Your Fund Surrey frequently asked questions

How much can I bid for?

The minimum bid is £10,000 but there is no upper limit. We recommend fundraising and seeking other funding, as it helps demonstrate deliverability and support from wider community and other organisations.

I don't know how much my project might cost, does that matter?

Stage 1 of the Your Fund Surrey application process is pinning your idea on the Your Fund Surrey map on Commonplace. At this stage you don't need to know the specific amount your project might cost or how much funding you would be interested in. You will be asked for an indication of which range it might fit into, but this is not a commitment or something you are tied into.

Stage 2 of the Your Fund Surrey application process is submitting your idea submission. The minimum amount of funding is £10,000. We understand that you may not have clear and exact costings at this stage but ask that you give an indication of the amount you are applying for, greater detail about the exact amount will be required if you are invited to a full submission.

Is there a deadline to submit my application?

There isn't a deadline. We want to give everyone the opportunity to develop their ideas in whatever time they need to. We know for some they will already have well developed ideas but for others they may only be at the start of the process of developing their ideas.

That's why this first stage is an ideas development stage. We encourage you to think up an idea and then work with others in your community to build it into a project that will really benefit your community - even if you are not sure that this will be the idea you end up taking through to the ideas submission stage.

The fund is open for five years. Funds will be looked at on a rolling basis and so there is no need to rush a project.

I only need a few hundred pounds, can I apply?

The minimum amount of funding an organisation can apply for is £10,000. See information about many other, smaller funds and charity grants.

Is there any help available in developing my proposed project?

We want you to have ownership of your project, however there is support and guidance available:

  • We recommend sharing your idea within your local community to see what different skills and expertise people have and if there is anyone that can support or contribute to your project.
  • You could also contact your local County Councillor to get their advice or feedback on your idea.
  • Social Value Market Place - Browse specific, one-time requests for help from charities across Surrey. Find an opportunity to donate your time, space or resources.
  • Goodsted - Allows you to browse local community initiatives which need your help. Join their team to work collaboratively to help make good things happen.
  • Finally, you can contact the Your Fund Surrey Team who will be able to provide advice and guidance around developing your project idea, via yourfund@surreycc.gov.uk

How can the council afford to spend £100m?

This is part of Surrey County Council's Medium-Term Financial Strategy, announced in 2020/21, with a fully costed capital programme of well over £1bn over five years.

The £100m Your Fund Surrey allocation is designed to help empower communities to deliver big, place-changing projects that local areas need and will improve opportunities and quality of life for residents. This is particularly important as communities recover from the impact of COVID-19 over the coming years.

Are there any guidance documents available to help complete the application process?

Please take a look at the Ideas Submission Guidance Document (PDF) to help you with Stage 2 of the Your Fund Surrey application process.

The Full Submission Guidance Document (PDF) will help you get prepared for Stage 3 of the Your Fund Surrey application, which is submitting your application.

The following Supporting documents will need to be completed as part of you Full Submission application:

Can I upload supporting documents to Commonplace?

No. Commonplace is an opportunity for you to socialise ideas and one way to gain community support for your project. It is also a way of discovering other projects and ideas in your local area. At this stage, you do not need to upload supporting documents.

Supporting documents will only need to be uploaded once projects have been invited to Full Submission. At this stage, the supporting documents are uploaded via the application portal.

Are there lots of forms to fill out?

Our aim is to keep the application process as simple as we can. The Your Fund Surrey Commonplace Map only requires you to fill out a few simple overview questions.

You will be asked to fill out a formal initial Idea Submission, this will provide slightly more detail about you and your idea. If we think your idea has potential, we will invite you to provide some greater detail around how you might manage and look after your project.

The following Supporting documents will need to be completed as part of you Full Submission application:

The amount of supporting documents will vary depending on the type of project and amount of funding requested.

If you have any questions, you can arrange a 1-2-1 with a member of the team by emailing yourfund@surreycc.gov.uk

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

You can email the Your Fund Surrey Support team at this address yourfund@surreycc.gov.uk or call 01737 737420

How should I show the local support for my project?

Place your idea on the Your Fund Surrey Commonplace map where people can agree with your idea or submit another comment/pin with an alternative suggestion.

We also encourage you to use your own networks and social media to share your idea with a wider audience. We will help promote your proposals featured on the Your Fund Surrey Commonplace Have Your Say section on selected Surrey County Council social media channels that can help reach a wider Surrey audience. We would also encourage you to share any social media content using the hashtags #YourFundSurrey and #MakeItHappen.

The National Lottery have produced a short video that we think fits well with YFS and helps to explain ethos behind incorporating the whole community in a project: People in The Lead - YouTube

Can you use this money to fill potholes please?

This money has been ring fenced by Surrey County Council for creating innovative community led investments.

Filling potholes is a statutory requirement for the Surrey County Council, and is funded through the annual revenue budget. We allocate around £4.43m a year to fix more than 50,000 potholes and other road defects. You can report a pothole or damaged road online.

Do I have to use the Your Fund Surrey Commonplace map to show community support, or can this be demonstrated in other ways?

To provide a level platform for all applicants, we ask that the Commonplace map is used as the primary way to demonstrate community engagement. However, other methods of evidencing community support can also be included alongside this.

We recommend signposting members of your community to the Commonplace project pin when carrying out other forms of community engagement e.g. link to YFS Commonplace at the end of surveys. During the Ideas Submission stage there is an opportunity to detail any other community engagement activity undertaken for your project

If you are invited to a Full Submission, you will be asked to upload any of the evidence you have, such as survey results, letters of support or links to your social media pages/website. As part of your Full Submission, your project will be placed on a Commonplace page for feedback from the community (Have Your Say).

This will provide a platform to reach out to the local community and engage with them directly, allowing you to ask for specific feedback about your project. The page must be live for 4 weeks for people to comment. At the end of this time the YFS team will collate the responses as a report and provide to applicants. The responses will be reviewed as part of the scoring process.

Can we get 100% funding from YFS?

It's not compulsory to look for other funding as part of your project or required for a bid to be successful but it will help Your Fund Surrey support more projects and deliver more community benefits if alternative funding can be achieved. It also demonstrates support from other organisations, the community and diversifies your options.

As outlined above, Your Fund Surrey cannot support revenue costs, however if you feel it would strengthen your project or help it to be delivered, we would encourage and support bidders to explore other pots of funding that could compliment this Fund. Details of other funds are available that could sit alongside Your Fund Surrey funding

We'd also like to signpost you to the Get Grants website where you can identify other funding streams that may be able to support your project, alongside any potential funding from Your Fund Surrey.

I think I have a great idea, but I'm not confident it can be done – who should I speak to?

If you have an idea that you think could become a project to improve your local area you can speak to your local County Councillor who will be able to give you feedback on your idea and point you in the right direction of support and guidance to help develop it.

My idea is going to have ongoing running costs – can this still be delivered through Your Fund Surrey?

The Your Fund Surrey fund is for capital funding. Revenue funding costs, such as running and maintenance of your project cannot be covered by this fund.

As part of your project idea you could think about how any ongoing costs associated could be covered – is there something you could introduce that would generate revenue like a café for example? Or if it's part of an existing organisation or building (like a school or charity), would any additional running costs be able to be met through existing budgets?

What happens if my bid is unsuccessful?

We appreciate the challenges involved with seeking funding for your project and although organisations are welcome to re-apply, if unsuccessful at Stage 2 of the application (Idea submission), the new application has to be significantly different to be eligible.

If applications are unsuccessful at Stage 3 (Full Submissions) they cannot re-apply.

How do I remove or edit my idea?

We do not edit or remove ideas pinned on the map. Commonplace is used to share your idea with the community, it is ok if duplicated ideas show on the map.

Please contact yourfund@surreycc.gov.uk if you have any issues.

I am a member of a faith group, can I apply?

Yes, however your proposed idea would need to have a wider, secular community impact.

I am a business, can I apply?

Yes, however, we will assess each proposal as they come in and it will have to comply with legislation around The Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This will be established during Full Application stage, although the Your Fund Surrey team can advise.

You will be asked in the Full Application form to provide details of any grant funding your organisation has received over the last 3 years (including the amount of funding, reason for the funding and where you obtained said funding). We will then use this information to ensure no legislation is breached if you were to be awarded funding from Your Fund Surrey.

Projects will need to demonstrate that their idea would lead to new or extended impact on the community.

I don't have a big project idea, but I really want to get involved and help – how can I do this?

You should look on the Your Fund Surrey Commonplace map to see the ideas that have been put forward and are being developed in your area, and how you might be able to get involved.

Can anyone submit an Ideas Submission on the online portal, or do I need to be invited from Commonplace?

Anyone can submit an Ideas Submission application form on the online portal. You will be asked to provide your Commonplace URL (this can be found by going to your Your Fund Surrey pin on Commonplace and copying the web address) to show you have used the site.

Can YFS fund projects that maintain core equipment / facilities for my group?

Membership organisations with applications of this description would need to provide services that go beyond the immediate community and have measures to ensure it is accessible and inclusive.

YFS projects must be able to demonstrate that their idea would lead to new or extended positive impact to the community. An example of this would be new cricket nets for a sports club. A direct link would need to be shown as to how the new cricket nets would have an added benefit to the community.

Other projects that fit this description include renovations or extensions to village halls and Scouts and Girl Guides facilities.

For guidance on village halls and community centres, please see this GOV.UK webpage: Village halls and community centres (RS9)

How long is the YFS application process?

We aim to respond to all Ideas submissions within two weeks.

Once YFS have reviewed your Idea Submission and offered feedback, you may be invited to Full Submission. If you are invited to Full Submission, you will be required to submit a variety of supporting documents. Part of the Full Submission also includes a Have Your Say tile on the Commonplace website that is live for a minimum of 28 days.

It takes an average of 3-6 months from submission of full application to decision. However, this will strongly depend on the comprehensiveness of your application, amount of funding requested, and additional evidence needed following Full Submission.

Does my project need planning permission before I can apply?

Planning permission is not required for Stage 2 – Idea Submission, however it will be needed before we can accept a Stage 3 -Full Submission.

Please see the assessment criteria for Full Submissions. Criteria 1 and 2 cover 'deliverability' of the project. We are looking for projects to have funding and permissions in place to be able to commence delivery before the fund closes.

We have a 15 year lease – can we still get YFS funding?

This is bespoke guidance for each project and depends on the value of funding requested.

What do you mean by 'wider community benefit'?

Wider community benefit refers to the delivery of a projects benefits beyond the immediate community, group or organisation which has applied for funding.

Applicants are encouraged to implement measures to ensure the service it delivers are accessible and inclusive to all. This includes, where appropriate, taking measures to ensure the views and possible requirements of marginalised or underrepresented groups are considered.

What is Capital Funding?

Capital Funding is money to purchase or improve a building, equipment, infrastructure or software.

Can YFS funds be used to purchase land?

Applications to purchase land are considered on a case by case basis. Any purchase of land should be made for the community and would need to demonstrate that it delivers a wider community benefit.

Can Schools receive YFS funding?

Funding should not be received by SCC schools towards provision of the core curriculum nor in place of their statutory duties.

Examples of eligible expenditure might be:

  • Capital expenditure (i.e. contributions to significant building works or grounds work that improve the site).
  • Community focussed expenditure (i.e. Capital expenditure that allows the premises to be used by the wider community, or running after school activities not linked to the curriculum, such as breakfast or after school clubs or childcare, or sports facilities with significant community use).
  • Capital Expenditure on school improvement at a school where standards were giving cause for concern. In practice this would mean schools which were graded by OFSTED as inadequate (or repeatedly as requiring improvement) and/or considered by Surrey's advisers as at risk of being considered as inadequate. While improving standards is a core priority for all schools, it is acknowledged that some need additional support in this area.
  • Facilities which might be considered recreational and social training and educational or recreational leisure time activities.
  • Facilities intended to widen pupils' knowledge of careers or industry over and above that normally provided within school.