Community environment challenge fund
The community environment challenge fund, can provide support and funding for community led initiatives.
The CECF re-opened to new applications in June 2017. Please contact Community Greenspace to register an interest in the Fund.
The CECF Application July 2017 [200Kb] is for environmental projects. The The projects must be led and delivered by community groups, must make a significant difference to the local environment and be widely supported within the community. In addition, there is a requirement for a long-term maintenance commitment for any projects undertaken through the Fund. For more information about the Perth & Kinross Community Environment Challenge Fund, watch the YouTube video. In the 2015 Securing the Future Awards, the CECF was awarded a Silver Award.
What kind of projects will be supported?
Projects which can demonstrate any of the following are a priority for support:
- 'Spend to save' e.g. changing bedding plant areas to herbaceous plants, therefore saving on maintenance and materials
- Physical environmental improvement projects which reduce waste, increase reuse and recycling or use environmentally-friendly materials
- Enhance/contribute to the local economy such as tourism or craft, or use of local materials
- Benefits to the wider community encompassing a range of age groups and abilities
- Link to other existing or planned regeneration initiatives (e.g. conservation area appraisals)
- An ability to complete the project within 12 months.
- Demonstrate environmental sustainability e.g. carbon reduction
For works on Council-owned land, the Council would need to ensure that groups had the requisite skills and experience to let or carry out the works, had adequate public liability insurance and that health and safety requirements were met. Costs relating to these requirements must be included in the overall project costs. In addition, responsibility for future maintenance would need to be agreed with the Council.
For projects which are not on Council-owned land authorisation should be obtained from the landowner and this must be made clear on the application. Arrangements must be put in place for future maintenance and approved by the Council.
Who can apply?
- The organisation seeking funding must be a constituted group and could act on behalf of other community partners.
- Projects must be developed by community or voluntary organisations.
- Organisations can be local or national.
- The project must have the written support of all local Councillors in the Ward where the project is taking place. If you don't know them there is a list on the PKC Website
- The project must also have the support of a range of local community groups such as Bloom Groups, Development Trusts, Youth Groups and Community Councils.
- Before work starts, projects must have the agreement of the landowner and also any statutory consentsuch as planning permission or building warrants if required.
What can the grant be used for?
- Equipment costs
- Tidy-up and maintenance activities
- Reasonable professional fees which are directly incurred in respect of the project concerned and where consultation has taken place with the appropriate Council Service.
How much would the grant be?
- Grant requests must be at least £2,500 and up to a maximum of £10,000 with 50% match funding. The total costs of a project would therefore have to be at least £5,000. The whole project can be of any size and there is no defined maximum project cost.
- Each community group will only be able to apply for one grant in each financial year.
Several projects can be teamed up together into one application so as to meet the minimum funding level.
In exceptional circumstances, where projects can demonstrate a wide range of physical environmental benefits within a community, a larger award may be made. The maximum award is up to 50% of the total costs.
The funding will only be paid to the community group when proof has been supplied that match funding has been secured.
The grant will only be paid on production of invoices, with payment based on 50% of each invoice. Alternatively, the grant will be paid against proof of in-kind expenditure up to the level of the grant agreed. Proof of requests for payments (i.e. a copy of invoices) should therefore be submitted as soon as possible to Waste Services/Community Greenspace, marked FAO the CECF and the name of the Group submitting them.
Match-funding can include fundraising activities, cash contributions and in-kind support. The track record of the community group mobilising in-kind support will also be considered as part of the application process.
Bloom groups, operating under the Take a Pride in Perthshire Association, record volunteer activities and quantify the value of their work based on nationally recognised rates (Heritage Lottery Fund) for unskilled, skilled and professional labour:
- Unskilled. £60 per day. £7.50 per hour
- Skilled. £150 per day
- Professional £350 per day
In kind support of this nature must relate to the project itself rather than any other activities of the group but, particularly where the project includes a number of people undertaking a task together, this can quickly add up. If your application includes volunteer time as match funding you should make clear what people will be doing and how the value of that work has been calculated.
Other tools exist and may be appropriate for use in particular cases. See:
- Measuring and calculating the economic value of the work the volunteers are doing using a formula
- VIVA - The Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (particularly the Table on page 3 for recording the Total Volunteer Value) - document in Downloads Section
- Wage Rates: national rates from the annual New Earnings Survey (provided by the Office of National Statistics)
Claiming the Funding
Once the application has been approved, Waste Services/Community Greenspace will send (by post) written confirmation of the funding award to the successful applicant. The Project can then begin to be implemented. To access the funding, the applicant needs to contact Waste Services/Community Greenspace (via the same address as where the application was submitted to) and provide details of the amount of money that has been spent to-date and any receipts for purchases, evidence of paid invoices or any volunteer timesheets to prove the value of the equivalent match-funding. Funds will then be transferred to the applicant's bank account or a cheque for the allocated funding will be sent. Funding can be accessed at regular intervals throughout the Project, or just at the end of the Project - depending on what is easiest for the applicant.
An electronic application form can be accessed via the attachment at the top of this page.
Completed applications should be returned to Perth & Kinross Council, Waste Services/Community Greenspace, Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth PH1 5GD.
The timescale for the assessment of complete applications will be a maximum of 12 weeks. The assessment panel meets monthly so it is important to submit all the relevant paperwork so that decisions are not delayed.
An End of Grant Monitoring Form will be provided to each community group who has received funding so that the positive impacts on the community and the local area can be recorded, shared and celebrated. These forms are available to download. See box at top right hand side of this webpage. This form will record:
- progress of the project compared to the programme planned initially
- the number of areas involved in the project (perhaps using a map)
- the area of land maintained by the community
- the number of paid and voluntary posts created through the funded project
- the number of training places created via the project
- the number of volunteer hours dedicated to the project
- the work carried out, e.g. the number of enhanced areas or length of newly-accessible paths
Overall, the form will evaluate the outcomes of the project and confirm what work was carried out. It will explain how objectives were met and will request a robust evaluation of the project. Photographs can also be submitted with the Monitoring Form so that improvements can be recorded. The Monitoring Form will evidence the work completed and will link closely to the Fund's criteria.
Information and support
If you would like to discuss an idea or project, need support to develop your project, assistance with completion of the application form or have any other questions regarding the Community Environment Challenge Fund, please contact Perth & Kinross Council's Community Greenspace team by telephoning 01738 475000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.