Parish and Town Council Investment Fund

Applications are welcomed until 31 August 2024. Grants will be assessed after this date with notification of results at the end of October 2024.
Introduction and aims of the Fund

Hampshire County Council recognises the significant value Parish and Town Councils bring to the lives of Hampshire’s residents. Their local knowledge and expertise on the needs of their neighbourhoods makes them very well placed to drive local initiatives forward.

The priority of this fund is to support partnerships between local communities and the County Council. It will provide pump priming investments to pilot new schemes which respond to local needs and the growing pressure on County Council Services.

Who is the Fund available to?

Parish and Town Councils (PTC’s) and properly constituted local Community Groups who are working in partnership with County Council Services.

Successful schemes will need to demonstrate the value to both partners.

Note: Contact the Team (details below) if you want to check the County Councils criteria defining a properly constituted community group.

What can the Fund support?

There are three primary areas available for investments:

Capital Funding:
  • £1,000 to £30,000 for schemes which enhance existing or provide new infrastructure and equipment to support a local community
  • Energy Efficiency Grants: Improvements to Community Buildings to address carbon reduction and climate change resilience in line with HCC’s declaration of the Climate Emergency in June 2019. Further application guidelines.
Revenue Funding:
  • Meeting local needs: Usually for investments of £1,000 to £30,000 in schemes that enable local communities to be more resilient. For example, schemes which encourage ‘neighbourliness’ in tackling social isolation or in the management of community assets.
  • Training: Investments up to £10,000 provide appropriate training in the local community. This could cover a broad range of schemes, for example training from specialist skills for Parish Clerk through to local path wardens looking after their rights of way

Note: The amounts above are intended as guidelines and each scheme will be judged on its own merits. Schemes looking for investment of less than £1000 are generally advised to look at County Councillor Grants.

When to apply

Applications are welcomed at any time and will be dealt with on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Recommendations for awards will be taken to the next available Executive Members decision day. This may be up to three months after the application is received, in line with meeting schedules.

Projects should be well developed, 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.

First step? Contact the Team

This is a new fund looking to encourage innovation, not set early constraints. The priority is on developing a strong concept supported by an effective partnership.

If you are a representative of a PTC, Community Group (CG) or County Council Service with an idea or even have a ‘ready to go project’ and want to know more then please get in touch with the team at [email protected].

We will be able to discuss how your goals can relate to the Fund priorities and take you through the next steps, including establishing a local partnership (if not already in place) and the details needed to secure an investment.

Additional Information

Fund criteria and eligibility:

To secure investment from the Fund, the local partnership should ensure:
  • They include representatives from both the relevant PTC/s or CG and the relevant County Council service
  • The scheme will deliver measurable results against the priorities of the Fund
  • The scheme has a project or business plan along with any additional documentation deemed necessary by the County Council service involved. For example, safeguarding measures for schemes engaging social isolation, or design standards for rights of way projects. Templates and support will be provided as necessary
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for all members in the local partnership
  • Clear demonstration that without support from the Fund the scheme would not be able to proceed at all or to the extent outlined in the application
  • Applicants with significant funds in place or higher levels of reserves must demonstrate why investment from the Fund is needed
  • It is recognised that applicants will have varying levels of resources and reserves, therefore some flexibility will be permitted in terms of the amount of match funding required. Schemes will be assessed upon the value and financial saving the scheme will create to the community and in support of County Council services
  • If the scheme is ongoing, how it will remain sustainable after the initial investment has been made
  • An effective monitoring and reporting process are in place, including a final review of the benefits of continuing and/or variability of wider roll out of the scheme to more communities

What can’t be funded?

  • Projects that receive funding from other Hampshire County Council sources (except for County Councillor grants)
  • Individuals and non-constituted organisations
  • Profit making events/activities (except for applications for local community enterprise schemes)
  • Projects or activities solely within the unitary authority areas of Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council
  • Projects/work that has already been carried out, you must apply and receive an offer from us before starting any work or making any purchases
  • General/core running costs of an organisation

Establishing a local partnership:

Schemes should be run developed and delivered through local partnerships consisting of representatives from a PTC/s or CG’s and officers from the relevant County Council Services.

We’re aware many close relationships already exist, but if you’re a member of either group and are looking to establish an effective partnership then let us know. The County Council and HALC (Hampshire Association of Local Councils) Officers are working closely to bring together groups with the necessary capacity and expertise to develop viable schemes in areas of need.