Guidance

The Community Assets and Services Grants and associated support programme includes two key elements - an advice service run by Locality and this grants programme managed by the Social Investment Business to support increased delivery of services by local community organisations and community ownership and management of assets.

When will the grants programme close?

The Community Assets and Services Grants Programmes are part of a three year support programme funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government. The programme is now in its final year and all funds need to be committed and spent during 2014/15. To ensure that this is possible we will be closing the grants programmes to new applications as follows: 

  • Feasibility Grant applications the application window for both Assets and Services Feasibility Grant applications is now closed (deadline was midday on Tuesday 30 September.)
  • Pre-feasibility grant applications - the application window for both Assets and Services Pre-Feasibility Grant applications will close at midday on Friday 31 October.  

Please note that depending on volumes of applications received by the closing dates decisions may take longer than usual but we will be able to provide more detail on likely decisions times once we have a clearer idea of numbers received. 

DCLG is currently developing its plans for support programmes and related grants in 2015/16 and we will provide more detail here as soon as it is available.  

Which grant is best for my organisation?

Before applying for a Community Assets and Services grant, why not consult our easy guide to the pre-feasibility and feasibility grants produced by our partners Locality.

Identifying your pre-feasibility needs (assets)

Identifying your feasibility needs (assets)

Identifying your pre-feasibility needs (services)

Identifying your feasibility needs (services)

What is the Community Rights Advice Service Number?

Before making an application to our fund, you are required to speak to the advice service run by our partners, Locality. They can provide you will specialist guidance on your asset or service and the type of finance that might be most suitable. Once you've completed your consultation, they will provide you with a number which you will need to enter on the application form. Call 0300 020 1864 to reach the advice service.

When can I apply?

The grant programme to help organisations run local services opened on Monday 16 July 2012 and will accept applications for pre-feasibility and feasibility grants from interested organisations on a rolling basis. 

Grants to help organisations manage assets opened on Monday 30 July 2012 and will also accept applications for pre-feasibility and feasibility grants on a rolling basis.

What can I apply for?

Organisations interested in delivering services or taking on assets will be able to apply for the following types of grants:

Pre-Feasibility Grants

Pre-Feasibility Grants will be offered under both for community assets and services.

These grants are for amounts of up to 10,000 and are for organisations to build internal capacity to help them to compete to deliver public services and/or run assets.

Detailed guidance on pre-feasibility applications

Feasibility Grants

Feasibility grants will be available for organisations that are able to demonstrate that they have good potential to compete effectively to deliver public services.  These grants are for up to 100,000 and can be used to support organisations in preparation for delivering services.

These Feasibility Grants of up to 100,000 will be offered to organisations to develop project and business plans to assist them to become investment ready and to take on asset development projects.

Detailed guidance on feasibility applications (assets)

Detailed guidance on feasibility applications (services)

Service Delivery Grants

We will also be able to make a small number of service delivery grants.

These grants are not yet available but we will publish details of criteria soon. We expect that many of these service delivery grants will include a repayable element.

Capital Grants

A small number of large capital grants between 100,000 and 500,000 will be made to organisations as a contribution to the purchase costs of asset projects. Capital grants are now closed. The 2014 window closed on Thursday 26 June 2014.

Detailed guidance on capital grants applications


How much can I apply for?

Organisations can apply for a pre-feasibility grant starting from 5,000 to a maximum of 10,000. Feasibility grants for a minimum of 10,000 up to a maximum of 100,000 are also available.

For those applying for Community Services grants, the size of investment you can apply for will depend on the value of the contract you have in mind.   

Organisations seeking feasibility grants can apply for up to 50% of the value of the contract where contracts are valued up to 29,999 or up to 30% of the value of a contract where contracts are valued over 30,000.

Who can apply?

What the Community Services Grants will fund

  • Voluntary or Community bodies
  • Bodies of persons or a trust established for charitable purposes
  • Parish Councils
  • Two or more employees of a relevant authority 

What Community Assets Grants will fund:

  • Community interest groups including organisations established for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes
  • Parish Councils 

What Community Assets and Services Grants will not fund:

  • individuals and sole traders
  • organisations that distribute profits for private benefit
  • Housing related projects.  This includes temporary housing, respite housing, and shelters
  • organisations that are applying on behalf of other organisations unless as part of a consortium
  • organisations that are in poor financial health
  • organisations that have not satisfactorily managed investments from either ACF or the Social Investment Business in the past 

Unincorporated organisations cannot apply for feasibility grants

About State Aid

See our guidance on State Aid rules before you apply.

What can I use Community Services funding for?

Pre-feasibility grant funding is available for revenue expenditure which relates to internal capacity building and management capability.

Please note that Community Assets and Service Grants cannot be used to develop housing projects.  This includes temporary housing, respite housing, and shelters.

Examples of the types of revenue expenditure that qualify for pre-feasibility grants are:

  • Work to assess and address the capacity of the organisation to bid for contracts.
  • Improvements in governance and management.
  • Supporting the costs of incorporation or the formation of consortia.
  • Coaching and mentoring to existing staff to build their abilities to bid for and to deliver public services. 

Feasibility grant funding is available for revenue expenditure which relates to supporting the preparation of tenders and procurement bids and provide pre-service delivery contract management training.

Types of revenue expenditure that qualify for feasibility grants include:

  • Purchasing external expertise
  • Development of comprehensive business plans
  • Training
  • Market research and product development. 

Types of capital expenditure that qualify for feasibility grants include:

  • Professional fees plan building related activities that will help enhance service delivery, e.g. drawings, ground/building surveys, planning consent, leases, and other hard outputs
  •  Other one-off fees e.g. legal fees 

Grants cannot be used for equipment purchase, building works or for general running costs such as existing salaries, utility bills, rent, etc. 

What can I use Community Assets grants for?

Pre-feasibility grant funding is available for revenue expenditure which relates to internal capacity building and management capability.

Examples of the types of revenue expenditure that qualify for pre-feasibility are:

  • Work to assess and address the capacity of the organisation to manage an asset
  • Improvements in governance and management
  • Supporting the costs of incorporation or the formation of consortia
  • Coaching and mentoring to existing staff to build their abilities to bid for and to manage assets 

Feasibility grant funding is available for revenue expenditure which relates to developing investment proposals, carrying out feasibility studies and equipping organisations to take on asset ownership and management.

Examples of the types of revenue expenditure that qualify for feasibility grants include:

  • Purchasing external expertise
  • Development of comprehensive business plans
  • Training
  • Market research and product development 

Examples of the types of capital expenditure that qualify for feasibility grants include:

  • Professional fees to produce building related plans, e.g. drawings, ground/building surveys, planning consent, leases, and other hard outputs.
  • Other one-off fees e.g. legal fees. 

Please note Feasibility Grants cannot be used for equipment purchase, building works or for general running costs such as existing salaries, utility bills, rent, etc. 

How can I apply?

Thinking of applying for a grant? You will need to speak to the Community Rights Advice Service before making an application. The advisors at Locality will help you assess if your contract-readiness and which grant is most suitable for your organisation.

We can only accept applications that have been referred to us by the Community Rights Advice Service.

I need specialist advice. Can you recommend a provider?

We know that it can be quite challenging to compete in the local contracting space. To help you get ready to deliver service contracts or manage local assets, we've got a range of specialists at hand who can advice and support you through this transition.

You are welcome to work with our suggested specialist support providers or choose your own.  

Support to deliver a local service

Support to save a local building for the community

 

What is the Building Calculator?

Are you thinking about taking over a community building? Do you already own or have responsibility for maintaining a local community building? The Building Calculator uses Whole Life Costing methodology to help you understand and plan ahead for your operating and maintenance costs.

Whole Life Costing is a methodology for determining the costs associated with an asset over a period of time. Typically, assessments are made over a 20-25 year period to understand what it will cost to operate, repair, replace and renew different building elements. These costs are then given a current value in order that an owner can make decisions about and plan capital investment.

The assessment will vary between buildings, but will typically consist of:

  • Non-construction costs in acquiring the building
  • Capital cost of construction / refurbishment / fit out / professional fees
  • Rent / rates
  • Provision of Facilities Management services, such as maintenance, cleaning, security
  • Service charges / letting management fees
  • Utilities
  • End of life costs

Whole Life Costing is important because it quantifies the on-going cost of managing a building. This will normally be many times that of the initial acquisition / capital outlay at the beginning.

The Building Calculator is brought to you by Locality in association with Davis Langdon.

Try the Building Calculator for free!