Communities fund | Oxfordshire County Council

Communities fund

Grants for sustainable community solutions in your area

As a result of service changes/reductions, a new grant scheme has been made available in the 2017/18 financial year to supplement services previously delivered by OCC.

In February 2017 the council agreed one-off funding of £250k to set up a Communities Fund, for communities to bid for matched funding schemes or projects to supplement services following changes/reductions in council-funded services.

Read further details about the council's decision

We want to see projects which are rooted in their communities and which have grown out of a specific local need. All applicants must work closely with their local community to ensure their project is properly connected locally, responds to recognised need and does not duplicate other provision. We would also ask to see evidence of a strong buy-in from the local community, and any successful initiative would need to be accessible, inclusive and open to all.

Funding will be awarded on a one-off basis and must be spent within the financial year 2017/18.

The funding has been allocated to each of the County Council’s Locality Areas which is made up of a group of the local county councillors for that area.  Each area will have local variation depending on the local priorities and the mechanism Councillors wish to use to assess the applications in their locality.

Please ensure you have read the grant guidance and can meet the grant criteria as well as the local variation before submitting your application.

Grant criteria

  • Ability to self-fund in the long-term, as outlined in the application
  • Clearly defined costs and timescales for implementation
  • Evidence of the need for the project including community buy in
  • Demonstrating the impact of service changes/reductions
  • Engagement, partnership working and collaboration
  • Projects must benefit Oxfordshire communities, be inclusive and provide good value for money
  • To what extent we can have confidence that the project will have a lasting impact, beyond the funding period.

Submit your application to localities@oxfordshire.gov.uk

An outline of this local variation is detailed in the table below:

Locality Amount available in Locality Local approach Final application deadline (though earlier applications are encouraged)
Oxford £50,000 The Oxford councillors are keen to explore pooling funds for a larger scale project to maximise the benefit for Oxford City residents. Applications are sought by 13 September so that the funding can be allocated in September/October. 13 September 2017
Bicester & Kidlington £25,000 The Bicester councillors will pool funds for a larger scale project to maximise impact. The Ploughley and Otmoor councillors will allocate for their local area.  Any remaining funds in January will be spent on pooled projects. 31 December 2017
Banbury £25,000 The Banbury Locality would welcome applications from the individual division for the October Locality Meeting. Any unspent funds by the January Locality Meeting will be pooled for a larger project. 31 December 2017
Witney, Burford & Carterton   £25,000 The Witney, Burford & Carterton Locality would welcome division specific applications. 31 December 2017
Woodstock & Chipping Norton £25,000 The Woodstock & Chipping Norton Locality would welcome division specific applications. 31 December 2017
Faringdon & Wantage £25,000 The Faringdon & Wantage Locality councillors would welcome division specific applications. Applications are sought by September in order for the majority of the funding to be allocated in October 31 December 2017
Abingdon £25,000 The Abingdon Locality councillors would welcome division specific applications but would also encourage pooling funds for larger scale projects with wider benefits 31 December 2017
Didcot & Henley £25,000 The Didcot & Henley councillors would welcome division specific applications but would also encourage pooling funds for larger scale projects with wider benefits. Any remaining funds in January will be spent on pooled projects. 31 December 2017
Thame, Wheatley & Watlington £25,000 The Thame, Wheatley & Watlington councillors are keen to explore pooling funds for a larger scale project to maximise impact, but would also encourage division specific applications. 31 December 2017

How will applications be assessed?

We will assess your application against the key criteria set out above and we may also seek feedback from community stakeholders.

The county councillors at the locality meeting will review all applications and then make their decisions. If they feel there is insufficient evidence they may defer the decision to the next meeting pending further work.

Decisions can be called-in by the Performance Scrutiny Committee, which can decide to approve the decision, ask the Locality Meeting to reconsider, refer it to full council for further debate, or require further information of further work to be done.

Awarding the grant

Applicants, along with their local county councillor, will be notified by email of the Locality Meeting decision within 14 working days of the decision being made.

Successful applicants will be asked to sign a legal agreement with the council (for any grants over £5,000). Once the legal agreement is signed, we will then transfer the funding into the organisation’s bank account.

For larger grants where appropriate, funding might be phased depending on the outcomes achieved following the first stage of delivery.

Unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback on their proposal and, where possible, we will work with organisations to help them identify alternative funding opportunities.

Monitoring

Successful applicants are expected to comply fully with any monitoring requests from the Council and must agree to this when signing the funding request form.

All successful applicants need to be prepared for a review of their project.

This may include:

  • Receipts recording how the money was spent
  • Reports on the activity funded
  • Feedback from individuals impacted
  • Any other record of the activity funded (e.g. promotional flyers and posters)

Successful applicants will be strongly encouraged to keep us informed about the progress of their projects. Any setbacks to the implementation of the projects should be reported to the Policy Team. Delivery of the projects will be monitored as per milestones identified in the business case/ project proposal.

Any unspent grant funding will be recovered by the county council.

Deadline

Applications can be made at any time, though earlier applications are encouraged given the requirement for funding to be spent within the 2017/18 financial year. The latest that applications can be submitted is 31 December 2017.

The communities fund will be the first item on a locality meeting agenda allowing for applicants and/or interested parties to participate in this part of the meeting should they choose to. Locality members will then get a chance to discuss and agree which applications they want to fund. It is hoped that consensus would be reached and if not then it would go to a vote.

Contact us

For further information regarding the grant scheme and application process please contact us at localities@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Last reviewed
24 July 2017
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