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Community Improvements Fund - Leader's Initiative

"I believe we at Surrey County Council can help communities come together so they can flourish. We are introducing the Community Improvements Fund to give local groups the chance to improve their areas, make a real difference to people's lives and strengthen the ability of residents to independently enhance where they live." David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council.

About the Fund

The Community Improvements Fund has been set up to support local community-based initiatives, which make a real difference to people's lives. Bids to this fund can be submitted for requests between £10,000 up to a maximum of £30,000. The funding is intended primarily to cover capital costs linked to community infrastructure projects.

In certain circumstances limited revenue support of a one-off nature may also be available under this fund to assist in establishing or placing an initiative on a sustainable footing. Such revenue requests would be considered as part of the wider funding application submitted.

All bids are assessed by a Community Improvements Member Panel against the set criteria, before recommendations are made to the Leader for decision.  Successful bids will be required to provide evidence of spend and show how the project has met its intended outcomes.

Applying to the Fund - 2014/15

The 2014/15 Community Improvements Fund has £500,000 available, and is open to applicants from 6 May 2014 until 25 July 2014.  Attached at the bottom of this page are the two documents which you will need to make an application to this fund - the Criteria and Guidance, and the Application Form.  The Criteria and Guidance clearly sets out how to apply to the fund, the relevant criteria and restrictions, and who to speak to about your application - this will depend on which area of the County you are applying from. 

Key Criteria

The project must meet each of the specific criteria below to be eligible to apply to the fund (more detailed information on the criteria and restrictions can be found in the attachments at the foot of the webpage):

  • Improving community facilities;
  • Wider community benefit;
  • Making a real difference to people's lives;
  • Encouraging communities to take greater responsibility for local issues and encourage people to work together.

Key Dates

The key dates for the 2014/15 round of funding are set out below. Any additional funding rounds will be subject to funds being available:

  • 6 May 2014 - Fund open to applicants
  • 25 July 2014 - Closing date to applicants
  • 6 October 2014 - Leader's Decision Making Meeting (changed from 8 October 2014)

Supporting Information

The bids will be assessed according to the information that is included in the application form. The only additional information that may be helpful to attach are quotes and a statement of accounts, which will not be able to be inserted into the text fields in the document. If these are not submitted with the application, they may be requested if the application is successful. Additionally, if you think your application would be enhanced by attaching a plan or a picture, please do so, as these will also not be able to be inserted into the text boxes.

Further Help and Advice

The attached Criteria and Guidance sets out the contact details for your local Community Partnership and Committee Officer, who would be happy to give you advice on your application, and also gives the links to the contact details for your local County Councillor who should also be consulted on your application.

If you have applied before, and would like to reapply, please use the application form attached below, as this has been updated from the last round. Key changes from previous rounds include:

  • a reduction to the upper limit of applications to £30,000;
  • applications requesting 100% of funding are unlikely to be supported;
  • the requirement to demonstrate the wider community benefit of the project;
  • the recommendation that all relevant permissions should be in place at point of application (there is a requirement that they will all be in place 12 months from date of decision);
  • the requirement that there is a minimum term of at least 5 years left on a lease (from date of decision), if the application relates to a project that is on leasehold property/land;
  • being able to demonstrate that the project is scalable, in case all of the funding requested is not available;
  • a word limit on sections of the application form to help ensure concise answers.

The application form, criteria and guidance and successful bids from previous rounds of the Community Improvements Fund from 2012/13 and 2013/14 are attached below.

Files available to download

Page information

  • Updated: 08 Apr 2013
  • Michelle Collins
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