Leader's Community Grants

Applications are welcomed until 31 August 2024. Grants will be assessed after this date with notification of results at the end of October 2024.
What is funded? 

The purpose of the scheme is to fund one-off, time limited projects which:

  • provide community benefit and help local communities thrive; and
  • help local organisations become financially self-supporting and not reliant on public sector funding

Proposals will be particularly welcomed where they can demonstrate how they:

  • respond to the Climate Emergency, as declared by the Council in June 2019
  • provide or enhance digital engagement for the benefit of a whole community; and
  • reduce demand for Council services

Proposals must support the priorities and outcomes of Hampshire County Council’s Serving Hampshire - Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2025. It forms the cornerstone of all strategies and plans across departments and service areas. It features four key aims:

  • Hampshire maintains strong and sustainable economic growth and prosperity
  • people in Hampshire live safe, healthy and independent lives
  • people in Hampshire enjoy a rich and diverse environment; and
  • people in Hampshire enjoy being part of strong, inclusive communities

Applications can be made for over £1,000 up to a maximum of £25,000 and may be for activity costs, a specific project and/or capital costs. Applications must demonstrate the value for money that will be delivered with the requested funding, in relation to the proposed outcomes and the Council’s strategic objectives. Supporting evidence should be provided, where possible.

Applications with secured match funding, or that show clear evidence of having sought match funding, are more likely to be more successful. Organisations are expected to have also applied to local District or Parish Councils where local funding opportunities exist.

Self-help by organisations is encouraged, and therefore grants are normally up to 50% of the sum required to complete a project. If other County Council funding is contributed to the same project, e.g. through a County Councillor grant, this will be taken into account and the total sum given will not exceed 50%.

Supporting documentation will be required for all applications.

Who can apply?
  • Organisations wishing to apply must be properly constituted with clear and effective governance and management structures.
  • They must be delivering activities or services that benefit Hampshire residents.
  • Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year’s running costs. Where it is judged that unallocated reserves are unreasonably in excess of what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes, those organisations may receive a reduced grant.
  • All organisations are expected to have an agreed reserves policy that addresses their financial risk. 

The following organisations are not funded under this scheme:

  • individuals;
  • services provided solely within the unitary authority areas of Portsmouth City Council and/or Southampton City Council;
  • other local authorities, including District, Parish and Town Councils (Parish and Town Councils may be able to apply for grant funding from the Parish and Town Council Investment Fund);
  • commercial/profit making organisations;
  • schools, including pre-schools and colleges;
  • large, national organisations or ‘household name charities’, including local branches;
  • political parties or groups affiliated with a political party or from lobbying/campaigning organisations;
  • applications will only be considered from faith groups who can demonstrate their facilities are open and used by the local community other than for worship-related activities and then only for works in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act;
When to apply
  • Applications are welcomed at any time and will be dealt with on a ‘first come, first served’ basis from within the allocated budget
  • Recommendations for awards will be taken to the next available Executive Member Decision Day. This may be up to three months after the application is received, in line with meeting schedules. Projects should be well developed, with match-funding secured, and any supported projects will normally be expected to commence within six-months of the decision date
  • All applicants for building works will be expected to evidence freehold or to have obtained permission from the landlord
  • If required, applicants will also be expected to have obtained (or engaged in the process of) planning permission and/or listed buildings consent (if appropriate) to carry out the works before applying
What is not funded? 

The following projects are not funded under this scheme:

  • applications for £1,000 or less - where relevant, these should be directed to the County Councillors Grants Scheme
  • the purchase of land;
  • retrospective projects; grants are awarded for works to be carried out in the future;
  • maintenance, repair or improvements of building, facilities or land for which functional responsibility is held by another local authority (including a local District, Borough or Parish Council)
  • general running costs of organisations - these grants are not intended to replace shortfalls in service delivery budgets or replace funding for other support you may be able to obtain, or that you have obtained from us in the past;
  • activities that form the core provision of the organisation
  • ·ongoing/predictable building maintenance or IT infrastructure costs – organisations are expected to have made provision for such costs
  • ·ongoing staff costs - we may fund a fixed-term member of staff or consultant to carry out a time-limited piece of work;
  • repeat applications to cover previously funded activities/annual applications for the same activities;
  • profit-making or fund-raising activities, or onward distribution of funds;
  • projects which are better suited to other Hampshire County Council grant schemes - where relevant, applications may be transferred to more appropriate schemes;

All organisations in receipt of a grant will be expected to complete and submit an evaluation, demonstrating the value that the grant has added to the community through the funded activity/project/capital work.

Organisations will not be awarded more than one grant per financial year and previous levels of Council funding will be taken into account when assessing any new applications.

Guidance on completing your application
Contact us

Phone 01962 845390

Email [email protected]

Read our terms and conditions before applying.

Before you apply

All applications to the fund must be made using the standard form (Over £1,000), even in instances where the application is for exactly £1,000. Applications made using the short form will be rejected and you will be required to submit your application again. The Leaders Community Fund does not accept applications for less than £1,000.

For applications under £1000, please go to the County Councillor Grant page.