Funding News

This page has details of a variety of different sources of funding which may assist your council. Please be aware each funding source will have different qualifying criteria, time scales and application methodology. Check carefully before you apply.

The Good Exchange - one application for access to lots of grants

One the biggest challenges faced by charities, parish councils and community groups is how to find out which organisations are giving grants, donations and match funding to causes and projects and then managing the multiple application processes. The Good Exchange are a Not-for-Profit, Charity-Funded, On-Line grant matching platform.

The grant application process used by most charitable foundations, trusts and government bodies is inefficient, time-consuming and often-paper-based, involving multiple registrations with multiple organisations. Many small charities or parish councils with part-time or voluntary staff lose out to large charities’ professional fundraising teams.

There is one simple online application form and appeals/applications are matched to grants that match the criteria. It gives access to multiple grant givers and appears to minimize admin time.

Definitely worth looking at their website

Trust for Oxfordshire - main grants scheme

As Oxfordshire’s independent environmental funder, TOE invites applications from ambitious, creative projects which deliver real improvements for Oxfordshire’s environment and benefit local communities.


TOE Main Grant Scheme:

Applications are invited from projects which:

  • Promote and improve biodiversity
  • Support Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Agenda through encouraging energy efficiency and the sustainable use of renewable resources in community facilities (includes food production)
  • Improve access to green spaces and the countryside

Most grants are up to about £7,000 but some larger projects are supported; please contact us to discuss your project ideas.

The TOE grant panel meets four times a year to consider funding applications, but staff are always available to advise potential applicants.



Achieving No Net Loss of Biodiversity on the Greater West Programme

TOE and Network Rail are offering an exciting funding opportunity for biodiversity in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.  We are inviting project applications in the range of £10,000 to £100,000.


Funding focus:

  • Creating new woodland, providing better links and connectivity between woodlands, and enhancing existing woodland and scrub mosaic; other habitats could also be considered if in close proximity to the railway line
  • Preference for large projects (e.g. 10ha new woodland planting or 5ha of woodland management) or clusters of smaller projects delivered by partnerships
  • A key aim is to improve good quality areas by making them bigger and better connected to other wildlife sites and to improve the quality of existing habitats
  • The projects should be as local as possible to the railway line within the following local authority areas; Oxford City, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Berkshire, Reading Borough, Wokingham Borough, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Please contact TOE to discuss your project ideas - 01865 407003 or or visit their website 

Oxfordshire County Councillor Priority Fund - CC

 How to apply for a grant from the Councillor Priority Fund

In February 2018, the County Council agreed to set aside £945,000 in 2018/19 and 2019/20 for a Councillor Priority Fund.

This is part of their commitment to supporting local communities across Oxfordshire, building on last year’s Communities Fund and the successes and lessons learnt of administering that fund.

The Councillor Priority Fund will run across two financial years, and will be at the discretion of individual councillors to award.

Please ensure you have read the guidance notes (pdf format, 331Kb) and can meet the criteria before submitting to your local councillor.

Details are on the website at and an early chat with your county councillor is strongly recommended.

Awards for All

  Visit the Awards for All website to get details about the programme and to get an application form, or call 0845 4 10 20 30 

This scheme will be the Fund’s biggest ever commitment to a small grant scheme supporting community projects, offering a more easily accessible programme with even quicker decision times.

Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available to grassroots groups in the community and voluntary sector, health bodies, schools and parish or town councils. Grants are available to ensure that:

  • people have better chances in life
  • stronger communities
  • improved rural and urban environments
  • healthier and more active people


Reaching Communities Fund - The Big Lottery

Flexible funding over £10,000 for up to five years to organisations in England who want to take action on the issues that matter to people and communities.

Area:     England
Suitable for Voluntary or community organisations
Total available:    £190m this financial year
Application deadline:    Ongoing


More information from here 

Funds Available for Projects in the Cotswolds AONB

The Cotswolds Conservation Board has a variety of grants available for different purposes. Look at their website to understand the criteria and timescales:

OCVA Guide to Funding Opportunities 

OCVA have general advice and guidance on potential sources of funding on their website. Their website provides pointers to specialised sources of funding by category and other useful tips and hints to help you make a successful grant application.


Sharing Heritage – Heritage Lottery Fund

Sharing Heritage is Heritage Lottery Fund’s smallest grant programme. Grants range from £3,000 to £10,000 and is suitable for groups who have never applied to us before, as well as more experienced organisations.

Everything you need to know is here on the Heritage Lottery Fund website


SUEZ COMMUNITIES TRUST - Landfill Communities Fund

Applications are considered for three areas of work which qualify for funding through the LCF:

Category Description
Public Amenities

(LCF Object D)

To provide, maintain or improve an amenity that is used primarily for leisure and recreation. The amenity must be open to all sections of the community for at least 104 days a year.

(LCF Object DA)

The conservation of biodiversity through the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat or the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural habitat.
Historic Buildings, Structures or Sites

(LCF Object E)

The maintenance, repair or restoration of a building, other structure or a site of archaeological interest which is a place of religious worship, or a site of historic or architectural or archaeological interest and is open to the public. Places of religious worship must be Grade I listed.

Sport England Small Grants Programme

 We want everyone in England, regardless of age, background or level of ability, to feel able to get involved in sport and physical activity.

Some will be young, fit and talented but most will not. We need a sport sector that welcomes everyone, meets their needs, treats them as individuals and values them as customers.

The Small Grants programme aims to support this by offering funding to projects involving adults and young people aged 14 or over which meet one or more of the aims of our ‘Towards an Active Nation’ strategy:

    • Get inactive people to become more active
    • Develop lasting sporting habits
    • Engender more positive attitudes among young people
    • Develop more diverse volunteers
    • Improve progression and inclusion among the most talented
    • Projects working with mixed age groups may still be considered if there is a focus on people aged 14 and ove

More information here



The Rural Community Energy Fund

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), is a £15 million programme, jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

The fund provides up to approximately £150,000 of funding for feasibility and pre-planning development work to help projects become investment ready

To find out more about the fund and eligibility criteria please click here.


Funds Available for Projects in Chilterns

Special projects:

Many people, businesses, communities and local groups have great ideas for projects to care for the chilterns Area of Outstanding natural beauty and make it a better place to live, work and visit. The Chilterns conservation Board can help turn those ideas into reality through grants available from its easy to access Special Projects Scheme.

What kind of projects can be supported?

Projects that make a difference to the Chilterns and for those who live, work in and visit the AONB. Projects must clearly meet the following priorities:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Chilterns AONB – e.g. wildlife, landscape, or historical projects - and /or
    Increase the understanding and enjoyment of the area’s special qualities – e.g. information, events, access improvements, sustainable tourism projects – and /or
    Promote the economic and social well-being of local communities within the AONB – .e.g. local food and drink, outdoor play, health walks.

What are this year's specific priorities?


For more information, case studies and an application form go to the Chilterns AONB website here


Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund


Apply to support the armed forces community.

The Covenant Fund has £10 million each year to support the Armed Forces Covenant by funding projects which address specific priorities.

The funding priorities for April 2018 to March 2019 include:

  • Armed Forces Covenant: local grants and digital development
  • Armistice and Armed Forces Communities: supporting local communities to consider the Armed Forces Covenant and its relevance today in the context of the World War 1 commemorations
  • New ways to tackle serious stress in veterans, carers, and families programme

How to apply

The Covenant Fund has moved to an independent trust from 1 April 2018. Information about new programmes and previous grants awarded will still feature here but in the coming months you can find out more about our work at

Funding is limited, so we will only be able to fund the very best projects. As this is an enduring fund, there will be plenty of opportunity to apply in the coming months and years if your project is not quite ready yet.

If you are unsure whether your organisation or your project are likely to be funded, please contact us at to discuss this with us.  We rejected many applications last year that would have been better served looking elsewhere for funding, and we are aware of the pressure on organisational resources, so would not wish you to waste your time developing an application that stands little or no chance of success.

Further information on the priorities, eligibility and application process can be found on the guidance page. If you have any questions which are not covered by the guidance, you can contact us by email at


Oxfordshire Community Foundation

OCF provides a variety of grant programmes that help community groups and charities in Oxfordshire improve people’s lives.

We operate three main grant programmes, as well as running programmes on behalf of other funders, as shown below. To decide which programme is most suitable for your group, you should consider the scale and ambition of the work you are applying for money for, and whether your work fits with OCF’s priorities, as identified in our research report Oxfordshire Uncovered.

For more information and details of how to apply check the OCF website.

Biffa Award

Biffa Award currently provides funding for projects between £10,000 - £75,000.

The Main Grant scheme Recreation and Community Building project theme requires an active Biffa operation to be within 5 miles of the project site OR an active Biffa Landfill site within 10 miles. In addition your project must be within 10 miles of any registered landfill site. However, if you’re applying under the Main Grants Rebuilding Biodiversity theme, the radius of the Biffa operation is extended to within 15 miles.

More information here on the Biffa Award website.

The Biffa Award Board meets three times annually. At each meeting the Board considers applications from these project themes:

  • Rebuilding Biodiversity
  • Community Buildings
  • Recreation
  • Partnership

with each theme being considered twice annually.


Once your application is received, it will be seen at the next appropriate Board meeting relevant to your theme.