Could your local area benefit from a financial boost to enhance neglected facilities or bring about positive new projects for the community? Are there business-minded people in your constituency with bright ideas for new ventures who lack the vital investment they need? What if you could access the very latest funding programmes to help your voters secure the finance required for success? As a councillor, you may already have a route to obtaining this information through GRANTfinder; the country’s most up-to-date and expansive funding tool.
GRANTfinder is a vast library of funding opportunities, where searching for grants, large or small, can be undertaken quickly and easily. Councils across the country subscribe to GRANTfinder with the sole aim of targeting external funds to put to good use within their jurisdictions. At their core, local authorities have the desire and ambition of boosting inward investment as a means of regeneration. Moreover, councils are encouraging residents to seize the initiative by carrying out development projects which are key to bringing about positive local improvements.
There are many worthy causes already up and running in every local area of the UK and plenty more new ideas on the cusp of creation, but all too often they are thwarted by underfunding, or indeed no access to funding at all.
Imagine if you could oversee the creation of a community orchard in your village, for example. Just consider how it would bring about a sense of place, empowering locals to create and nurture a space for everyone, combatting loneliness, teaching young people where food comes from and improving the natural environment at the same time.
Maybe your constituents have grand ideas for developing a rundown community building. Securing funding to help with redevelopment costs, equipment and volunteer time could see a disused property evolve into a valued and cherished community hub, hosting sports and recreation facilities, youth services and parent-and-child clubs, for example.
Likewise, your constituents might have plans to open a new business in an empty retail unit. Funding for start-up costs may be required, as well as money for plant and equipment, marketing, taking on new employees or even developing a new product or service which the community needs.
As a councillor, you are on the front line; the recognised face of the local authority, as you interact with residents on a regular basis. What better way to make an impact with your constituents than to help them obtain the money they need to advance their ambitions and support the wellbeing of the community at large? Connecting with locals in this way is a great way to bring good news and an optimistic message on the doorstep whenever you’re speaking to voters. It will also help you to be remembered as having done something positive for the community and stand you in good stead when the next round of local elections, and indeed the next general election, occur.
Councils have specialist teams operating for both the community and business sectors. They are already looking for funds to support projects they know about and programmes of investment which meet their strategic aims. But as a councillor, you are able to take the message from the heart of the community to the decision-makers at the top of the council, helping to shape plans based on what people really want. This in turn will enable the council to use GRANTfinder to best effect, optimising the benefits of the service and getting the most out of their subscription.
GRANTfinder can unlock details of thousands of initiatives calling for bids from local groups. Councils subscribing to the service are able to run searches on behalf of their residents, identifying funds which meet applicants’ unique ambitions. As well as well-publicised grants, such as National Lottery schemes and country-wide charitable funds, GRANTfinder carries a deep and varied array of less well-known pots of money, including national and local government funds and locally-targeted grants from smaller trusts, foundations and corporate bodies. Furthermore, there is still time to access funding from the European Union, through European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) which includes money from the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The Government continues to issue periodic ESIF calls across the country, with guaranteed funding for any successful applications before Britain leaves the EU.
With regular application rounds operating for well-established funds and one-off grants available from other sources, competition is consistently high. The best way to get ahead of the crowd and be informed of the funds your constituents qualify for is to source up-to-the-minute information from GRANTfinder. If your governing authority already subscribes, you are one step ahead of the competition.
You’re probably already awash with ideas about the types of projects you and your residents would like to see funded. So where do you go from here? The first step is to identify whoever is responsible for external funding at the council and ask if they have a GRANTfinder licence. Speak to the stakeholders to discuss the best way to make use of the GRANTfinder service. If your residents are keen to run a non-profit scheme, the Community Development team will be able to assist. And for those wishing to set up or develop a private enterprise, the Business Development team will advise you accordingly.
As a councillor, you might have a council-generated email address. If this is the case, you may be able to have your own GRANTfinder account created for you by the administrator at your local authority. From here, you will be able log in and search for funding directly. Coupled with the search function, you can opt to receive regular news alerts about new funds as soon as they’re announced and details of upcoming deadlines for funds that are being awarded imminently. There’s a FAQs section and user guides accessible within the system to help get you started. Alternatively, if the council has its own funding officer, they may agree to undertake searches on your behalf, setting up automatic updates prompting you about funding opportunities directly to your inbox. At this point, you will be armed and ready to take this information directly to your constituents and together you can set about bidding for that precious funding your area deserves!
If you discover that your council doesn’t yet have access to GRANTfinder, you can encourage them to contact our team and book a demonstration on how they too can unlock a wealth of funding information and millions of pounds’ worth of support for projects connecting local people to their communities. All they need to do is fill in the short form to the left.