Community Funding



Cherwell District Council have launched a couple of new grant schemes and I thought it would be useful to update my funding list.  It is a good time for voluntary and community groups who require funding, so please do share this with members of your community involved in activities that could benefit.  The video shows a community project I was able to help through my Councillor Priority Fund.


1. Oxfordshire County Councils: Councillor’s Priority Fund:   I am looking for community based projects that can provide some degree of match funding.  Previous projects have involved vehicle activated speeding signs, toddler group equipment, transport hire for a seniors day trip and equipment for a community café.  In the first instance, please contact me to discuss your project.


2. Cherwell District Council: SPARK funding:  This fund is restricted to Bicester and the following villages only:  Caversfield, Launton, Ambrosden, Wendlebury, Chesterton, Bucknell, Blackthorn & Merton.  The fund is part of the Healthy New Towns & Garden Towns programme and has a £40k pa budget (secured for 3 years) and distributes grants of up to £1000.  Full details can be found here .  The website is very Bicester centric, but all of the villages listed above are just as eligible


3. Cherwell District Council: Community Infrastructure Capital Grants.  This fund is available to any communities in the Cherwell district.  The fund has a budget of £100K pa (and secured for 3 years).  Eligible projects include things like improving indoor spaces (ie building works, floors, kitchens), outdoor spaces (ie pocket parks, planters, play equipment, seating), purchase equipment for a new activity, new builds or extension projects. There is more information here


4. HS2:  Community & Environment Fund.  This is the largest fund £40M and is designed for communities that will be impacted by HS2. “Impacted” means those in the immediate area, but also includes those impacted by associated infrastructure such as construction compounds and transport routes (including around junction 9 and 10 of the M40).  There is an easy online eligibility checker and I would advise communities that qualify to think big as opportunities like this do not come along very often.  Additional information is available here


 5. Additional Funding:  Some useful information on the Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) website that can be found here: CFO website.

6. Parish Councils Can often be a useful source of grants for community groups.  In accordance with the Local Government Act 1972 section 137, parish councils can set aside a sum of money each year which can be applied for by local organisations for projects which will be of benefit to residents within the parish

Parish council awards are typically open to established voluntary or community groups, as well as new or informal groups of parishioners who are or intend by the date of application to become formally constituted.


To be eligible for the award of a grant under Section 137 an organisation must:

• be established for charitable, benevolent, social, cultural, recreational or philanthropic purposes.

•have a constitution, or set of rules, which define its aims, objectives and operational procedures.

•be able to provide a copy of its latest annual accounts and be able to demonstrate that the accounts are checked and signed by a person independent of the group

•have a bank account operated by a minimum of at least two joint signatories.


•the project should be something which makes the local community a better place in which to live, work or visit;

•it should benefit people who live in the parish;

•there must be clear evidence that local people support the project and are involved in carrying it out.


•support for individuals or private business projects

•the running costs of any organisation

•projects which are the prime statutory responsibility of other government bodies

•projects which improve or benefit privately owned land or property

•projects which have already been completed or will have been completed by the time the grant is made.

7. Village Halls & Community Centres. 

The relationship between village halls and parish councils is, in many ways, a special one. Village halls or community centres provide a venue at low cost for a wide variety of local organisations and community activities in general.  Parish councils often provide financial support or give other assistance to help in the running of a village hall.  This is because the provision of a village hall fulfils one of the powers conferred on a local council under section 133 Local Government Act 1972 . This link has some useful information that village halls should be aware of.