - on average it takes two weeks to receive funds
  • competitive interest rates
  • no hidden fees
  • simple and hassle-free application process
To speak to the investment team, please call 0191 230 6270 or 01642 903 902. Alternatively, email: Rivers Capital Partners Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA no: 519469).
North East Access to Finance (NEA2F)
North East Access to Finance is responsible for several ‘legacy’ funds, which have now realised most of their investments. However they hope to have over £25m available in the near future to support SMEs across our Local Enterprise Partnership areas.

NEA2F help businesses in the region to access finance. They do this in two ways. The first is acting as a signpost to direct businesses to sources of finance and support them in this. The second is working to develop new sources of public investment funding that will become available to the region’s small to medium enterprises.

Historical funds which have contributed to this legacy include:
North East Investment Funds 3, 3b and 3c: These mezzanine funds generated £9.5m legacy.
NEL Growth Fund: This seed capital fund invested in 25 SMEs. Anticipated legacy over £2m.
Three Pillars Fund/ Design & Creative/ Creative Content Funds: A range of pilot funds investing in hi-tech growth businesses, the creative/digital/film sectors.
Proof of Concept and Co-Investment Funds: Helped early stage businesses to prove their viability and invested in hi-tech SMEs. Legacy is over £10m with more to be realised.

To be redirected to their website

The business support finder
Enhanced capital allowance scheme for energy-saving technologies
This scheme, based around energy-saving technology, encourages businesses to invest in energy-saving plant or machinery specified on the energy technology list, which is managed by the Carbon Trust.

The scheme allows businesses to write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase.

EU funding

This page gives details of European programmes and funding currently available.

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014 – 2020
ESIF is the EU’s main funding programme supporting investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment.

There are three types of funds:
  • European Social Fund (ESF) focuses on improving the employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports research and innovation, small to medium sized enterprises and creation of a low carbon economy.
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) supports rural businesses to grow and expand, improve knowledge and skills and get started.
The following documents provide information about the funds:

ESF Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020
ERDF Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020
EAFRD Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020

The following guidance explains who is eligible to apply for funding. Northumberland County Council, as part of the North East Technical Assistance Project (part funded through the 2014 to 2020  ESIF Programme), is able to provide support to help you apply for ERDF and ESF.

Funding rounds and calls for projects will be issued via partners and the NCC Funding 'e'Bulletin
Key contacts:
Heather Smith
Corporate Programmes & Funding Manager
Tel. 01670 623883

Carol Johns-McLeod
Senior Project Officer (ERDF)
Tel. 01670 623875

Elaine Maylin
Senior Project Officer (ESF)
Tel. 01670 623876

Latest funding opportunities

The following are just a few examples of the latest opportunities, there are many more in our eBulletin.

Funding and support for business

North East Growth HUB

The Growth Hub is delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP). The LEP works to make the North East a place where more businesses invest, grow and prosper, to deliver more and better jobs for everyone.
The Hub is a crucial part of the LEP's Business Growth strategy. Business growth and access to finance are key drivers for more and better jobs. They are necessities in addressing market failures to support stronger indigenous businesses to drive up GVA and employment. The North East LEP's Business Growth Programme provides the framework for an investment of over £200m in access to finance and business support over six years. This investment will increase profitability, wages and employment across the local economy.
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership area covers County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. 

The Hub signposts to the latest in regional business support services and finance and funding opportunities, helping businesses access the funding and support they need to grow.

To access the Growth Hub please click this link

North East Business Support Fund

The North East Business Support Fund is managed by NBSL, a North East Enterprise Agency that works to assist pre-start, new and existing businesses by providing information, advice and support on running and developing a business

The fund offers

  • up to 35% support, to a maximum of £2,800 (total project costs between £3,000 and £8,000)

  • assistance in finding the right provider

  • links to other complementary funding in the North East

To be eligible, organisations must

  • be a registered private sector business or social enterprise based in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear or County Durham

  • have already commenced trading

  • be planning to increase turnover or number of employees

For further information and guidelines, click here.

British Business Bank and the Business Finance Guide

The British Business Bank is a government-owned financial institution. It drives economic growth by
making finance markets work better for smaller businesses in the UK, allowing those businesses
to prosper and grow. 

Smaller businesses don’t obtain finance directly from the British Business Bank. Instead, the bank provides finance and apply guarantees through commercial lenders and investors, who use these financial resources – together with their own money – to lend to or invest in smaller UK businesses.

They operate right across finance markets, from supporting early-stage equity funding, through the provision of growth capital, to senior debt for established SMEs. They aim to increase both the level and diversity of funding available to smaller businesses in the UK, working through over 90 finance partners. This support covers smaller UK businesses in three broad areas: 

Start-up – mentoring and funds to be your own boss’.
Scale-up – finance for businesses growing quickly or those with the potential to do so.
Stay ahead – more funding options and greater choice of providers for expansion and working capital.

Find out find more about how they unlock finance for smaller businesses at, where you can also watch videos that explain their work.

Also see the banks invaluable Business Finance Guide



Funding from charities and trusts

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation Publishes New Guidelines

The Foundation offers funding to established charitable organisations (including CICs, social enterprises, not-for-profit registered companies, voluntary organisations) that are working to address local issues in areas of extreme urban deprivation, or in remote and fragile rural communities.

The level of the applicant's income will determine which grants programme they can apply for:

  • Groups with a total annual income of up to £100,000 can apply for Small Grants of up to £6,000 for revenue costs such as core costs, salaries, overheads, project costs. 

  • Groups with an income over £100,000 and under £250,000 can apply for Small Grants of up to £6,000 for one-off capital cost for new buildings, repairs and improvements, purchase of equipment. 

  • Groups with a total annual income of over £250,000 and under £500,000 can apply for Standard Grants of between £6,001 and £12,000 for revenue or one-off capital costs. Total cost of capital projects must be less than £1 million. 

  • Groups with a total annual income of over £500,000 and under £5 million can apply for Large Grants of over £10,000 and up to £50,000 for one-off capital costs only. Total cost of the project must be for less than £1 million total. Buildings must be owned by applicant or leased for a minimum of five years. 

  • Village halls and community centres with any income up to £5 million can apply for village hall and community centre capital grants of between £1,000 and £50,000 for new builds, repairs, improvements or extensions. 

  • Hospices only can apply for capital grants of between £6,000 and £50,000 for new builds, repairs, improvements, extensions and equipment purchase. 

Grants Committee meetings are held in February, late April/early May, July and late October/early November. Applications need to be received at least six weeks before a meeting to be included on the agenda. The Foundation operates a rolling programme and groups can apply at any time throughout the year.

For further information click here

The North East Social Investment Fund

The North East Social Investment Company (NESIC) has launched The North East Social Investment Fund (NESIF), the first fund of its kind in England. NESIF is a £10.2 million fund set up specifically to provide investment to organisations that are passionate about making a positive social impact by taking on some of the big social challenges faced by the region. These challenges include homelessness, poverty, unemployment, health and social care, mental health, offender rehabilitation and the regeneration of deprived communities. The social investments NESIF can offer range in size from 100k to £1 million and work alongside banks and other sources of finance to deliver the right package of funding designed to meet each organisation’s circumstances and needs.

So, if you’re an ambitious community or voluntary organisation, or a social enterprise dedicated to addressing social issues faced by the region, NESIF could be the fund you’ve been waiting for! NESIF is officially open for business and actively seeking applications from organisations located in or with substantial operations in the North East of England.

The North East Social Investment Company (NESIC) is backed by Northern Rock Foundation, Big Society Capital and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and managed by Northstar Ventures.

To be redirected to the funders website click here


Funding for coastal communities
Coastal communities fund
In his budget statement, the chancellor announced that the coastal communities fund has been extended for another five years. The aim of the fund is to invest in projects that stimulate the economies of seaside towns and to create jobs.

The coastal communities fund, which was launched in 2012, will make a further £90m in funding available until 2020/2021. Seaside towns across the UK will be able to bid for a share of the funding. To date, almost £119m in funding has been distributed. 

The funding prospectus can be found here.
Funding for the disabled or disadvantaged
Wolfson foundation - disability and special needs grants
Grants of between £15,000 and £100,000 are available to special schools and colleges, as well as charities that work with people with particular health needs or disabilities.

Grants can fund:
  • new buildings
  • major refurbishment work
  • equipment
  • vehicles
For further information, click here.

Greggs foundation - the major grants programme
The major grants programme helps organisations in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Teesside to support core running costs. Grants of up to £15,000 per year for up to three years can be made to charities that most closely meet the criteria.

The programme usually supports organisations that work in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the North East or organisations that support otherwise disadvantaged people, particularly those that support:
  • people with disabilities
  • homeless people
  • voluntary carers
  • older and isolated people
Before you apply, please contact our grants manager, David Carnaffan, on 0191 2127813. He will help to make sure your application is eligible before submitting it for consideration.

For further information, click here.

Funding for the environment and health

People’s Health Trust - Active Communities Programme

You can only apply for funding from the Active Communities programme if:
  • Your organisation supports people to create or shape local projects that will help their community or neighbourhood to become even better
  • You are non-profit
  • Your income is less than £350,000 a year, or an average of £350,000 or less over the  last  two years
  • You have less than six months’ annual running costs in savings (with no restrictions on the money) after you have deducted the grant you wish to request
  • Your organisation is constituted and is more than three months old
It is a two stage application process. You must submit your Stage 1 application form by the advertised closing date of 2nd August 2017

Projects need to:
  • Be designed and led by local people
  • Support their neighbourhood or community to come together to address an issue that is important to them
  • Create stronger connections between people by supporting them to meet up regularly
  • Be for people who experience greater social and economic disadvantage than people living in other parts of the country
Be either:
  • small and local, for example, involving residents living in a few streets, an estate, a small village and working in one or more of our 'fundable neighbourhoods' or
  • a community of interest - a group of people who have shared experiences, characteristics or common interests and wish to come together to address specific issues that are important to them. They may live across a wider area.
They support projects which last between one and two years. The minimum grant that you can apply for is £5,000 over one year, £7,500 over 18 months, or £10,000 over two years. The maximum amount of funding in a project is £50,000.

For further information click here 

The Environment Now is accepting applications from young people

Managed by the National Youth Agency, the Environment Now programme is funded by O2 and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and is part of the ‘Our Bright Future’ programme. Grants of up to £10,000 are available for young people between the ages of 17 and 24 years for projects that use digital technology to find innovative solutions to pressing environmental issues. This could be, for example, improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, or recycling. In addition to the funding, the programme will provide successful applicants with mentoring, work experience and insight sessions with industry professionals to help bring their ideas to life.
To be eligible, project must:
  • Have a designated project leader that is aged between 17 and 24 years. This programme is specifically aimed at young people and the project team must reflect this.
  • Have a positive and measurable environmental impact in areas such as energy efficiency or waste and recycling.
  • Use digital technology to solve an environmental issue, this could include, but is not limited to: Using digital skills and/or digital connectivity; the use of pre-existing technologies and digital platforms; using digital research and data management.
  • Be based within the UK; although it could have wider benefits.
  • Have realistic and achievable objectives within the available funding and timeframe.
  • Have sustainable values, considering the project’s impact on the environment and local community.
  • Not pay for team salaries, accommodation rent, social trips or any personal expenses that are not related to the project.
  • Not support or endorse political parties, religious organisations and extreme activist groups.
  • Not be part of an existing project or charity just requiring additional funding to continuing its existing work with no new elements.
  • Not require additional funding to complete the Environment Now project objectives.
The next deadline for shortlisting applications is 14 July 2017. There will be another cohort after this deadline.

For further information click here
Historical or heritage funding
Heritage Action Zone
The aim of a Heritage Action Zone is to achieve economic growth by using the historic environment as a catalyst. A Heritage Action Zone will provide a targeted response to the economic, social and environmental needs of a particular area. Through Heritage Action Zones, Historic England will work with local partners to deliver and implement a programme of support that best meets these local requirements.
To be considered for Heritage Action Zone status, an area needs to have significant historic interest, with the potential to make greater use of its heritage to support the social, economic and environmental needs of the place. Areas will be prioritised which deliver economic growth, with a particular focus in 2018 on housing. They encourage community engagement and cross-working across a broad range of partner organisations/groups.  
To apply for Heritage Action Zone status you will need to meet the following criteria:
  • The Heritage Action Zone should be delivered through a partnership, this could consist of public, private and third sector organisations;
  • The Heritage Action Zone should include at least one local authority partner;
  • The Heritage Action Zone should deliver opportunities for sustainable long term growth in historic places;
  • The Heritage Action Zone must be based around local heritage assets, either designated or undesignated;
  • The project should be capable of delivery within three to five years. 
  • The timetable for each individual project as well as the overall Heritage Action Zone programme; 
  • The delivery methods that will be used;
  • The key outputs and outcomes that will be delivered. 
For further information about Heritage Action Zones, or you would like to discuss potential ideas, then please contact your local Historic England office or click here.

Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF)
Sharing heritage

Grants of £3,000 to £10,000 are available to support any not-for-profit group wanting to explore, share and celebrate their community's heritage. Supportable activities include events, exhibitions, festivals, celebrations or producing local history publications.

Our heritage
Grants of £10,000 to £100,000 are available to support all types of heritage projects, for example smaller parks and green spaces, as well as activity projects exploring language cultures and memories.

Heritage grants
Grants of £100,000 to £5m are available for all types of heritage projects.

Heritage enterprise
The heritage enterprise programme aims to support community organisations to stimulate economic growth by rescuing neglected historic buildings and sites and returning them to use.

Grants of between £100,000 and £5 million are available and applicants must make a contribution to the project, which will include the cash value of the asset once the conservation deficit has been calculated.

Projects are expected to create sufficient revenue to provide a reasonable return and enough income for the ongoing and future maintenance and repair of the building.

For further information click here

Great Place Pilot Scheme Opens for England
The scheme will invest in 12 places across England, including four rural areas, to achieve the following:
  • Build on existing strengths within the local arts, culture and heritage sectors in order to maximise their positive cultural, social and economic contribution.
  • Build new partnerships to realise this contribution and lever resources into the sector to support that.
  • Develop these partnerships so that the contribution of the sector is recognised in and supported by long term plans and strategies for the area – for instance, the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan, or destination management plans.
Grants of between £500,000 and £1.5 million are available for activity to be delivered over a period of up to three years. Match funding of at least 10% is required. Applications must come from partnerships led by a not-for-profit organisation.

Partnerships include but are not limited to:

   - Arts organisations
   - Museums and libraries
   - Historic environment and natural heritage organisations
   - Community and voluntary groups
   - Social enterprises
   - Commercial businesses
   - Unitary, upper and lower tier local authorities
   - A combined authority with a devolved powers agreement
   - Parish councils
   - Local Enterprise Partnerships
   - Destination organisations
   - Further and higher education institutions
   - Public Health and Wellbeing Boards
   - Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS bodies
   - Other national strategic agencies
   - Other public sector organisations

The funding is for a range of activities that take place between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2020 in the 12 pilot areas.

For further information click here

Funding for housing
Isos My Community fund
Isos Housing wants to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of residents who live in areas where they have development, and make them more desirable places to live.

Helping the communities to become strong and sustainable is one of our top priorities. The fund can award grants from £50-£10,000 and covers seven community investment strategy themes:
  • setting up a new, or supporting an existing, social enterprise
  • tackling unemployment and under-employment
  • young people
  • community health provision
  • rural transport
  • digital exclusion
  • fuel poverty
Further information can be found in the attached applicant's guidance pack and application form or by contacting:

Sara Parker-Clark
Funding for young people
Northumberland Children’s Trust
Northumberland Children’s Trust is a registered charity which provides grant funding in furtherance of the education and training of children and young persons (up to age 21) in the Northumberland, Tyneside and Newcastle areas
Grants in the main are made to organisations whose activities broadly support the general education and training of children and young persons. Applications from individuals will, however, also be considered where appropriate
The Trust has a general discretion to award monies in accordance with its overall objects but will look to support funding applications where a lasting benefit will be provided to children and young persons in the relevant geographic area such as the purchase of sporting and recreational equipment, improvement works to physical assets as well as the medium term funding of the salary costs of community and youth workers 
For further information and to obtain an application form please contact

Funding for schools and education
PE and sport premium conditions of grant 2016 to 2017: local authorities and maintained schools
The primary PE and sport premium 2016 to 2017 will be paid by the Secretary of State for Education to the local authority. The authority will then distribute the premium to maintained schools in its area as stated in Section 14 of the Education Act 2002. In accordance with Section 16 of that Act, the Secretary of State lays down the following terms and conditions on which financial assistance is given in relation to the premium payable for the academic year 2016 to 2017.

The premium must be used to fund additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE and sport, for the benefit of primary-aged pupils, to encourage the development of healthy, active lifestyles.

Allocations for the academic year 2016 to 2017 are calculated using the number of pupils in years 1 to 6, as recorded in the January 2016 census, as follows:

  • schools with 17 or more pupils receive £8,000 plus £5 per pupil
  • schools with 16 or fewer pupils receive £500 per pupil

Where a schools’ pupils are not recorded by year group, pupils aged 5 to 10 are deemed eligible.

For further information click here

HEFCE Launch Phase 2 of Degree Apprenticeships Development Fund
The fund will support HEI providers in England in the development of new degree apprenticeships, and in turn supporting the Government's ambitions to enable a wider range of individuals to benefit from higher education through apprenticeships, to increase productivity.

The objectives of the fund are:

  • To create partnerships which will strengthen degree apprenticeship growth.
  • To create a stronger market for degree apprenticeships where there is evidence that demand is likely to be high but is not yet realised.
  • To establish high-quality new degree apprenticeships.
  • To establish capacity and expertise to deliver a high volume of degree apprenticeships; and to secure the necessary cultural and behavioural changes among HE providers to embed degree apprenticeships and make broader educational opportunities available to learners.

The second phase of funding is available to increase capability and capacity in higher education providers, resulting in the provision of an increased number of degree apprenticeships for delivery from September 2018.

HEFCE-funded higher education institutions and further education and sixth form colleges are eligible to apply.

A minimum of £50,000 and maximum £250,000 per proposal will be considered. Consortium bids that include a substantial contribution from more than one higher education institution may exceed the maximum funding if there is a particularly strong case. The upper funding limit for such consortium bids is £500,000.

The deadline for the submission of bids is 6 June 2017 (noon).

For further information click here




External funding for sport
The Rowing Foundation - Two More Rounds for 2017
The Rowing Foundation aims to promote the participation in rowing of young people (those under 18 or still in full time education) and the disabled of all ages.

The Foundation prioritises participation in rowing by the young or disabled through the provision of equipment, such as boats, sculls, ergos, oars and essential safety equipment.

Grants of between £500 and £3,000 are available, for up to 50% of the overall cost of the project, to initiate projects. Organisations must demonstrate their ability to complete the project. Coaching, revenue or any commitments requiring long-term support are rarely approved, as are contributions towards general funds.

The Foundation prefers to fund groups whose requirements may be too small or who may be otherwise ineligible for an approach to the National Lottery or other similar sources of funds.

The deadlines for applications are 12 June 2017 and 6 November 2017.

For further information click here

Innovation in Cycling and Walking SBRI Competition Open
The Innovation in Cycling and Walking SBRI Competition will fund up to £470,000 for innovative projects that lead to more walking and cycling by tackling current barriers and encouraging more journey stages to be made by bicycle or on foot. Innovations may include, for example, technology, infrastructure, manufacturing or behavioural change interventions.

The government's vision is for cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys and it is estimated that cycling's contribution to the UK economy is around £3 billion. The benefits of increasing rates of cycling and walking are substantial. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity and footfall. For society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and more vibrant, attractive places and communities.

Up to £170,000 is allocated for phase 1 of the competition and up to £300,000 for phase 2:
  • Phase 1 (proof of concept): projects should last up to 15 weeks and range in size up to a total cost of £25,000 each.
  • Phase 2 (demonstrator projects): projects should last up to nine months and range in size up to a total cost of £100,000 per project.
Through this open competition, the funder is looking to fund a portfolio of projects that propose innovative means of tackling the barriers to walking and cycling.

This competition is open to individuals, groups and organisations. It is particularly suitable for early stage, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Industry partners such as local government and independent organisations can carry out the project on their own or with others.

The deadline for registrations is 7 June 2017.

For further information click here

Funding for rural areas & businesses

RDPE Growth Programme

Grant funding is available for projects which create jobs and growth in the rural economy. 

You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.

There are 3 types of grant:

  • Business development

  • Food processing

  • Rural tourism infrastructure

The application process is competitive. This means they are not awarded automatically to an applicant. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will assess all expressions of interest to see which best meet the criteria.

There is a rigorous 2-part application process (starting with submitting an ‘expression of interest’) to tell RPA about the work you’re doing and how the grant could help you with it.

If RPA assesses that your expression of interest is suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.

For further information on this funding opportunity please click this link

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), which is part of the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF).

Northumberland grants portal

This page talks about funding news and searches. The service is free to individuals, community groups and businesses in Northumberland, but you need to register to view them.

Northumberland County 4 Community
GRANTfinder and Northumberland County 4 Community is a user-friendly, accurate and UK wide professional funding tool which has helped users to secure millions of pounds’ worth of support. It is an online, step-by-step process which enables you to identify and select funding schemes and awards that are appropriate to your project:
  • A convenient one-stop-shop of funding information.
  • Information source provided on over 8,000 funding schemes including grants, loans and awards from local, regional and national UK government, European funding, charitable trusts and corporate sponsors.
  • Content ranging from modest community funds at one end of the spectrum to major, multi-level European initiatives at the other.
  • Authoritative reference library of articles on topical funding issues (full subscription only).
  • Newsflash service sending approaching deadlines, news of launched funds and policy decisions direct to your inbox (full subscription only).
  • Information is presented jargon-free and in plain English.
  • Interactive Update Bulletin sent weekly and categorised by subject, keeping you up-to-date on areas of interest to you (full subscription only).
The site also contains access to useful self-help guides, including:
  • 10 steps to writing a constitution
  • a beginner’s guide to regeneration terminology
  • writing a fundraising strategy
  • writing a successful business plan
  • how to write a winning financial plan
You can access GRANTfinder by registering some basic details; Northumberland County Council hosts this service and pays a licence fee, but partners and community users can access the funding search service free of charge using the Council licence.

To register click here: GRANTnet webpage - Northumberland County 4 Community

Other free funding search websites and portals:
Grants Online Local Funding for Northumberland

For further information on Northumberland grants and funding searches, or if you wish to receive our funding bulletin by email, please contact:

David Baird
Tel: 01670 623888
You can view the latest funding eBulletin by following this link: Northumberland Funding eBulletin.
Northumberland Knowledge
If you are involved in writing funding applications, the Northumberland County Council InfoNet website can provide informative research and statistics. Relevant documents


Funding policy, strategy and news

The latest information on funding policies and strategies.

HLF changes
Heritage Lottery Fund Changes its Funding for Places of Worship in England

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has issued a statement that from September 2017 it will no longer be providing funding for places of worship through its Grants for Places of Worship programme. Instead, HLF funding will be provided through the existing Our Heritage (grants of up to £100,000) and Heritage Grants (up to £5 million) programmes.

According to HLF, the changes are as follows:
  • Introduction of a faster, single-stage application for grants up to £100,000, rather than the old two-stage process under Grants for Places of Worship.
  • Greater flexibility, allowing for a wider range of activities and capital works than under the current scheme, although projects that have a focus on much-needed repairs will still be welcomed.
  • 100% of works and activities can be funded with no requirement for partnership funding.
  • 50% of the grant will be paid up front which will help the applicant’s cash flow.
For larger schemes, more money will be available for individual places of worship. The Grants for Places of Worship awards were limited to £250,000 per application. Under Heritage Grants, applicants can apply for up to £5 million per application, and can receive help to develop their final proposals between the first and second rounds.

Places of worship have two more opportunities to submit applications to the Grants for Places of Worship scheme before it closes to new applications on 1 September 2017.

The remaining deadlines for new application are 15 May 2017 and 14 August 2017.
Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU)
As part of the Government’s decarbonisation strategy, a delivery unit to support local authorities exploring heat network opportunities was established in 2013. This innovative support unit, the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU), combines grant funding with guidance from a dedicated team of commercial and technical specialists with a wealth of experience in developing heat networks. All local authorities in England and Wales can apply for support and this document sets out the Unit’s offering to local authorities and provides all information a local authority would need to bid for this support in Round 7.

For further information click here
Community-led local development
Community-led local development is a tool for involving citizens at a local level in developing responses to social, environmental and economic challenges.

The approach requires time and effort but for relatively small financial investments it can have a marked impact on people’s lives.
  CLLD draft guidance 300113.pdf 610 KB (.pdf)
The UK incubator and accelerator landscape
This report describes the landscape of business incubators and accelerators in the UK, exploring the scale and distribution, both geographically and sectorally. Both accelerators and incubators aim to support young firms through the early and fragile stages of growth.

For further information click here
Social Enterprise - market trends 2017
The Social Enterprise: Market Trends 2017 report was commissioned jointly by the
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Business,
Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It offers a revised methodology which allows
identification of social enterprises in the UK small business population with greater
accuracy. Based on this methodology and a dedicated survey of a representative sample of
the UK small business population, this report provides estimates of the number of social
enterprises in the UK, describes the key characteristics of social enterprises and compares
these to those of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs in this report refers to
enterprises within the small business population that are neither traditional non-profits nor
social enterprises (see Chapter 4 for details).
The survey employed the approach, sampling strategy and telephone survey questionnaire used in the UK Small Business Survey (SBS) and included 1,300 business owners and managers as respondents.
This report is unique in being able to offer systematic comparisons of social enterprises with
SMEs based on the same sample, which is representative of the UK small business
population. The information on the number and characteristics of small business social
enterprises in the UK as well as the comparisons with SMEs will be useful to those wishing
to better understand social enterprises and how they are different, for instance, in order to
effectively target policy or offer support to social enterprises. Thus, this report aims to inform
social enterprise support organisations, social investors, government departments and other
key stakeholders about the key characteristics of social enterprises in the UK in 2017. It is
also intended to inform social enterprises themselves, and those in the wider voluntary and
community sector.
To be redirected to the report click here
Northumberland FLAG
The North of Tyne Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) is a recently established Community-Led Local Development Programme (CLLD) project funded by through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra). The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are the Intermediate Body for delivery of the programme on behalf of the EMFF and Northumberland County Council are the Lead Partner.
The programme was launched 16 March 2017 at the Old Low Light building at North Shields Fish Quay where the first FLAG board meeting took place and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected and board members enrolled.
There is £600k grant funding available throughout the FLAG area comprising of fourteen coastal settlements covering approximately sixty-five miles from North Shields to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Expressions of Interest are now being invited for the following priorities:
  • Development of small scale infrastructure at ports and harbours
  • Marketing, branding and processing
  • Training, retention, recruitment, diversification and Common Fisheries Policy reform
  • Collaborative and applied research between fishermen and scientists.
If you would like any further advice, information or an application form please contact the FLAG, Programme Officer, Simon Baxter, Tel: 01665 623919, Mob: 07825 121778, Email:

Northumberland Portas pilots

In 2011, Mary Portas was asked by the government to carry out a review of the problems faced by high streets and town centres.

The Portas Review was published in 2011, with recommendations of how to ‘kick start our high streets.’ In April 2012, local government minister Grant Shapps announced a £1.2 million high street innovation fund for 12 areas, with each area receiving funding of £100,000.
The funding programme is now closed to new applications

Round one
Newbiggin town team became one of the first 12 Portas pilots in May 2012. The team received £94,300 of Portas money, which was matched by £100,000 from the council.

With further funding secured from Newbiggin Town Council, Rio-Tinto and the Arts Council, the team has more than doubled the project budget to £248,300.

As well as funding, the team received packages of support from national government and local authorities.

The team’s tier one group have approved and delivered various activities including:
  • marketing and branding initiatives
  • festivals and events
  • shop improvement
  • the youth arts pilot
If you live or work in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and want to contribute to future developments, you can attend one of their tier two community meetings which are usually held quarterly.
Round two
In July 2012, Berwick’s town team, supported by Berwick Town Council, became one of a further 15 towns to win £100,000. It helped to regenerate the town’s high street, along with funds matched by Northumberland County Council for a further £100,000.
A number of activities have been funded to date, such as the Lowry exhibition, the establishment of a pop-up-shop (Serendipity) and new signs at Berwick’s railway station.

The town council is now leading on delivery of the Portas pilot (completion expected March 2016), supported by Northumberland County Council officers and the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Town team partners
In August 2012, MPs were invited to liaise with town teams who had been unsuccessful in the first two Portas rounds. They wanted to endorse them to come forward as a town team partner. These partners could access funding of £10,000 and a support package from the Association of Town Centre Management.

In October 2012, 326 partners were announced nationally, including:
  • Alnwick
  • Amble
  • Ashington
  • Morpeth
  • Blyth
  • Cramlington
  • Prudhoe
This scheme is no longer open for applications.

Northumberland County Council is the area’s accountable body for Portas funds.

For further information contact:

Tracey Armstrong
Tel: 01670 623873

North East rural growth network

This page gives information about the North East rural growth network.

What are rural growth networks?

The national Rural Growth Network has specific funding and expertise available for businesses located in rural locations, to help generate rural economic growth.

The North East Rural Growth Network is one of five regional growth networks across England, covering Northumberland, Durham and Gateshead.

Between 2012 and 2015 £15 million was allocated nationally from DEFRA to support Rural Growth Networks to deliver proposals aimed at helping rural areas overcome barriers to growth, such as poor infrastructure, scarcity of business premises and lack of business networks.

The North East Rural Growth Network delivered a programme of pilot initiatives between 2012-2015, which has been highly successful. With a funding allocation of £3.2m it has helped around 200 new businesses to establish themselves within rural areas; assisted more than 1,000 businesses with either financial support of business advice; created more than 100 new enterprise spaces at 13 business hub sites across the rural North East. 

Click here to find out about the current 2015-2020 programme and eligibility.
DEFRA evaluation report of the RGN Pilot initiative
Click the following link to read the DEFRA evaluation report of the Rural Growth Network (RGN) Pilot initiative May 2016: 


State aid & EU procurement

The term ‘state aid’ refers to a form of public-funded assistance used to support organisations or businesses. State aid rules have been designed to prevent the use of this support in ways that distort competition and free trade in the EU.

What is state aid?
The treaty on the functioning of the European Union defines state aid as any aid granted by a member state or through state resources which distorts, or threatens to distort, competition by favouring certain undertakings that could affect trade.

The commission has said that state aid can include:
  • grants direct subsidies
  • tax exemptions
  • preferential interest rates
  • loans, guarantees and provision of goods or services on preferential terms
  • indemnities against losses
  • contracts not open to competitive tendering
  • tax relief
Please note: this list is not exhaustive.

The rules restrict the support the public sector can give organisations that operate in a commercial or economic environment. They don’t apply to the whole sector, only where support could inhibit fair competition with other businesses.

Some aid is illegal under EU rules because it distorts competition in a way that is harmful to the EU. But where it is unavoidable, state aid can be given legally by using a set of approved EU mechanisms for state aid, such as:
  • compliance with de minimis regulation
  • compliance with a block exemption regulation
What counts as state aid?
Not all public funding is necessarily state aid. It is present when a scheme meets all the criteria listed in Article 107 of the treaty of the function of the European Union (TFEU).

If your answer to all four of these following questions is “yes,” your assistance is almost certainly state aid. If some of your answers are “no” then aid may not be present. If you are unsure, seek legal advice.

1. Is the assistance granted by the state or through state resources?
‘Granted by the state’ means by any public or private body controlled by the state (in the UK, this means national or local government). ‘State resources’ can include tax exemptions, lottery funding and EU structural funds over which the state has significant control.

2. Does the assistance give an advantage to one or more undertakings over others?
An ‘undertaking’ is any organisation engaged in economic activity. This is about activity rather than legal form, so non-profit organisations, charities and public bodies can all be undertakings, depending on their activities.

Support to an organisation engaged in a non-economic activity isn’t state aid, e.g. support to individuals through the social security system. This can also include operators and ‘middlemen’ if they benefit from funding ‘economic activity’ means putting goods or services on a market.

It is not necessary to make a profit to be engaged in economic activity. If others in the market offer the same goods or services, it is an economic activity.

An ‘advantage’ can take many forms. It’s not just a grant, loan or tax break but also the use of a state asset for free or less than market price. Essentially, it is something an undertaking could not get normally.

3. Does the assistance distort or have the potential to distort competition?
If the assistance strengthens the recipient relative to its competitors, then the answer is likely to be ‘yes.’ The ‘potential to distort competition’ does not have to be substantial or significant. It may include relatively small amounts of financial support and firms with a modest market share.

4. Does the assistance affect trade between member states?
The interpretation of this is broad, as it is enough that a product or service is tradable between member states, even if the recipient itself does not export to other EU markets.

Aid given illegally has far reaching consequences:
  • If the EU Commission investigate and find aid incompatible with the treaty, you will have to recover with interest, regardless of consequences or difficulty.
  • Even if aid is found to be compatible with the treaty (approvable), interest for the period it wasn’t notified may still have to be recovered.
  • If you get it wrong, it is those you want to help who will suffer the most.
  • A competitor could take you to court in the UK and seek damages. 
Guidance on state aids
De minimis
The de minimis regulation is a useful EU mechanism for state aid, based on the commission’s view that small amounts of aid are unlikely to distort competition.

The regulation allows small amounts of aid – less than €200,000 during three fiscal years – to be given for a wide range of purposes.

If you use this you don’t need to notify or get approval, but records of aid granted must be kept and all rules of the regulation must be followed.

State aid modernisation (SAM)
In May 2012, the European Commission set out an ambitious state aid reform programme. The modernisation has three main, closely linked objectives:
  • foster growth in a strengthened, dynamic and competitive internal market
  • focus enforcement on cases with the biggest impact on the internal market
  • streamlined rules and faster decisions
The European Commission has now adopted the long-awaited replacement for the 2008 general block exemption regulation (universally known as GBER).

New GBER and regional aid regulations
The purpose of regional state aid is to support economic development and employment. The regional aid guidelines set out the rules under which member states can grant aid to companies to support investments in new production facilities in advantaged regions of Europe or to extend/ modernise existing facilities.

State aids


Certain categories of state aid can only be granted within assisted areas that fulfill the conditions of Article 107(3)(a) of the TFEU. For the purpose of the new state aid regulations, the assisted areas map for Northumberland has been updated and can be found here.

The BIS state aid manual
The attached manual is intended to assist public sector officials understand the state aid rules, show how they apply in practice and explain that it’s not a substitute for the official documentation available from the EU Commission.

BIS state aid manual


European Commission - press releases on pertinent issues

For general information or guidance on state aids, please contact David Baird on 01670 623888.
Please note: we are unable to give specific advice on individual cases.

EU and UK public sector procurement regulations are changing

For further information please click here

For the council’s procurement webpage click here.

State aid awarded - notified scheme
The RGN - Local Growth Fund awarded to Northumberland County Council is a notified scheme. The following is a list of all those projects awarded GBER state aid within the notification period:  
Project name Amount of aid
State aid mechanism
The Sill; National Landscape Discovery Centre
GBER Article 53
The Thinford Development
GBER Article 56
Wansbeck Business Park - New Industrial Estate 186,934 GBER Article 56
Hownsgill Park Industrial Workshop Development 358,968 GBER Article 56

LEADER 2014-2020

LEADER is a 'bottom-up,' community-led approach to delivering rural and community economic development through the rural development programme for England, managed by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Northumberland LEADER 2014-2020 programme
General Information
There are six national LEADER priorities:
  • support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
  • boost rural tourism
  • increase farm productivity
  • increase forestry productivity
  • provide rural services
  • provide cultural and heritage activities
From early summer 2015, the LEADER programme will provide grants to rural small to medium enterprises, farmers, foresters and projects that create jobs and grow the rural economy.

70% of the available funding to local action groups will be used for measures designed to directly support the creation of jobs and economic growth and the remaining 30% to indirectly support this.

The main benefits of the LEADER approach are:
  • local people have a better knowledge of their areas and what’s available
  • they are able to organise local resources in a way that ‘top-down’ approaches cannot
  • it gives local people a greater sense of ownership and commitment to the projects
  • it helps develop trust and positive working relationships among locals
Local action groups (LAGs)
LAGs bring together individuals who, through agreed local development strategies, can tackle local priorities in specific, innovative and participative ways.

In this new programme, Northumberland has two LAGs: Northumberland coast and lowlands and Northumberland uplands. A third LAG, North Pennine Dales, covers parts of South Tynedale and rural Northumberland south of the A69.

Northumberland County Council acts as the accountable body for the first two programmes, while Durham County Council accounts for North Pennine Dales. The council is the host employer for staff, supports the groups and also provides administrative and management support to enable delivery of these programmes. 

Project applications
There will be two stages in the process: an outline application and a full application. These are assessed at both stages and only the strongest will be successful. 

LEADER programme officers will liaise with applicants to discuss their project and support them in developing an outline application. This will be considered by the groups to confirm eligibility and strategic fit with their local development strategy.

If successful at the first stage, the applicant will be invited to complete and submit a full application and supporting business case.

Full applications will undergo a technical appraisal by the accountable body, with each action group then making a decision on which projects they will fund based on the project’s eligibility within the LEADER programme and, additionally, value for money and the project fit with each group’s development strategy.
The timescale from application to approval and contracting is typically several months.

The 2014-2020 LEADER programme in Northumberland is not quite ready to receive funding applications yet but further information is available from:

Northumberland Coast and Lowlands LEADER
Ivan Hewitt
Tel: 01670 623927

Northumberland Uplands LEADER
Gillian Cowell
Tel: 01670 623885

Northumberland Uplands LEADER is currently looking for people to join the LAG who wish to share their skills, knowledge and experience in any of the above priority areas.

As a LAG member you will be actively involved in setting the strategic direction of the programme, monitoring activity against the local development scheme, managing the approval process of applications and procuring strategic projects. Attendance at monthly LAG meetings would be required.  

We are particularly interested in hearing from volunteers who have experience in farming, forestry and tourism – and also people who fall within the 18 to 30 age group.
If you are interested in being considered as a LAG member, please request more detailed information on the application process by emailing:
Northumberland coast and lowlands LEADER local action group 2015-2020
Northumberland Coast and Lowlands LEADER has recently been awarded £1.985m from Defra and the rural development programme for England.

This will support projects contributing to the rural economic growth within the coast and lowlands area of rural Northumberland, running from the Scottish border in the north, including Berwick, Alnwick and Morpeth, through to Stannington.

The aims of the Northumberland coast and lowlands LEADER local development strategy (LDS) are:
  • to support strong and sustainable rural economic growth throughout the Northumberland coast and lowlands area in ways which reflect the area’s local priorities
  • engage local people and businesses
  • build more resilient communities
  • conserve a high quality landscape and environment
Activity will be delivered against the local identified priorities of:
  • rural business farming
  • forestry rural tourism
  • culture and heritage rural services
Northumberland coast and lowlands LEADER is currently looking for people to join the local action group who wish to share their skills, knowledge and experience in any of the above areas.

There will be two levels of membership: group forum members and group executive members. Membership will comprise of a wide range of community, voluntary, public and private sector representatives.

This level of membership will act as a communication channel between communities and the group executive. An annual forum event will be held, giving members the opportunity to demonstrate the value of LEADER.

If you wish to become a forum member, please email your name, organisation (if appropriate) and contact address, including postcode, contact number and email address, to:

Applications to the forum can be accepted anytime.

Executive membership will allow representatives to be actively involved in setting the strategic direction of the programme, monitoring activity, managing the approval process of applications and procuring strategic projects. Attendance at monthly meetings is required.

If you’re interested in being considered as an executive member, please request more detailed information on the application process by emailing:

Please note that applications for the LAG executive are now closed.

Funding for sport & play

Information on funding for outdoor sport and play using section 106 housing developer contributions.

Funding for sport & play - general information
Section 106 agreements are sometimes entered into with housing developers to fund sport and play in some areas of Northumberland. The money collection method is based on current planning documentation from the former districts.

This documentation remains in place until the new local development framework is introduced. This means the amounts collected and the items/projects on which the money can be spent can vary.
S106 housing developer fund for sport, play & recreation
The council is keen to see the development and improvement of children's play and outdoor sports and recreation facilities. In most of Northumberland, S106 money is collected based on individual agreements for precise amounts for a specifically agreed purpose.

However, in certain areas of Northumberland (south east, former Tynedale and parts of the north), funds are collected and may be spent in specific geographical areas on a variety of sports, play and recreation projects.

Please note: the collection of money is due to change when the new community infrastruture levy is introduced during 2015/16.

What can be funded?
The funding is for items only for children's play areas or outdoor sports facilities, plus some indoor sports and recreation facilities in areas of the north. The funding is for new facilities or improvements to existing ones, for example:
  • new children's play areas
  • new sports pitches/areas
  • new equipment in an existing play area
  • upgrading of facilities for outdoor sports such as changing rooms
  • Specialised sports equipment, eg cricket roller
Projects must be within specified locations and be open to the general public.

Who can apply?
Projects must be located in specific geographical areas and applications can be made by not-for-profit organisations, such as:
  • community groups
  • residents' associations
  • sports clubs
  • schools
Individuals or businesses are not eligible for funding. Where a local sports club or school is looking to develop or improve facilities, it needs to include appropriate arrangements for wider community use.

How much funding is available?
The level of funding available will depend upon the amounts collected at the time and requests from other projects in the same area. This means funding can be limited and sometimes there will be no funding available.

How can I apply for funding? Applications will be considered by a cross officer panel, which will meet according to the timetable below, and which will make recommendations for approval (applications of more than £100k will be subject to a longer approval process).
Upcoming housing developer fund Panels 2017/18
Upcoming Housing Developer Fund Panels 2017-2018
Panel date meeting Deadline for receipt of applications  Result of application by:
Tuesday, 7th March 2017 Friday, 17nd February 2017 Friday, 24th March 2017
Tuesday, 6th June 2017 Friday, 19th May 2017 Friday, 23th June 2017
Tuesday, 5th September 2017 Friday, 18th August 2017 Friday, 22rd September 2017
Tuesday, 5th December 2017 Friday, 17th November 2017 Friday, 22rd December 2017
Tuesday, 6th March 2018 Friday, 16th February 2018 Friday, 23th March 2018
Funding for Sport and Play Useful Links
Funding for sport & play - contact us

School - clothing grants and vouchers

Information on obtaining clothing grants and vouchers.

Northumberland County Council is unable to provide financial assistance towards the purchase of school clothing. Schools offer services for families unable to buy uniforms all in one go by:

  • providing a long or short-term clothing loan
  • recycling essential items like blazers, ties and jumpers
  • helping with funding for struggling families
  • directing you to the nearest best value store
Contact your child’s school for more information.

Community chest scheme

Community chest schemes give local organisations a chance to bid for funding.

Our aim is to support voluntary and community groups and organisations to deliver activities which contribute to achieving the council’s ambition of maintaining and creating sustainable communities.

Community chest community grants 2017/18

Northumberland County Council is pleased to announce that the Community Chest Scheme 2017-18 is now OPEN for applications.

The aim of the Community Chest Scheme is to support community groups and organisations to deliver activities which contribute to achieving the Council’s ambition for Northumberland. In addition, a new small grant scheme, Help For You, has been included specifically to help young people under 18 to achieve an ambition (see below).

The fund will support one-off initiatives that are:
  • seen as valuable to the area
  • are not able to secure mainstream funding from the council or other sources
They do this by giving one-off grants of up to £5,000, but not exceeding 75% of the actual costs, i.e. you will need to find at least 25% from your own or other sources.

You are advised to read the guidelines carefully before applying. If you would like some ideas about the kinds of projects that have been successful, please see the list of successful projects for 2016-17.  To help the council decide between different applications, there are higher and lower priorities for the scheme.

Higher priority will be given to:
  • projects submitted by small community groups, defined as having an income of less than £10,000 per year and no paid staff
  • initiatives that will help community groups to become sustainable in the longer term
  • groups who have not received a grant from the community chest in the past
Lower priority will be given to groups who have received a community chest grant in the past two years and those that apply for projects similar to previous years.

If your group or organisation does not meet the priorities, then an application can still be made but is less likely to be successful.

    Deadline   Panel Meeting by
  Round 1   29th September   10th November
  Round 2*   12th January 2018   23rd February 2018

Please note: Due to unprecedented interest in the scheme within the North Northumberland Local Area Council area, the scheme was fully allocated in that area in Round 1 and the scheme in that area is now closed. It remains open for Help For You applications.

*Extended to Noon Monday 15th January due to our website being offline on Thursday 14th January. Apologies for the inconvenience this has caused.

If your project seeks to benefit the County as a whole, then it may be considered as a Countywide project, for which £60,000 per annum is set aside. Such projects are considered by a separate panel of Area Chairs that meets more regularly. Although the maximum grant remains 75% of the actual costs, the upper limit will not normally exceed £10,000.  

If you would like to apply to the fund, please click on the form and guidelines links below.  Please note: The online application is a Google form and applicants will automatically receive a copy of their application in PDF format. Once your project is finished you will be required to submit a completion form. You can also request a link to a bespoke google docs application form via the email below address below.

NB If you submit paper documents, please do not use staples.

Application form  Guidelines Sample completed application Completion form
Help For You
Grants of up to £200 are available for young people aged under 18 to support them in pursuing a particular ambition. A maximum of £2,000 has been ring-fenced for each LAC. Applications will be considered in two rounds following the timetable above. 

The grant panel will be looking for demonstrations of leadership, sporting excellence or other endeavour, which will inspire other young people or project a positive role model for others to follow.

For further information, please contact: 

Community Regeneration Team
Ecomony and Inclusion Policy Team
Planning and Economy Directorate
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF