North of Tyne Combined Authority - Employability & Skills Programme

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has set aside £3m of funding to be used as match funding for ESF projects.

Applications are now open to NTCA and will close on 3rd October, they will assess these applications and approve (in principle) in time for the open call from DWP which closes on the 2nd December. This will mean applicants can prove they have match funds in place. Although the fund is aimed at this call they will potentially match any ESF funding.

NTCA are looking to allocate no less that £200k to each project, so minimum project size is £400k. This is over a max of 3 years. NTCA would welcome consortium bids which bring smaller organisations together.

The link to the NTCA info is here

The link to the DWP call is here

Comic Relief Community Fund


The Comic Relief Community Fund is offering grants to grassroots community organisations with an income of less than £250,000.

There are two types of grants available to organisations whose work delivers on one of Comic Relief’s four strategic themes:

  • Mental Health Matters: projects that support good mental health in communities, improve access to support and tackle stigma and discrimination.
  • Children Survive & Thrive: projects that support children under the age of 5 to reach their potential and have the best start in life.
  • Fighting for Gender Justice: projects that improve equality for women and girls and initiatives that help people affected by domestic violence, abuse or exploitation due to their gender or sexuality.
  • A Safe Place to Be: projects that support people who are rebuilding their lives because of homelessness or forced migration.

Capacity Building Grants

Grants of up to £500 to support a wide range of activities, from developing better organisational governance, policies and procedures to increasing understanding of beneficiary needs, to increasing organisational delivery capacity.

Examples of capacity building grants:

  • A project to increase the capacity of the organisation through increasing volunteering, including to development of  a volunteer strategy, volunteer policy, recruitment and training  of volunteers.
  • Project to train trustees and senior management, to ensure good governance is in place, and organisation has capacity and capability to manage new projects.
  • Developing an organisation website and/or social media channels to enable an organisation to communicate more effectively with its beneficiaries
  • Developing social value processes to better record impact of work
  • Project to increase the diversity of trustees, encouraging more lived in experience members.
  • Engaging with service users, clients and the community to develop models of delivery

Capacity building grants do not require match funding and are available as a rolling programme with decisions made within 6 weeks of the application. Funding should be spent within 12 months of receiving the award.

Northumberland CVA has experience of delivering capacity building programmes across all of these themes and can offer added value to any organisation through our NCC commissioned services. Please get in touch to discuss what we could offer if you are considering applying.

Information on the Capacity Building Grants is available here.

Project Delivery Grants

Grants of up to £4000 will support grassroots organisations to deliver projects that address Comic Relief’s four strategic themes. Projects should be able to clearly show, the local need for the project, robust planning, and legacy.

Examples of project delivery grants: 

  • Training for parents and carers to help support  their children’s development before starting school
  • Activities for girls or women to help them make healthier life choices
  • Supporting people with mental health issues to improve an outdoor space or create a meeting space
  • Setting up a peer support network for people experiencing homelessness
  • Hire of room where homeless people can access support

This list is not exhaustive and there will be many other types of projects that can be funded.

All projects must be completed in 12 months. Core organisational costs, may be included but the fund will not fund projects which only contribute to organisational general running costs or solely a continuation of services. Project delivery grants do not require match funding, however if they do the Comic Relief Community Fund should be the main funding source.

Details on the Project Delivery Grants can be found here.  

The Coalfields Community Investment Fund Open for Applications

Projects should predominantly focus on one or more of the following three themes:

  • Skills – providing appropriate training, non-vocational or vocational, to enable people to increase their skills and knowledge. The training should provide progression routes to volunteering, further training and/or employment opportunities. Examples of projects include improving levels of literacy/numeracy, English not as a First language, IT or coaching in order to provide a service.
  • Employment – providing a range of skills and experience to help people to create pathways into employment and accessing job opportunities. This could be job creation, work placements or job clubs which assist with job searches and applications, CV development and interview skills.
  • Health and wellbeing – supporting projects that increase participation in activities/services that improve the health and quality of life of people in former coalfield communities. This could include projects that address food poverty, debt advice, mental health issues, substance misuse, social isolation or projects increasing participation in physical activity.

Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available.

January 2020 Committee – The Eligibility survey opens on 16th September 2019 and closes on at 5pm on 29th November 2019. The deadline for applications is 13th December 2019 at 5pm.

Full details available on the website.

Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust have recently reviewed their grant giving strategy:

All grants awarded from 2019 will be for environmental education projects, outdoor learning and ‘learning from the land’. The Trustees would like to see applicants addressing key global concerns through educational projects which focus on issues such as (but not exclusive to):

  • connecting with nature
  • climate change
  • environmental pollution
  • loss of biodiversity
  • farming and food production
  • renewable energy
  • mental and physical wellbeing
  • social justice

Two grant schemes are now open and the trust will be phasing in more new grant streams over the next few months.

The two grant schemes are:

  • Apprenticeship and Scholarship Programme Grants
  • Outdoor Learning Officer Grants

Both of these programmes close on 27th September 2019.

Details can be found on the Ernest Cook website.