Active Communities

The application process

There are four steps to Stage 1 of the application process

  • Step 1 - Establish whether your organisation is eligible for funding - read the eligibility criteria
  • Step 2 - Tell us if you are a 'neighbourhood-based project' or a 'community of interest' (we explain these terms later on)
  • Step 3 - Establish if your neighbourhood or community is fundable
  • Step 4 - Submit the completed Stage 1 application form

We will tell you whether you will be invited to complete the full Stage 2 application form within five working days of us receiving your Stage 1 application form.

Eligibility criteria

You are now at Step 1 of 4.

Projects need to:

  • Be designed and led by local people
  • Support their neighbourhood or community to come together to address an issue that is important to them
  • Create stronger connections between people by supporting them to meet up regularly
  • Be for people who experience greater social and economic disadvantage than people living in other parts of the country
  • Be either:
  • - small and local, for example, involving residents living in a few streets, an estate, a small village and working in one or more of our 'fundable neighbourhoods' or
  • - a community of interest - a group of people who have shared experiences, characteristics or common interests and wish to come together to address specific issues that are important to them. They may live across a wider area.

We support projects which last between one and two years.

The minimum grant that you can apply for is £5,000 over one year, £7,500 over 18 months, or £10,000 over two years.

The maximum amount of funding we will invest in a project is £50,000. We are highly unlikely to fund a grant of £50,000 over one year.

When we assess your funding application we will be looking at the amount you apply for to ensure that the costs you are applying for are reasonable and appropriate, when compared to the delivery of your project and offer good value for money.


Here are some ideas we have funded:

  • A group for local older and younger people to get together in a local area and do activities together (e.g. craft, technology, history)
  • A group for adults to learn English and enterprise skills connected to sewing
  • A local magazine written by and for the benefit of disabled people, giving information and calling for action on matters affecting disabled people locally
  • A community cafe created and run by single parents as a space to meet, seek support and socialise
  • A peer support group for families with disabled children
  • A tenants action group for people living on an estate

We get more requests for grants that we can fund, so unfortunately sometimes even some really good ideas cannot be supported.


What we don’t fund
We don’t fund:

  • projects that focus on specific health conditions, for example cancer, diabetes and stroke
  • health promotion activities which aim to change behaviour, for example, 'lifestyle' advice such as healthy eating or advice on nutrition, giving up smoking, losing weight and exercising more.

We also don’t fund:

  • Projects where local people are not in control of the design and delivery of the project
  • Applications from individuals or that benefit just one individual
  • Projects that offer mainly one-to-one support
  • Projects where a significant part of the grant will be passed to another organisation to deliver activities
  • Profit-making organisations which includes all Limited Liability Partnerships and Companies Limited by Shares
  • Tax-funded projects, e.g. projects within the NHS, or projects for school-aged children in school time; projects which should be funded by public services
  • Activities which are political or religious in intention, practice or appearance
  • Activities already funded by another organisation
  • Projects that are part of a bigger project (our minimum contribution must be 50%)
  • Projects that have already happened
  • Loan repayments
  • Capital items only (e.g. equipment), you must include running costs
  • Capital items that are more than £15,000 in total
  • Contingency, evaluation or unspecified costs
  • Fundraising costs
  • Organisations that are non-compliant with their regulators (for example, Charity Commission, OSCR or Companies House) at the time of application. We will also not consider applications from organisations which have a significant history of non-compliance. We may take an exception if there are clear mitigating circumstances for your organisation's non-compliance. 


Current Active Communities grant holders can only apply if their current grant ends twelve months from the programme closing date.


If you need help with any of the above, contact us on 020 7749 9100 or email us.

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

Begin a new application