East Coast Community Fund Criteria

The full eligibility criteria for the East Coast Community Fund is below. Please read it through carefully and ensure your project is eligible to be considered for grant support, BEFORE you apply.

We have some FAQs that will help answer any other questions you may have and a Useful Links page that can help you find other sources of funding, or more general funding advice, in your area.

If you would like to know more about how your application will be processed and how decisions will be made please click here.

Interest in the Fund is consistently high. Please give your project the best chance of success and apply when you are ‘grant ready’. Advice on being grant ready can be found in the FAQs.

Fund Overview

Each year, approximately £465,000 will be available. Up to £75,000 of this will be ring-fenced for a ‘Skills Fund’. The remaining monies (circa £390,000) will be split equally over two funding rounds each year.

The application deadlines are detailed on the previous page and the next one is on the right of this page. Late applications cannot be considered until the next funding round, usually every six months.

There are two levels of grants available, and groups can apply for both revenue and capital costs in the same application. For projects involving revenue costs, groups can apply for funding for up to two years. The levels of grants are as follows:

a) Small grants between £1,000 and £5,000
b) Main grants between £5,001 and £50,000

Organisations can only submit one application at an application deadline.

If you apply and are unsuccessful you can reapply, however, you must skip one application deadline before you can reapply, even if the application is for a different project. As the Fund has two application deadlines each year, that essentially means if you are declined, you can apply again around the same time the following year. The only exception are groups applying specifically for Nature Conservation projects who do not need to wait before they can reapply.

Successful groups must first fully complete their project, and then must also skip the next application deadline before another application can be considered, even if the application is for a different project. The only exception are groups applying specifically for Nature Conservation projects who can apply for a project at a different site whilst a previous project is ongoing, or for a project at a previously supported site as soon as that project is fully complete.
For clarity, a project is only considered as fully complete when the final grant payment has been made AND all required reporting has been completed.

Match Funding

Match funding is not required for Small grant applications.

Main grant applications will require a minimum of 20% match funding.

Please note that match funding will not need to have been secured prior to application. In-kind contributions can be used as match funding, and a formula within the application guidance notes shows how this can be calculated.

Project Location

All applications must be located on or within the Fund boundary as shown on the map here

Projects located outside the area are not eligible to apply unless they satisfy all the following three criteria:

1) The project is located in a town or village which is directly divided by the funding area boundary line;
2) The group can clearly evidence the project is needed as a local amenity that will directly benefit individuals within the bisected town or village (e.g. it is the only such provision in the bisected town or village and is providing an amenity for the residents of the bisected town or village);
3) The group has been expressly told by GrantScape in writing that the project meets the criteria and is eligible to apply. A copy of the written confirmation will be requested once you have submitted your application.

In these cases, you must contact GrantScape to discuss your application before applying or the application will be rejected.

Project Purpose

Grants will be available for:

  • Community buildings and facilities. For example: capital improvement works or measures to increase energy efficiency at village halls, community centres, museums, heritage centres and community cafes.
  • Community activities and services. For example: projects addressing health and wellbeing, social isolation, community cohesion, access to amenities, young and old people’s projects, and projects providing support for local clubs and groups.
  • Environmental and public open space projects. For example: projects involving parks, nature reserves, community growing schemes, and habitat/species conservation.
  • Sports, recreation and play. For example: playgrounds, skate parks, indoor climbing walls, sports equipment and sports field drainage projects.
Eligible Organisations

Eligible applicants include:

  • Voluntary and community groups, and charities
  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Local Authorities (if they working with community organisations on community-led projects).
  • Social Enterprises and Community Interest Companies operating on a non-profit-distributing basis. These are defined by Social Enterprise UK as ‘businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community’. Such organisations must have a minimum of three unrelated Directors.

Applicants are required to have a written constitution, a set of rules, or a governing document and a bank or building society account, held in the name of the organisation, in place before applying for a grant.


Grants will not be available for:

  • Commercial organisations
  • Any works that are a statutory duty (such as works to public highways), or that are the legal responsibility of others to fund
  • Projects that are religious in focus, or that support a party political campaign or cause, or may bring the Fund into disrepute
  • Projects located at religious buildings (unless the project is clearly for the benefit of the wider community, for example a church hall improvement project where the building is available to the general public)
  • Schools and educational establishments (unless the application comes from a separate body and the project is for wider community benefit). All applicants with projects located on school grounds should contact GrantScape before applying to ensure your project meets the criteria.
  • Private membership-based sports clubs and facilities (unless membership is open to the general public without undue restriction which includes restrictive fees and charges, i.e. not membership by nomination organisations)
  • Sports kits and club uniforms
  • Projects that only benefit individuals
  • Retrospective funding (i.e. funding can only be requested for works that will begin / expenditure that will be incurred AFTER our funding decision has been made and a formal grant Contract issued)
  • Public conveniences and public car parks
  • Allotments
  • Festivals, carnivals, music festivals, theatre productions, fairs, fetes, arts festivals, firework displays, parades, day trips, overseas travel and other similar one-off events
  • Memorials, statues, sculptures and other pieces of public art
  • Land and building purchase
  • Stand-alone feasibility studies, project development costs (including planning costs) and neighbourhood and community plans
  • Costs associated with ‘Asset Transfers’ from Local Authorities (i.e. legal costs, feasibility costs etc.). However, once the Asset has been transferred, the group responsible for the amenity is eligible to apply for a grant from the Fund.
Judging Criteria

The criteria used when assessing applications received will be:

  • The level of community support for, and involvement in, the project. This must be clearly evidenced in the application and groups, particularly those with a base outside of the funding area, may be asked to provide relevant letters of support.
  • The local community benefit which will result from the project
  • The environmental benefit which will result from the project and how any negative environmental impact has been mitigated – is the project ‘Inspired by Green’?
  • How the work will be continued after the project has been completed, i.e. its sustainability and legacy
  • The ability of the applicant to deliver the project
  • Value for money

If, after reading the above, you are confident that your project meets the criteria, please click Next, below: