Small grants scheme

The Small Grants scheme awards one-off grants (up to £3,000) to voluntary and community sector projects.

These projects should help to achieve this Council's ambition. This is to make Calderdale a clean, safe, attractive and thriving place for people to live and work in, or visit. The scheme has around £70,000 to give away each year, with priority given to groups:

  • with an average recent income of less than £20,000 per year;
  • and with no paid staff;
  • and who have not received a Small Grant in the past.

Applications will then be scored against the Council’s objectives, the more objectives met, the higher the score. (See the guidelines and application form)

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

  • 1st May
  • 1st August
  • 1st November
  • 1st February

Note: The closing date for complete applications for the next round of 2018/19 is Thursday 1st November 2018.

The Small Grants Panel will meet to consider eligible applications on Thursday 22nd November 2018.

Application form and information pack

Please read all the information below, before you start the application form.

If you are unsure about any scheme rules, or whether you qualify, contact us before you complete your application.

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, in office hours. Please make sure you give us a:

  • contact name
  • phone number
  • and email address.

If applying from a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or organisation linked to a school

We will need contact details where we can reach you, even if the school is closed. This is important if you are applying over the summer.

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 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

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

The Panel will then consider all eligible applications and decide which should be awarded grants and how much.

The Panel is made up of Council Members (Councillors) and representatives from voluntary & community groups. They are elected for two years at a time.

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

Represents Details
Communities of Interests Mrs Pat Akerman of Voluntary Action Calderdale
Community Groups Mr Brian Mansfield of Elland and District Partnership
Other Voluntary Organisations Ms Susan Thorpe of Citizens Advice Calderdale

The decision is passed to the Assistant Director - Economy, Housing and Investment, who has delegated authority for this scheme.

You must complete a monitoring form when the grant is spent and return it to us with evidence of expenditure. This is sent to you, in advance, so you know what records you must 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.

If you want funding for a particular date, apply in plenty of time. Please make sure your application has all the information we need.

Please note: You will receive notification of the decision up to six weeks after the deadline for a round.

Round Deadline Notification
1 1st May 12th June
2 1st August 12th September
3 1st November 12th December
4 1st February 12th 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; and
  • 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; and
  • 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 demonstrate security of tenure. For example, prove you have a right to stay in the property for a reasonable length of time.

  • If you rent the property, you must have a proper lease in place, with time remaining on the lease.
  • If you own the property, you just need to tell us that you own it.

When deciding Small Grants awards, the Panel takes an interest in an organisation’s ability to achieve financial sustainability. The level of membership / attendance fees being charged by an organisation is taken into account. The Panel expects organisations to charge appropriately for their services and may recommend they consider adjusting fees. This can happen when the Panel assesses that they are not in line with current or comparable activities available.


There are some things that the scheme will not fund.

Please note: If you received funding from us through other schemes, do not assume you can reapply on the same basis. Your project might not be eligible under this new scheme.

For voluntary community sector groups only.

Note: The scheme is not for schools. If your project is in partnership with a school, it may still be eligible. You must demonstrate that it meets our priorities, explaining why the project should be supported by the scheme. You must also tell us 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 unsure whether or not your group or project meets the eligibility criteria, contact us before completing the form.


Notes of meetings and decisions

After each Panel meeting, notes on 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: 

For more details, please contact:

  • Username Grants Section
  • Email
  • Telephone 01422 392317
  • Address
    Grants & Voluntary Sector Commissioning
    Regeneration & Strategy
    2nd Floor
    Westgate House
    HX1 1PS

See also