Sources of funding and advice

Does your idea or project or community group need advice, support or money? Here are some sources you could explore:

Help and Advice

  • Nene Valley Community Action:  Advice and information, including funding advice, for community groups in East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough. Help with policies and procedures, including disclosure & barring service (formerly CRB). Training and networking events, weekly e-bulletin. Tel: 01933 396382 or email
  • Northamptonshire ACRE:  Advice and information, including funding advice, for rural communities. Runs Rural Wellbeing Service with an information bus, which visits villages with advice and support for older residents. Community Speed Watch. Particular focus on Parish Councils and village halls. Tel. 01604 765888 or email
  • Voluntary Impact Northampton: Advice and information, including funding advice, for community groups across the county. Help with start-up information for new groups. Help with policies and procedures, including supplying templates. Provides training and networking events. Tel. 01604 637522.

In-Kind Help

  • ProHelp: Established by Business in the Community in 1989, ProHelp is a network of professional firms who offer their services for free to community organisations in need of support.

Community Grants

  • East Northants Council: Member Empowerment Fund: Each elected district councillor has an annual budget of £1,000 to provide small grants to community groups and projects in their ward. Community events, carnivals, sporting activities, environmental improvements, community facility improvements, equipment for the local community, activities for young people and schemes that promote community safety may all be eligible. The larger Community Facilities Fund runs each year and gives up to £50,000 for large capital projects.
  • Central England Co-op:  Gives grants ranging from £100 to £5000 to local community groups across their trading area for projects such as improving school playgrounds, restoring church halls, buying special needs equipment, sporting activities, creating educational resources, building kitchen facilities and much more.
  • Northamptonshire Sport: Northamptonshire Sport has created the #NorthantsGirlsCan Fund to provide initial ‘start up’ grants of up to £500 for organisations across Northamptonshire, with the aim of providing more accessible opportunities for women aged 25 years and over. They also give advice and information to sports clubs across the county.
  • Northamptonshire Community Foundation: The Northamptonshire Community Foundation manages a number of grant schemes, which cover community projects, sports, arts, heritage, youth, health & wellbeing, etc. Grants range from £250 to £5,000.
  • Spire Homes Making a Difference community grants: Applications can be made by individuals or groups to start new projects or to support existing ones. You can apply for up to £1,500 for your project. This could include:
    * Clubs and associations that operate within Spire Homes communities;
    * Projects that aim to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour;
    * Projects that aim to support people back into employment.
    Grants are also available to help tenants and members of their household get back to work and improve employment prospects. You can make an application for up to £500.
  • Grantscape (Mick George and Augean): The Mick George Community Fund provides grants of between £5,000 and £50,000, although it is unlikely that individual grants over £35,000 will be made. The total project cost should be less than £100,000. To see if your project is eligible, check the map. Groups with projects that are located within 10 miles of the King’s Cliffe landfill site or the Thornhaugh landfill site may apply for grants to the Augean landfill site or the Thornhaugh landfill site may apply for grants to the Augean Community Fund. The maximum grant available is £50,000. Both cover capital projects, such as village halls, play areas, sports fields etc.
  • Historic Churches Support Officer, Diocese of Peterborough: A wide range of grants are available just for churches and places of worship, including for the Government’s Roof Repair Fund. The support office can provide advice to church representatives about topics such as grant funding, conservation and accessibility, as well as any church building projects.
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation: Two programmes offering short and long term grants, which support small and medium sized charities that are committed to delivering work which breaks or prevents cycles of disadvantage.
    *Enable: provides short term grants to strengthen charities which meet the programme aim, helping them to deliver their mission more effectively. Grants of up to £15,000 are available for 1 to 2 years.
    * Invest: provides longer term core or delivery funding for charities. Grants are available from £10,000 to £25,000 per annum for 2 to 6 years.

Business/Social Enterprise/ Community Grants

  • LEADER Programme: LEADER is a European Union initiative to support rural development projects started at the local level, in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs. LEADER can support the following projects, in rural areas only:
    * small and medium-sized rural businesses
    * farm diversification projects: innovative projects to increase farm productivity
    * forestry services and products
    * tourism projects
    * cultural and heritage projects
    * provision of rural services
    Grants up to £100,000 are available in East Northants

Community/Social Enterprise Loans

  • Charity Bank: an ethical bank that lends to charities, social enterprises and organisations with charitable goals. They offer loans from £50,000 up to £2.5m upwards. Social housing providers can apply for loans up to £2.5m upwards. Social housing providers can apply for loans up to £3.25 million. The Bank works with other social lenders to provide larger loans. You need to be committed to a charitable purpose and have the ability to repay a loan. Tel: 01732 4419002 or email
  • Jon Denton, The Key Fund: Key Fund is a social enterprise that provides flexible grant, loan and equity packages to support Community Organisations, Charities, Social Enterprises and Social Firms. Investments are normally from £5,000 – £150,000 (in some cases up to £300,000), interest is charged at 6.5% on a simple basis, 2% fee and a loan term of 5 yrs. maximum. (Typical APR 12.4%). Key Fund will also consider interest only loans. Funds can be used to support revenue or capital costs, including bridging facilities, capital purchases, cash flow, refurbishment costs, running costs, set-up costs and wages.