High Wycombe town community grants criteria

Introduction

Small community support grants are awarded to not-for-profit voluntary and community sector groups based and operating in one of the unparished Wards of High Wycombe. The maximum award is £1,500.

Grants are capital monies awarded for one-off projects, events or activities which will be delivered over a defined period of time. Applicants must provide proof that they are offering a service to their local communities which will be of direct benefit to residents living in the unparished wards of High Wycombe. Evidence must also be provided to show that a grant will provide value for money in terms of what can be achieved for residents.

Main criteria

A project, event, activity must meet at least one of the Council's 2020 to 2023 priorities. The Council has identified four key priority areas against which all applications will be assessed. No group is expected to meet every priority; however there may a strong synergy between the priorities and actions in one area that may contribute to the delivery of more than one priority.

The Council's key priorities are:

Strengthening our communities

  • Support people to deal with the challenges of life before they become too hard to manage, through early help and intervention.
  • Enable healthier lifestyles for all, raising the quality of life for those most disadvantaged in our communities.
  • Provide the homes our growing communities need, including affordable housing, at the right stage in people’s lives.
  • Make sport, leisure and learning opportunities available, including for more disadvantaged groups.
  • Work with local voluntary and community organisations to encourage volunteering and help our communities thrive.
  • Encourage residents to get involved with improving local services, for example through community boards.

Protecting the vulnerable

  • Make communities as safe as possible from crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour.
  • Support our older residents, those living with disabilities, and those who are socially isolated, to live healthy, independent and fulfilling lives.
  • Make sure children and adults, particularly those who need more help, are healthy, safe and protected from harm.
  • Enable children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable, to reach their full potential in education and other aspects of their lives.
  • Provide children in our care with the same opportunities in life as other children.
  • Work to reduce homelessness and address its root causes.
  • Support people, together with their families and carers, to overcome their challenges, ensuring they are resilient and can identify their own solutions.
  • Support people to improve their mental health by promoting support services, healthy lifestyles and wellbeing activities, tackling social isolation and loneliness.

Improving our environment

  • Address climate change by taking wide-ranging actions now to reduce our carbon emissions, from planting trees to environmentally focused planning.
  • Protect and enhance our high-quality environment, including our Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Public Rights of Way.
  • Maintain and improve our green spaces, woodlands and country parks so they remain attractive destinations that enhance our quality of life.
  • Encourage and support shifts towards environmentally friendly transport, providing electric charging points, cycling infrastructure etc.
  • Reduce waste, tackle waste crime, and increase re-use and recycling.
  • Promote well-designed homes that are energy efficient and environment friendly.
  • Reduce risks from floods and ensure communities are resilient to flooding.

Increasing prosperity

  • Develop skills and foster lifelong learning, with a focus on the education and skills that enable people to be successful in their chosen career.
  • Focus on helping all our pupils reach their full potential, narrowing the achievement gap, and ensuring all our schools are excellent.
  • Support a thriving business economy, particularly at the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) level, that competes effectively nationally and globally.
  • Improve connectivity and tackle congestion through investments in our roads, transport and digital infrastructure.
  • Maximise available funding to regenerate and improve our more deprived areas, town centres and high streets, including Aylesbury Garden Town and High Wycombe town centre regeneration.
  • Maximise opportunities from our unique location in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and close to London and Heathrow.
  • Foster the right conditions for innovation in business and technology, for example supporting organisations to trial and market new technologies.
  • Promote tourism, culture and the heritage of Buckinghamshire.

For further information on Buckinghamshire Council’s priorities, please see our Corporate Plan for 2020 to 2023.

Examples of successful applications

Examples of the type of application which would meet the criteria are listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Community days
  • Children’s activities
  • Festivals
  • Activities to promote understanding of different faiths
  • Activities to celebrate different cultures, biodiversity and conservation projects
  • Sports activities including assistance to sports clubs
  • Sports/hobby clubs e.g. equipment, events
  • Community projects
  • Children’s Holiday Play schemes**

Applications not supported

  • From a group funded in the previous year, with one exception (see below)**
  • For activities that are supported by other statutory bodies
  • For activities or events focussing on single faith organisations
  • For projects that exclude community access
  • For campaigning or political purposes
  • For revenue costs e.g. on-going running costs
  • For retrospective funding i.e. there must be at least 3 weeks between receipt of applications and the start of activities in order for the assessment process to be completed and proof to be provided to show a grant is needed
  • For projects which could potentially exacerbate or exploit tensions or misunderstandings within communities

**Holiday Play Schemes

Holiday Play Schemes have historically been supported by the Council under a separate budget. The budget approved specifically for Holiday Play Schemes has been amalgamated into the mall community support grant budget, thus enabling this support to continue.

Grant conditions

A condition of every grant is that:

  • A report must be submitted within 6 weeks of completion of the project/event/activity.
  • Evidence must be provided that at least one of the Council's priorities against which the application has been assessed has been met.
  • Proof must be provided to show that the group’s intended outcomes have been achieved.
  • The report must provide evidence that the grant has achieved value for money for the Council and that funds have been used wisely for the benefit of communities.
  • If an application is deemed worthy of an award but there remains some element of doubt as to whether an event will go ahead, a grant will only be paid upon completion of the event and upon receipt of a report, as above.
  • Groups must acknowledge the Council’s support on all publicity material. A logo will be supplied.

Process

In general, applicants will receive funding in advance. The small size of most voluntary and community groups means that they are reliant on grants and donations to deliver their project and cannot go ahead unless a grant is received in advance. It is essential that applicants provide evidence with their applications that there is a need for a grant and that the activity for which funding is required will not go ahead without it.

You can complete a Community Support grant application form online. Alternatively, applicants can download the application form and criteria from the Buckinghamshire Council website and email the completed form to [email protected]. Application forms must be signed by an officer of the applying organisation eg Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer.

Grants may be applied for at any time during the year. However, the grant fund has a finite budget and grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis. Decisions will be made within 6 weeks of receipt of applications.

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