Member Grants enable Members to provide grants to a wide variety of community and voluntary organisations within Charnwood to further the Council’s aims and actively assist the community to enjoy a better quality of life.

Member Grants enable Councillors to provide grants to a wide variety of community and voluntary organisations within Charnwood to further the Council’s aims and actively assist the community to enjoy a better quality of life.

Each Borough Councillor has been allocated a budget of £500 which can be used to support projects that bring benefits to their ward. It is the responsibility of each individual Councillor to recommend how their grants budget is allocated.

This guidance includes information on the following:

  • Organisation eligibility
  • Project eligibility
  • How much organisations can apply for
  • The application process
  • Conditions of the grant
  • General guidance
  • Further information

Organisation eligibility

Organisations operating in Charnwood and working with local people may apply. They must:

  • Have a constitution / set of rules / articles of association
  • Have a group bank account with more than one signatory
  • Be 'not for profit'

Examples of eligible organisations include:

  • Community Groups
  • Charities
  • Uniformed Groups (e.g. Scouts / Guides / Cubs / Brownies)
  • Residents’ associations
  • PFA/PTA groups (if they can demonstrate a wide community benefit and not for national curricula activities / items)
  • Faith groups (if they can demonstrate a wide community benefit)

In addition, organisations must:

  • Be inclusive and allow access to, or use/participation by, the general public. Membership should not be refused on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, and occupation, religious, political or other beliefs. An organisation which supports individuals based on a protected characteristic should demonstrate they are inclusive on all other grounds
  • Be able to provide their two most recent bank statements
  • Be able to provide a safeguarding policy if working with children / adults at risk
  • Comply with the Prevent Duty requirements. The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 places a duty on certain bodies to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ in the exercise of their functions. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance)
  • Comply with Government guidance regarding Covid-19 https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The following organisations cannot apply for a Member Grant:

  • Private/commercial sector organisations.
  • Individuals
  • Political organisations
  • Statutory bodies including Town/Parish Councils
  • Schools/Universities (excluding PFA/PTA groups)

Project eligibility

The Council have identified a number of aims and objectives set out in the Council’s Corporate Plan. Applications should fulfil at least one of these aims:

  • Caring for the environment
  • Healthy Communities
  • A thriving economy

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Covid-19 recovery costs e.g. PPE, screens, sanitiser, cleaning.
  • Provision of equipment e.g. IT equipment, craft materials, furniture
  • Funding towards costs of community events/activities – e.g. community fun day, tree planting day, grassroots sports clubs, trips, summer fete
  • Funding towards specific projects – e.g. school holiday youth project, playscheme, coffee morning, gardening group projects

Examples of ineligible include:

  • Funding towards running core costs – e.g. rent, utilities, ongoing salaries (project specific sessional worker costs can be funded)
  • Retrospective funding for projects which have already taken place or items purchased.
  • Any form of gambling (except small fundraising activities e.g. raffle, tombola etc.)
  • Projects which promote a religious belief or party-political activities
  • Exclusively religious activity.

Examples of Member grants awarded last year can be seen at www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/member_grants.

Please ensure you have Landlord consent before submitting an application, for projects/activities taking place on their land, or for modifications to public spaces or facilities.  E.g. if your project will be taking place on land belonging to Leicestershire County Council, landlord consent will be needed and a formal arrangement will need to be in place for ongoing maintenance (if applicable).

How much organisations can apply for

  • Councillors can spend their allocated amount of £500 on one project, divide it over two projects, and can combine it with funding from another councillor.
  • An organisation can apply to more than one councillor in their ward or councillors in other wards if their project supports communities in more than one ward.
  • The minimum an organisation can apply for is £250 from each councillor, and the maximum is £500 from each councillor.
  • If the total project cost is more than the applicant is applying for, they must provide details of other sources of income, including grants, fundraising and membership subs etc, that will be used to cover the full project cost.
  • An organisation can submit more than one application in a financial year but the application must not relate to the same project/scheme.

Application process

Organisations wishing to apply will need to complete an application form and provide documentation to evidence eligibility. The process is as follows:

  1. Organisations can check they are eligible to apply and that their project is something that can be funded by completing the Eligibility Checklist found on the website.
  2. Organisations should make sure that the relevant councillor(s) still have funding available.  Details of spend to date can be found on our website: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/member_grants
  3. If funding is available, organisations should discuss their project with their local councillor before applying. Councillor contact details can be found on our website: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/councillors/all  
  4. All applications must be received by the Grants Team by Midnight on Sunday 28th February 2020.
  5. The councillor(s) will then make a recommendation to support the application either in full, partially or to reject the application.  Reasons for the decision should be clearly stated on a reply e-mail.  The e-mail should be sent back to the Grants team within 10 working days of receipt.
  6. If the councillor is a member of the organisation applying, or there is a conflict of interest, a decision may need to be made by the Cabinet Lead Member.  This may cause a delay in the communication of the decision, and the Grants Team will keep organisations and councillors updated as to when a decision letter will be sent out.
  7. The organisation will need to complete an application form and submit this, with all the required additional documentation, to the Grants Team.  If an organisation is applying to more than one councillor, they must state clearly on the application which ward councillors have been approached.
  8. The Grants team will check the eligibility of the organisation and review the application for completeness before sending the application by e-mail to the relevant councillor/s.
  9. The Grants team will indicate where a project does not meet the eligibility criteria
  10. If Members choose to make an award where a project or organisation is not eligible, the Lead Member for Neighbourhood Services will be asked to make the final decision
  11. Organisations will be notified of the outcome of the application within a maximum of 28 days from the date on which a complete application (including all required additional documentation) is received (except if the decision is to be made by the Cabinet Lead Member – see above). If an application is only partially approved or refused then the reasons for this will be given to the applicant.
  12. Grants awarded by individual Councillors will be published online on the Council website: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/member_grants
  13. The Grants team will arrange a payment to successful organisations. Grant payment terms will be on a grant by grant basis, depending on the nature of the organisation/project and level of grant awarded.  Payment may be made in stages, and copy invoices, or proof of project expenditure may be requested. 
  14. An End of Grant Report form will be sent out to all successful applicants, and this must be completed and sent back to the Grants team at the end of the project or financial year, along with copies of receipts/invoices, and photographs or feedback from the project if required. 

Conditions of the grant

The following conditions apply to all approved projects:

  • Any changes to the project or activity for which the funding was originally granted will require further approval.  If there are any changes the organisation should contact our Grants Team who will seek approval from relevant councillor(s).
  • The Charnwood Borough Council logo must be included on all publicity material relating to the project or activity. 
  • The grant must be spent within 12 months of receiving it. Should this say by March 31, 2021.

If an organisation does not comply with the conditions attached to a grant or does not use it for the purposes for which it was awarded the Council may seek to reclaim some or the entire grant awarded.

General guidance

Councillors must act in accordance with the Nolan Principles of public life when expending their budget. The Nolan Principles are:

  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

Councillors will be asked to declare any private and personal interest in an application. Under these circumstances the application will be discussed and approved at a Cabinet Lead Member decision meeting.

Councillors are responsible for ensuring their local groups and organisations are aware of the funding available through the Member Grants scheme, and may wish to approach organisations to encourage them to apply.

Councillors should not agree to fund any project until the organisation has completed an application and it has been reviewed by the Grants team.

All grants awards will be published on our website to meet our obligations under the Local Government Transparency Code.

In addition to the new eligibility checklist you might want to consider the following when deciding about an application:

  • Does the project fulfil the Council’s aims and objectives listed in the application?
  • Has the applicant identified evidence of need or demand for the project?
  • Does the project demonstrate value for money?
  • Are the identified costs for the project reasonable?
  • Has the applicant identified other sources of funding if the total cost of the project is higher than the amount being requested?
  • Is the project inclusive for everyone regardless of their background and protected characteristics?
  • If funding requested is for a building – who owns the building, and what tenure arrangements are there?
  • Does the applicant have landlord consent, and are there arrangements for ongoing maintenance if relating to a facility/public space?
  • Do you have any private/personal interests to declare?

Further information

Applications will be reviewed by the Grants team to determine eligibility. Officers may provide further information to be considered by Councillors or discussed with applicants when they are making their decision.

If you are unsure about any element of the application process you can contact the Grants team via telephone on 01509 634730, or email: membergrants@charnwood.gov.uk.

Last updated: Thu 24th September, 2020 @ 13:02