Frequently asked questions for Large Community Projects

Your Fund Surrey update

In the last three years, Your Fund Surrey has supported over 80 community-led projects across the county, helping to transform neighbourhoods and make a difference to local residents.

Given the number of projects already in the pipeline, we encourage applicants to consider the value of their bid against the level of community benefit as well as demonstrating wider support including funding from other sources.

Please note that an application is not a guarantee of funding.

Can I apply to Your Fund Surrey (YFS) for new playground equipment?

Yes, but applicants should firstly ask their local borough or district council as they are responsible for play areas and would always retain responsibility and budget for maintenance, insurance and repair.

Can village halls, community halls, scout huts and sports facilities apply to Your Fund Surrey to renovate a building?

Your Fund Surrey supports projects that are community led and have a wider community benefit. Projects that are funded with public money need to show that they will benefit the whole of their local community, not just a part of it. We want to see that the proposed project extends the impact of the facility beyond its existing users to benefit the wider community.

It is important for a project to firstly demonstrate that it has identified and evidenced the needs of the wider community it serves. This can be achieved using a variety of methods including surveys.

The needs of the community must be represented in both the design of the premises and the activities it provides. This could include:

  • a community letting policy ensuring a percentage of the available hall hours are ring fenced to community or not for profit organisations at a reduced hire rate
  • the provision of activities that are open access
  • design elements which would ensure the widest access to all age groups.

As part of your full submission, you may be asked to provide a usage plan on how you intend to fill the spaces of your building to the community. You will need to research the need in your local area and contact potential users. Evidence will need to be provided (e.g. letters of support from the groups) to show the need for the facilities.

For further guidance please read Village Halls and Community Centres from The Charity Commission (GOV.UK).

What do you mean by community led projects?

Community led projects are projects developed as part of a collective, community process. From the idea development stage of the Your Fund Surrey process, the community should be engaged and involved with the project.

Part of the full submission assessment includes looking at whether projects have undertaken and evidenced adequate engagement to corroborate who will benefit, and how. It also includes whether the project has assessed the broadness of groups benefitting and/or any specific underrepresented groups in the community.

If we receive YFS funding, can we sell the property in the future?

Depending on the amount of funding invested, SCC may impose conditions such as a restriction on title to ensure continued community use into the future and/or to prevent sale within a specified time period.

Should we include energy efficient measures to our project even if the value requested to YFS increases?

It is important that projects show that they will encourage sustainable practices and activity, and that they won't have a long term, negative impact on the environment. The Council has committed that the county will be net zero carbon by 2050. Projects will be assessed on whether the environmental impact has been considered in the following key areas:

  • In construction (new build and refurbishment)
  • In building use (i.e. ensuring efficient use of energy and water)
  • Sustainability considered over project lifecycle and sustainable practices proposed/demonstrated?
  • Any environmental enhancements (to the site or wider than the site) or innovation?
  • Has the applicant considered any potential negative impacts, and have they considered how to address?

New build projects will need to ensure that they have the lowest level of impact on the environment and do not conflict with Surrey County Councils policies on becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Some examples of sustainable measures are:

  • Solar PV panels
  • Air or ground source heat pumps
  • LED lighting
  • Recycled, low carbon building materials including wood, recycled concrete etc
  • Bike racks/Electric charging points

Some examples of non-sustainable elements of a project that would not be considered are:

  • Fossil fuel heating systems (ie gas, oil boilers)
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Single glazing

You can read more information on Greener Futures Climate Change Strategy.

If you have any questions on how to make your project more sustainable then please contact the team by emailing

Does other funding need to be secured before I submit my full submission?

We encourage and support bidders to explore other pots of funding that could compliment this Fund. Details of other funds are available on the Funding webpage and the Get Grants website is also useful. Other secured funding must be evidenced as part of your Full Submission and included in your income. All other funding must be secured before requesting funding from SCC.

Our project costs keep rising, what should I do to make sure this is reflected in my application?

We appreciate that there will be a rise in costs for construction and materials due to the current economic climate. To ensure this is considered when costing the overall value of a project, we ask all applicants to include a contingency of up to 10%. Your total value requested for Your Fund Surrey should include the contingency value and be clearly shown in the accompanying financial breakdown template in your full submission. If funding is agreed, contingency would only be paid if there is evidenced need.

Can I apply for County Councillors Community Allocation previously known as Members Community Allocation (MCA) funding as well as YFS funding for the same project?

Applications shouldn't apply to more than one Surrey CC community fund for the same project.

What is the difference between the two Your Fund Surrey funding streams?

Your Fund Surrey small community projects is for simple, one-off capital projects or purchases under £50,000. Your Fund Surrey large community projects is for all other projects.

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 with getting prepared for Stage 3 of the Your Fund Surrey application process, which is submitting your application. See supporting documents below. You may not need to complete all documents. You will be advised which supporting documentation you need to provide based on the value of your application and its complexity.

Go to our Guidance and support page to find out which other documents and templates you will need to use.

How much can I bid for?

The minimum bid is £10,000. There is no official upper limit, however the project must demonstrate value for money for public funds. We recommend fundraising and seeking other funding as it helps demonstrate deliverability and support from wider community and other organisations.

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.

Are there lots of forms to fill out?

Our aim is to keep the application process as simple as we can. You will be asked to fill out an Idea Submission form, providing us with details 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 amount of supporting documents will vary depending on the type of project and amount of funding requested.

Go to our Guidance and Support page to find out which other documents and templates you will need to use.

If you have any questions, you can arrange a 1-2-1 with a member of the team by emailing

How can the council afford to fund these large projects?

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

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.

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

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 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. You can find out who your local county councillor is by visiting our Find Councillor webpage.
  • Contact your local voluntary organisation as they can help you identify suitable grants, apply for grants and offer advice and assistance. You can do this by visiting our Surrey Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) webpage.
  • Check out the SCC Social Value Market Place website to see space or resources from SCC suppliers and/or post your own request(s) for assistance. Contact organisations if you can help or want to claim an offer. Contact organisations if you can help or want to claim an offer.
  • Visit the Goodstead website which 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 by emailing

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 felt it would strengthen your project or help it to be delivered, we encourage and support bidders to explore other pots of funding that could compliment this Fund. Visit our Funding webpage to see details of other funds 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.

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. Find out more about pothole repairs and improvements and how to report a pothole via our potholes web page.

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.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

You can email the Your Fund Surrey team at this address or you can call them on 01737 737420.

The Your Fund Surrey Support team also offer weekly Q&A sessions. Look for updates on these sessions by visiting our Your Fund Surrey events webpage.

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.

Full submission will require evidence of consultation with the community and support from the community. This could be letters of support, survey responses, social media responses etc.

The National Lottery have produced a short YouTube video below that we think fits well with YFS and helps to explain ethos behind incorporating the whole community in a project. You can watch the video on our Criteria for Large Community Projects webpage.

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

The Commonplace map is an optional way to demonstrate community engagement. However, other methods of evidencing community support should also be included alongside this. If you choose to add your project to the map, we recommend signposting members of your community to the Commonplace project pin when carrying out other forms of community engagement. 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.

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

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?

If my project is unsuccessful, can I apply again?

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/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 email if you have any issues.

I am a member of a faith group, 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. YFS funding cannot be used to earn profit that is paid to employees or dividends.

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.

Please take a look at the Social Value Marketplace webpages for further information.

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 on the online portal by visiting our Your Fund Surrey application portal. You do not need to go through Commonplace to do this.

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. For example, if an application was made for new cricket nets 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 would need to show this additional benefit include renovations or extensions to village halls and Scouts and Girl Guides facilities.

For guidance on village halls and community centres visit the GOV.UK Village halls and community centres webpage.

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 YFS 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?

Yes, but the amount of funding provided will reflect the length of lease. Please speak to Your Fund Surrey Team for advice as guidance will be bespoke for each project and depend on the value of funding requested as well as what the project is.

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.

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.

What is Capital Funding?

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

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.

Can YFS funds be used to purchase land and/or property?

Unfortunately, YFS funds cannot be used to purchase land and/or property.

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.
  • Funding for a project that serves both the school and the community would have to be match funded and could not be 100% funded by YFS.

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