Small grants scheme

The Small Grants scheme gives out one-off grants of up to £3,000 for voluntary and community sector projects that help achieve the Council's ambition of making Calderdale a clean, safe, attractive and thriving area for people to live in, work in and visit. Priority will be given to groups with an average recent income of less than £20,000 per year and no paid staff, and those who have not received a Small Grant in the past. The scheme has around £70,000 to give away each year.

Grants will be awarded through four separate rounds throughout the year; the deadlines for receipt of applications are:

  • 2 May
  • 1 August
  • 1 November
  • 1 February.

The closing date for complete applications for the first round of 2017/18 is Tuesday 1 August 2017. The Small Grants Panel will meet to consider eligible applications on Thursday 24 August 2017.

Application form and information pack

Please make sure you read through all of this information carefully before you start to complete the application form. If you would prefer to be sent the application pack in Word format please email us using the address below.

If you are not sure about any of the rules of the scheme, particularly whether or not you will be eligible, please contact us before you complete the forms;


Application process and timescales

When we receive your application, we will check to make sure it is complete. If it is not complete, we will try to contact you to ask for the missing information. Please make sure that you give us a contact name, phone number and email address where we can reach you during office hours. If you are applying from a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or organisation linked to a school, especially if you are applying over the summer, please make sure you give us details where we can reach you even if the school is closed.

Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. Please use the checklist to make sure your application is complete before you send it to us. We will assess your application to see if it is eligible.

If it is eligible, your application will be ranked by Council officers according to priority as high, medium, low and very low priority.

High Meets both of the priority criteria
Medium Meets one of the priority criteria
Low Does not meet either of the priority criteria
Very low Might meet the priority criteria but has received a Small Grant within the last two years

You can only be awarded one Small Grant within a twelve month period.

The Small Grants Panel will then consider all of the eligible applications and make a decision on which should be awarded grants, and how much they should receive. The Grants Panel is made up of Council Members (Councillors) and representatives from voluntary and community groups, who are elected for two years at a time:

Following the 2016 ballot, the Panel welcomed the following voluntary sector representatives:

Communities of Interests Representative Mrs Pat Akerman of Heath Stroke Club Care services
Community Groups Representative Mr Brian Mansfield of Elland and District Partnership
Other Voluntary Organisations Representative Ms Susan Thorpe of Citizens Advice Calderdale

This decision is passed to the Head of Neighbourhoods, who has delegated authority for this scheme.

You will need to complete a monitoring form once the grant is spent, and return it to us with evidence of expenditure. We send you the monitoring form in advance, so that you know what records you need to keep during the project.


The Small Grants Panel meets once every three months. Money is divided up between the four meetings, so there will still be money left to apply for in the last round of the year.

Applications can only be considered at that meeting – we will not consider applications outside of this schedule. So if you want funding for a particular date, please make sure you apply in plenty of time, and that your application contains all of the information we need.

You will receive notification of the decision up to six weeks after the deadline for that particular round.

Round Deadline Notification
1 2 May 13 June
2 1 August 12 September
3 1 November 13 December
4 1 February 15 March

Aims and objectives

The aim of the Small Grants scheme is to support the voluntary and community sectors to contribute to achieving the Council’s ambition for the district.

The Council’s ambition for Calderdale is to make Calderdale a clean, safe, attractive and thriving area for individuals and families to enjoy as residents, workers or visitors. This means that anything that the voluntary and community sectors do that helps this happen is eligible for the scheme. It is a very wide aim, and includes almost everything that the voluntary and community sectors do that benefits people in Calderdale.

Small grants applicants should be expected to provide an environmental policy only where they have existing Health and Safety or safeguarding requirements.

Because the aim is so wide, and because it is not possible to fund everything that meets this aim, we also have priorities for the scheme. If your project meets the aim, you can apply, but you are more likely to be funded if you meet one or both of the priorities.


The objective of the Small Grants scheme is to support voluntary and community groups by giving one-off grants of up to £3,000.


To help us decide between different applications there are Higher and Lower priorities for the scheme.

Higher priority will be given to:

Small community groups, defined as those having an income of less than £20,000 per year and no paid staff,

Groups who have not received a Small Grant from the Council in the past.

Lower priority will be given to:

Groups who have received a Small Grant in the last two years,

Groups asking for professional fees.

Groups with an unrestricted income of over £100,000

If you do not meet the priorities, then you can still apply, but it is less likely that you will be successful. It will depend on what your project is, and whether we receive more priority applications in that particular round.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible, you must demonstrate that your organisation:

  • Is a voluntary, community or faith group;
  • Is properly constituted;
  • Has a bank account;
  • Is open and accessible to the community you serve;
  • Has a planned approach to safeguarding issues, if you are working with children, young people and vulnerable adults;
  • Is based in Calderdale.

You must then show that the way you want to spend the grant is eligible too. Eligible expenditure is:

  • For the benefit of people who live in, work in or visit Calderdale;
  • Able to be spent within 12 months of the date of the award.

If you are applying for changes or improvements to property, you must also demonstrate security of tenure, i.e. you must show that you have a right to stay in the property for a reasonable length of time. If you rent the property from someone else, you must have a proper lease in place, with time remaining on the lease. If you own the property, this is more straightforward, and you just need to tell us that you own it.

When deciding upon awards for applications to the Small Grants scheme the Panel takes an interest in an organisation’s ability to achieve financial sustainability. The level of membership fees and/or attendance fees being charged by an organisation will be taken into account. The Small Grants Panel would expect organisations to make appropriate charges for their services and the Panel may recommend to an organisation’s management that it considers adjusting its fees where the Small Grants Panel has assessed that they are not in line with current or comparable activities available.


There are some things that the scheme will not fund.

Please note: these are different from previous schemes we have run. If you have received funding from us in the past from other schemes, you should not assume you can reapply on the same basis as your project might not still be eligible under this new scheme.

For voluntary community sector groups only. Not for schools.

If your project is in partnership with a school, it may still be eligible. You need to be able to demonstrate how it meets our priorities and explain why the project should be supported by this scheme and why it is not supported through mainstream school budgets.

The scheme will not fund:

  • Anything that primarily benefits people or causes outside of Calderdale;
  • Anything that promotes religion or support for a particular political party. Faith groups can still be funded for their community work, eg. we will not fund a church to buy new hymn books. We will consider funding a luncheon club; groups can still be funded for campaigns that are not linked to political parties, projects can still encourage involvement in civic life, e.g. town twinning;
  • Retrospectively. It will not give a grant to repay money that has already been spent;
  • Food or hospitality;
  • Personal equipment. Any equipment bought with the grant must remain the property of the organisation. It must be available for more than one member to use, within reason. We will not fund sporting equipment that can only be used by one player and would not realistically be available to other members. For example, in a football team, we would not fund football boots, but we would consider applications for balls, nets, team strips etc.

If you are not sure whether or not your group or your project meet any of the eligibility criteria please contact us before you complete the form.

Notes of meetings and decisions

After each Panel meeting notes of the Panel’s decisions are prepared. These notes indicate which applications were successful and which were not, and how much each applicant was awarded. The reasons why the decisions were made are also included.








Always open first panel: 

Other Small Grants

If you would like to receive further information regarding the scheme, please contact;
  • Username Grants Section
  • Email
  • Telephone 01422 392317
  • Address
    Grants & Voluntary Sector Commissioning
    2nd Floor
    Westgate House
    HX1 1PS