Grants & funding

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

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

The Corporate Programmes and External Funding team produce a regular Funding Bulletin that 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 link to take you directly to the funder’s website, where you can learn more about the fund and print off any information you require.

You can access the latest and other recent editions by clicking below:

Latest Funding 'e'Bulletin:

Previous issues:



To be added to the distribution list, please email: david.baird@northumberland.gov.uk or telephone 01670 623888.

For NCC staff whose function involves searching for funding to support or develop Council provision, we could 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. Recipients must have a valid NCC email address.

The availability of full licences are restricted by number and by service, so if your service already has a licence you may have to share. To ask about a licence, please email: david.baird@northumberland.gov.uk    

 

If you’re a community group, business or funder and you wish to promote a funding opportunity or related funding activity, please email: david.baird@northumberland.gov.uk.

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.

ECO Help to Heat statement of intent for flexible eligibility

A consortium of Local authorities led by Northumberland County Council intends to work closely with energy companies, installers and customers to maximise the input of Flexible Eligibility ECO on fuel poor households.
Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Regulations 2017 - 2018 (ECO2t) local authorities can set their own criteria for eligibility for funding for domestic energy efficiency measures. This funding is aimed at those within a local authority most likely to be in fuel poverty. Energy companies can spend up to a maximum of 10% of their full obligation within these criteria.
This statement takes into account NICE recommendations on how to reduce the risk of death and ill health associated with living in a cold home. NICE guideline [NG6] Published date: March 2015 https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng6  
The aim is to help meet a range of public health and other goals. These include:
  • Reducing preventable excess winter death rates.
  • Improving health and wellbeing among vulnerable groups.
  • Reducing pressure on health and social care services.
  • Reducing 'fuel poverty' and the risk of fuel debt or being disconnected from gas and electricity supplies (including self-disconnection).
  • Improving the energy efficiency of homes.
Households are considered eligible for flexible eligibility ECO if they are at risk of living in fuel poverty (FP) or a low income household, with at least one household member vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home (LIVC). Flexible eligibility only applies to private tenure so a property must be privately owned or rented.

To be redirected to the full statement of intent, eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding please click here 
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
Email: info@arch-group.co.uk
 
Arch corporate strategy

Arch Corporate Strategy 2012 - 2015

Arch Business Plan
 
Contracts Finder lets you search for information about contracts with the government and its agencies which are worth more than £10,000.
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. 

 
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.
 
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.
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: info@riversloan.com. Rivers Capital Partners Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA no: 519469).
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 www.nea2f.co.uk/

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)
Carol.Johns-McLeod@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel. 01670 623875

Elaine Maylin
Senior Project Officer (ESF)
Elaine.Maylin@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel. 01670 623876
The following are just a few examples of the latest opportunities, there are many more in our eBulletin.

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 www.british-business-bank.co.uk, where you can also watch videos that explain their work.

Also see the banks invaluable Business Finance Guide

 

 

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation

The Foundation offers funding to 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

Government Launches New Fund to Increase Surplus Food Redistribution in England

The Food Waste Reduction Fund aims to help avoid surplus food produced by food businesses from becoming waste, by enabling not-for-profit organisations across England to redistribute more of this food to people in need.
Funding will be provided for projects to help overcome barriers to increasing redistribution. Projects could cover areas such as

  • Training for the people involved in supplying and distributing surplus food – on IT and food safety skills
  • Infrastructure such as packing and labelling facilities, freezer capacity or refrigerated vehicles to enable more types of food or larger quantities to be redistributed
  • Facilitation to form collaborative partnerships and help not-for-profits join up with appropriate partners
  • Communication and technology to facilitate logistics between donor and recipient organisations

Funding will be awarded with the aim of making a significant increase to the amount of food redistributed, as cost-effectively as possible. It is expected that grants will range from £20,000 to £75,000. WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is administering the fund on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 
There is a two-stage application process and the deadline for expressions of interest is 30 March 2018.
To be redirected to the funders website click here

EFF Measures of Common Interest

Assistance is available for individuals or organisations operating in the fisheries sector in England, with proposals for projects likely to be of collective benefit or interest. Such a project may be in the area of collective actions, pilot projects, assistance to fishing ports, the protection and development of aquatic flora and fauna or of new markets and promotional campaigns.
The overall objective of this scheme is to promote the competitiveness and profitability of the UK fisheries sector, within the context of sustainable development.  The main objectives are:
  • To support common actions that will contribute to improved management, sustainable exploitation of resources, improved hygiene standards and minimisation of environmental impacts;
  • To support investments in fisheries ports, infrastructure and services;
  • To provide conditions in which the fisheries industry is profitable in the long term, competitive in both global and local markets to the benefit of producers and consumers; and
  • To develop new markets and promotional campaigns including on quality and value enhancement for fisheries and aquaculture products.
These objectives for EFF Axis 3 comprise in England of a scheme for grant aid in the action areas of:
  • collective actions
  • pilot projects
  • fishing ports, landing sites and shelters
  • the protection and development of aquatic flora and fauna; and
  • new markets and promotional campaigns
For further information click here
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.

£4m Fund Launched to Tackle the Disability Employment Gap

The Work and Health Unit (WHU), which is jointly managed by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care, is providing a £4.2 million Challenge Fund to test new approaches that can help people experiencing mental health and/or musculoskeletal (MSK) issues stay in work.

WHU are looking to fund around twenty Initiatives which will improve their understanding of what works in one or more of the following areas:

  • Helping people stay in work by increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions.

  • Helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing given their wider needs and circumstances.

  • Developing new approaches to help employers and individuals develop workplace solutions, or ways of working that facilitate greater participation of people experiencing these conditions.

  • Improving systems by joining up services to strengthen communication, liaison or joint action.

It is hoped that the evidence gathered through the Challenge Fund will enable the WHU to develop and deliver policies that enable people with mental health and/or MSK conditions to stay in work, or reduce the incidence and average durations of long-term sickness absence from work.

Applications must be for at least £50,000 and are invited from local/public authorities, the private sector (including employers and service providers) and third sector organisations.

The deadline for applications is 17 August 2018.

For further information click here

Funding to Engage the Public in Health Research and Innovation (UK / International)

Commercial and not-for-profit organisations and individuals with creative, innovative ideas about how to deliver people-centred health research can apply for grants of £25,000 to £3 million for work lasting up to three years in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. Applications for work which promotes diversity and inclusion and engages people and communities who are affected by social and economic disadvantage are particularly encouraged. The next deadline to apply for a grant for under £250,000 to this Wellcome Foundation grant programme is 11 September 2018.

For further information click here

New Fund Launched to Tackle Loneliness

Charities and community groups in England can now apply for a share of close to £9 million aimed at tackling loneliness by building strong social connections and welcoming communities. The money is from the £11.5 million Building Connections Fund. Almost £9 million will be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, and will support projects already working to prevent or reduce loneliness to increase their impact. Grants of between £30,000 and £100,000 will be available for projects which reach out to people of all ages who feel lonely or isolated, and encourage them to take part in activities, helping them to feel more connected. This could include making the most of community spaces, improving access to transport, using digital technology, or joining up local services to have a bigger reach. The closing date for applications is the 24 August 2018.

For further information click here

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

Grants Available to Restore the UK’s Industrial Heritage 
Grants up to £20,000 are available for the restoration of important industrial buildings, structures, machinery, vehicles and vessels within the UK. Grants can be made to not-for-profit organisations such as trusts, charities and CICs and are for capital funding only. Applications will usually relate to a single, tangible structure or artefact and the grant is to be used as partnership funding, the applicant being in the process of or having already raised matching funding from their own resources, fund raising, or other grant award. The closing date for applications is the 31 March 2019.

For further information click here
 

£866m Investment in Local Housing Projects

The Government has announced that 133 council-led projects across the country will receive funding to support local work that will make housing developments viable and get homes built quicker.

This first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will help the development of up to 200,000 new homes by funding key local infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work, all essential ahead of building the homes.

The Housing Infrastructure Fund is divided into two streams:
  • A Marginal Viability Fund - available to all single and lower tier local authorities in England - to provide a piece of infrastructure funding to get additional sites allocated or existing sites unblocked quickly. Bids can be up to £10 million.
  • A Forward Fund - available to the uppermost tier of local authorities in England - for a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects. Bids can be up to £250 million.
The government will be progressing Forward Funding projects to go through to co-development with final funding announced from Autumn 2018.

 

Sutton Trust Summer School Programme Now Open for 2018

The Sutton Trust has re-opened its Summer Schools programme for applications. The Summer Schools programme provides students from non-privileged backgrounds with an opportunity to taste student life. During previous application rounds, the programme has provided an opportunity to over 1700 students to experience student life at the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial, King's College, Nottingham, St Andrews, and UCL. All expenses are met by the Trust and participating universities. To apply, applicants must be in Year 12 or equivalent and have always attended a state school or college. In addition, applicants need to come from neighbourhoods with low overall progression rates to higher education or high levels of socio economic deprivation. Applications for the 2018 programme are now open; students who meet the selection criteria may register an interest by completing the online survey via the link on the website. The application deadline is 17.00 on Thursday, 15 March 2018.
\to be redirected to the funders website click here


 
 

Grants Available to Support Effective Arts Based Learning in Primary Schools

Partnerships consisting of arts/cultural organisations and primary schools can apply for grants of up to £150,000 through the Paul Hamlyn Foundations Teacher Development Fund to support the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum. This can include crafts; creative writing, including poetry; dance; design; film; music; opera; photography; digital arts and media; theatre and drama; the visual arts; and cross-arts practices. The aim of the funding is to fund projects that help teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to deliver effective arts-based learning. Either a primary school or an arts/cultural organisation may be the lead applicant for this fund and the Foundation expect to make 5 grant awards in 2018. The closing date for applications is the 23 March 2018.
To be redirected to the funders website click here

Engineering Education Grant Scheme

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) have merged their educational grant programmes to focus grant making in 2018 on one of the Year of Engineering themes, 'Engineering Improves Lives’. Grants will be awarded at two levels; up to £5,000 for standard applications and four larger grants of up to £15,000. Schools and STEM organisations capable of developing and delivering UK-based educational activities that include IET or IMechE members in the project are eligible to apply. Applications from teams with diverse expertise, a range of skills and from a variety of sectors are particularly welcomed. The next deadline to apply is 6 April 2018 for projects taking place from 1 June 2018. 
To be redirected to the funders website click here

 


 

 

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

 

Rural Business Support Guide 2017

The aim of this guide is to help you access the information you need to grow your business. This is not designed to answer all of your questions, but to help sign post you, so you know where to look for further information about what might be suitable for your business.

Rural Business Support Guide 2017


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.

RDPE Growth Programme - NOW CLOSED

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

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
Funding is available to not-for-profit organisations, including charities, companies and community trusts, for projects in the areas of culture and the arts that make a real and ongoing difference to people’s lives in the UK. 
The Foundation believes that in order to maintain vibrancy in the arts, it is critical that the new generation of potential artists are nurtured and encouraged. Recognising that these are difficult economic times to get a start in artistic life, the Trustees are prioritising projects that enable people to develop their abilities and careers. Applications to fund projects that provide professional training, apprenticeships and work place experience in all areas of the arts, from stone masonry to stage electricians, will be welcomed. Funding is for projects that make a real and ongoing difference to people’s lives in the UK.
The Trustees state that for grant purposes:
  • Real means an appreciable and significant difference. For example, something that affects one person’s life to a great extent, possibly leading to a significantly improved probability that the person will be involved in the Arts on an ongoing basis (ie, by having a career in the Arts) and something that affects many people’s lives, (ie, through improved access to the Arts).
  • Difference implies that the funding award contributes to something that would not otherwise happen, without the making of such awards. This might (but need not necessarily) include the overcoming of special difficulties/obstacles.
  • Ongoing refers to something that is going to have a long-term benefit and an ongoing effect on people's lives, rather than 'an effect that is ephemeral'.
Priority will be given to projects that enable people to develop skills and careers in heritage and in all areas of the performing arts (music, dance and drama) but other areas will be considered.

For further information click here

Support for England's Artists and Creative Practitioners

Developing your Creative Practice is a fund provided by Arts Council England. The programme is designed to support independent creative practitioners to ensure excellence is thriving in England’s arts and culture sector.
The fund will create more pathways for individuals, from a range of creative practices and backgrounds. It will allow creative practitioners the time and space to undertake ambitious research and development, helping to make a step-change in their practice.
The Arts Council will invest £3.6 million per year through the programme. Individuals will have the opportunity to apply for between £2,000 and £10,000, to take a dedicated period of time to focus on their own creative development, and propel them to the next stage in their practice.
Applications are welcomed from practitioners who have identified a clear development opportunity. This could be a period of research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing future ideas, networking or mentoring.
Individual artists and/or creative practitioners in England may apply. The programme supports activities focused on a range of artforms and disciplines, including music; theatre; dance; visual arts; literature; combined arts; and museums practice. The term ‘creative practitioners’ includes dancers, choreographers, writers, translators, producers, publishers, editors, musicians, conductors, composers, actors, directors, designers, artists, craft makers, and curators.
Applicants must apply as an individual, or as a small group of practitioners who usually collaborate in their work. This could include, for example, artists who usually create work together, or writers and their translators.
Round two is currently open and the deadline for applications is 16 August 2018.

For further information click here
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.

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
Email: david.baird@northumberland.gov.uk
 
You can view the latest funding eBulletin by following this link: Northumberland Funding eBulletin.
If you are involved in writing funding applications, the Northumberland County Council InfoNet website can provide informative research and statistics. Relevant documents




 
The latest information on funding policies and strategies.

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.
 
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 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)
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
Government sets out proposals for the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
The Government has published its long-awaited Brexit strategy White Paper: The Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Described as 'a detailed proposal for a principled and practical Brexit', the aim of the White Paper is to explain how the UK Government’s proposed future relationship between the UK and the EU would work, what benefits it would deliver for both sides, and why it would respect the sovereignty of the UK as well as the autonomy of the EU.
The document sets out the Government's proposals along five main areas of focus: the economy; communities; the union; democracy; and the UK’s place in the world. Key points include the following:
  • Establishment of a free trade area for goods between the UK and EU, ensuring continued frictionless access at the border to each other’s markets. This would see the UK and the EU meet their shared commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland, and avoid the need for a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • A common rulebook for goods including agri-food, covering only those rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border – meaning that the UK would make an upfront choice to commit by treaty to ongoing harmonisation with the relevant EU rules.
  • Participation by the UK in EU agencies that provide authorisations for goods in highly regulated sectors – namely the European Chemicals Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the European Medicines Agency – accepting the rules of these agencies and contributing to their costs.
  • A new Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU as if they were a combined customs territory.
  • A new framework that 'respects the UK’s control of its borders' and enables UK and EU citizens to continue to travel to each other’s countries, and businesses and professionals to provide services.
  • A security partnership that includes maintaining existing operational capabilities that the UK and the EU deploy to protect their citizens’ security, and participation by the UK in key agencies, including Europol and Eurojust.
  • Establishing cooperative accords for science and innovation, culture and education, development and international action, defence research and development, and space, so that the UK and the EU can continue to work together in these areas, including through EU programmes, with the UK making an appropriate financial contribution.
The North of Tyne Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) is a recently established Community-Led Local Development (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) is the Intermediate Body for delivery of the programme and Northumberland County Council is 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 other board members enrolled.
 

The original £600k grant funding available to projects within the FLAG area which comprises of fourteen coastal settlements covering approximately sixty-five miles from North Shields to Berwick-upon-Tweed, has now been reduced with the approval of four projects with many more projects in development. Further information is available on the FLAG webpage.

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Partners/North-of-Tyne-Fisheries-Local-Action-Group.aspx

 
Expressions of Interest applications 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: simon.baxter@northumberland.gov.uk
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
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.
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.
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
Email: tracey.armstrong@northumberland.gov.uk
This page gives information about the North East rural growth network.

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  and are part of a national programme launched by the Government, aimed at stimulating economic growth in rural businesses and communities. 

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. 

 RGN Capital Grants - NOW CLOSED

 
Click the following link to read the DEFRA evaluation report of the Rural Growth Network (RGN) Pilot initiative May 2016: 

14275-Defra-RGN-Final-evaluation-Final-Report-19-May-2016-v3
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.

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
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. 
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

An-introduction-to-assisted-areas
bis-14-768-uk-assisted-areas-2014-2020-amended-23-may
bis-14-943-state-aid-general-block-exemption-guidance
New-GBER

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

BIS-15-148-state-aid-manual

European Commission - press releases on pertinent issues
IP-15-4889_EN
IP-16-1782_EN-1
IP-16-3141_EN


UK state aid and competition policy proposals post BREXIT

For general information 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.
 
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
1,000,000
GBER Article 53
The Thinford Development
223,881
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 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).

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.

Contacts
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
Email: ivan.hewitt@northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland Uplands LEADER
Gillian Cowell
Tel: 01670 623885
Email: gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk

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: gillian.cowell@northumberland.gov.uk
 
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: christine.stevenson@northumberland.gov.uk.

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: ivan.hewitt@northumberland.gov.uk

Please note that applications for the LAG executive are now closed.
Information on funding for outdoor sport and play using section 106 housing developer contributions.

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.
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.

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 for funding can be made by completing the S106 Housing Developer Fund Application Form. The application form and accompanying guidance notes and application completion supporting notes can be downloaded from the useful links section.
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 2018-2019
 
Panel date meeting Deadline for receipt of applications  Result of application by:
Tuesday, 5th June 2018 Friday, 18th May 2018 Friday, 22nd June 2018
Tuesday, 4th September 2018 Friday, 17th August 2018 Friday, 21st September 2018
Tuesday, 4th December 2018 Friday, 16th November 2018 Friday, 21st December 2018
Tuesday, 5th March 2019 Friday, 15th February 2019 Friday, 22nd March 2019
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 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.

Learn more about the scheme and how to apply here.