Financial support for your proposals

We've worked with Greenham Trust and are pleased to announce that we've established a Community Solutions Fund that you can bid for a grant from, to help you provide services in your local area. In total, there is £400,000 to support devolution.

Grants will be up to a maximum of £12,000 however; in exceptional circumstances this amount may be exceeded. There is also a small bids category for grants ranging from £500 to £1,000. This funding will be available until 2019/20.

This Fund is not for charities or organisations looking to subsidise revenue costs. Instead, this is an opportunity to establish new projects, or modify an existing project, to develop something that is capable of becoming self-sustaining.

Who is the fund for and what can it be used for?

You can apply for a grant from the Community Solutions Fund if you are:

  • a town or parish council
  • a group of people, voluntary or community organisation that is constituted or will become constituted

The Fund will support proposals that fall into one of three categories:

  1. Service Delegation - taking on services (road sign cleaning, grass cutting etc) from West Berkshire Council and delivering these with volunteers and other resources at a local level. 
  2. Transfer of Community Assets - transferal of West Berkshire Council owned assets (libraries, public toilets, community centres, open spaces, playgrounds etc) to town and parish councils or community groups, to be run and maintained.
  3. Responding to Community Need - you might have identified vulnerable groups that need support in your community, and need to find an effective solution to help these residents. This fund is about developing services, e.g. tackling social isolation of the elderly by establishing luncheon clubs, providing volunteer driver schemes to assist taking patients to doctor/hospital appointments or any other community-based practical help schemes. Proposals surrounding your community's response to future severe or adverse weather events will also be considered in this category. 

If you decide that the Community Solutions Fund isn't right for you, try listing your project on The Good Exchange - you can see more information in the 'What happens next?' section below.

Making an application

You'll need to apply using doc icon our funding application form [56kb]. We've provided the questions you'll need to answer in your application below.

Please note: you cannot save the form, so we encourage you to have your answers ready before beginning the form.

  1. How much funding are you applying for?
  2. Is this the total amount of funding you are applying for? If no, where are you proposing to seek additional funding from to support your proposal?
  3. What services or tasks are you looking to provide?
  4. Do you have any evidence of community support for your proposals?
  5. When is your anticipated start date?
  6. How will you ensure that the services or tasks are sustainable?
  7. Please breakdown how you expect to spend the funding
  8. Please confirm that you have public liability insurance

Your bid should show how strong co-operation and joint working with West Berkshire Council and other partners will work.

Your locally elected district Councillor should be involved and play a key role in endorsing your proposal.

Applications are evaluated against the following criteria to ensure that they: 

  • fall within one of the three categories eligible for funding (see above)
  • show evidence of community support for this services or tasks
  • provide adequate detail of the sustainability of the services or tasks
  • provide a sufficient information showing the financial benefits to West Berkshire Council

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your funding application, it will be considered alongside your proposed Devolution Deal. If your application is approved, you will be notified about how much funding you will receive.

You might be awarded all, or part of the funding you applied for. If you need additional funding after the decision has been made, you can list your project on The Good Exchange.

The Good Exchange This link opens in a new browser window
The Good Exchange is a national platform that was launched on 1 September 2016 in West Berkshire and North Hampshire and has already dispersed £3.38m of funding, of which £1.48m has been from public donations. The Good Exchange was created to streamline and simplify the process of connecting local and community projects and good causes with those who are able to provide financial support; including charitable trusts, corporate givers, fundraisers and public donors. The aim is to simplify and bring funding to local community projects. The process works by bringing together the charitable project and the funder through an automated matching system, using one simple application form. The Good Exchange provides the community project the 'tools' to actively promote, fundraise and receive donations whilst bringing the project to the attention of funders.

For more information on The Good Exchange or to get started on an application for a project, please visit The Good Exchange website.