The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.
This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.
The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding – which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.
What is the funding for?
The funding will help to bring people together in safe and secure ways – including by covering the costs of technologies and equipment that will help people feel more connected within their communities. Funding can also be used to help strengthen organisations and their services through, for example, training and development. The grant can be used for:
- staff salaries
- volunteer expenses
- management costs
- monitoring and evaluation
- general project costs
- small-scale equipment
- small-scale venue improvements.
Who can apply?
They are interested in hearing from small organisations – with an annual income of £50,000 or less – that are working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities.
People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. Different groups within different communities have different needs and so will need different levels of support. They want to hear directly from organisations as to who, in their community, needs additional assistance.You can apply if you’re an organisation that serves communities within England and is one of the following:
- a voluntary or community organisation
- a registered charity
- a not-for-profit company or Community Interest Company
- a faith group (but funding request should not be for religious activities)
- a constituted group or club.
Is there a deadline?
The deadline for phase 1 is 26 January 2021. If you’re unsuccessful for this first round of funding, you can apply for the second round in the summer of 2021.
Further details and how to apply