The Knowsley 2030 Strategy includes a priority to make Knowsley a place where strong and safe communities can shape their future.
The Knowsley Council Plan 2022–2025 is underpinned by an ethos of Stronger Communities.
The Stronger Communities Fund will support Knowsley’s community and voluntary groups to contribute to the Council priorities set out in the Knowsley Council Plan 2022– 2025.
The Fund will provide organisations with an opportunity to apply for funds for new project ideas, and funds to sustain and grow established activity.
The Knowsley Council Plan 2022-2025 has a clear vision of “Supporting Knowsley’s People and Communities to Thrive” and is focused around three key priorities:-
- Effective Support for those in Need (ensuring that all Knowsley residents are able to access the necessary support and services);
- Inclusive Growth and Skills (ensuring that all of Knowsley’s communities are able to share in the opportunities from local economic growth – including a focus on improving education and skills levels in the Borough); and,
- Achieving Net Zero by 2040 (ensuring that the Council plays a leading role in local action to address the Climate Emergency).
For the 2023/24 funding period, the Council will give priority to projects which provide “effective support for those in need” in relation to the challenges arising for Knowsley residents from the ongoing cost of living crisis and capacity building for youth provision in the borough.
Who can apply?
Registered charities, constituted voluntary, community and faith organisations, community interest companies, companies limited by guarantee, community benefit societies, charitable incorporated organisations, and community amateur sports clubs who have been operating for at least 12 months and have a good track record of delivery.
The Council is also keen to support newly established organisations which can demonstrate that they have strong governance structures in place.
Organisations can apply to receive one allocation of up to a maximum of £2,000. This level of grant is intended for new organisations or new project ideas which require a small allocation of “seed” funding to allow ideas to be tested.
Organisations can also apply for one allocation of up to a maximum of £10,000. This level of grant is intended for established organisations wishing to sustain activity or expand and extend current activity.
Organisations whose headquarters are not located in Knowsley can still apply providing they can demonstrate a strong history of delivering activity within Knowsley during last twelve months, as supported by Knowsley specific budgets.
What cannot be funded?
- Organisations with fewer than three unrelated Trustees/Directors/Management Committee Members
- Projects and activities classed as a statutory responsibility
- Purchase/maintenance of vehicles
- Private Businesses or Community Interest Companies limited by shares
- Retrospective activity
- Politically connected or exclusively religious activities (including Town and Parish Councils)
- Projects or events which promote or condone extremist ideology, activities, or terrorism
- Academic research, educational bursaries, or travel projects
- Schools and or Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)
What kind of projects will be supported?
The following types of projects will be supported:-
- Projects directly linked to the Knowsley Council Plan priorities
- Projects that directly support the current cost of living crisis
- New and existing project activity which demonstrates additionality (such as wishing to scale up or replicate in a new area)
- Projects applying for either capital and or revenue
- Projects which can demonstrate community support
- Projects delivering in Knowsley for Knowsley residents
- Projects which can demonstrate measurable outcomes and/or value for money
Projects with matched funding or funding in kind (e.g. volunteering) in place will be considered favourably.
Previous unsuccessful projects can re-apply.
We will consider funding projects that have previously been funded by the Stronger Communities Fund. But new funding must be used to: expand the project (to more people), extend the project (to additional locations), or enhance outcomes (for current users).
What kind of projects will not be supported?
The following types of projects will not be supported:-
How much is available:
- Projects which are not linked to the Knowsley Council Plan priorities
- Projects which cannot demonstrate community support
- Projects which have the potential to be deemed political
- Projects from organisations that request continuation funding that cannot demonstrate additionality.
Grants of up to £2,000 and £10,000 will be available.
Organisations can apply to receive one allocation of up to a minimum of £2,000. This level of grant is intended for new organisations or new project ideas that require a small allocation of “seed” funding to allow ideas to be launched and tested.
Organisations can also apply for one allocation of up to the maximum of £10,000. This level of grant is intended for established organisations wishing to sustain activity or expand and extend current activity.
A total of two applications in line with the above criteria will be accepted per organisation per year, i.e. one application for up to £2,000 and one application for up to £10,000.
The Council’s awards of funding may also focus on the most disadvantaged Wards in the Borough.
Core costs will only be supported within the 12-month funding period and must evidence that they are directly related to the project outlined in the application and not for wider work (such as management and administrative salaries, general office costs, accountancy and audit, fundraising and governance/compliance costs etc.).
The total budget for this Fund is £280,000 in the 2023/24 financial year. There will be one call for funding during the 2023/24 financial year from 20 July 2023 with £280,000 of funding available until such a time as the money is exhausted.
How can a project apply?
Please complete an online application form. In order to complete the online application form, you will need documents listed below at the start of the application process:-
- A copy of your governing document
- A copy of your latest annual accounts or income/expenditure document
- A copy of a recent bank statement for your group (dated within the preceding three months)
- A list of your Trustees/Directors/Management Committee Members
- A copy of your current safeguarding policy
All applicants must ensure that they hold relevant policies and procedures in place to undertake activities, such as Criminal Records Bureau checks, relevant public liability and/or a health and safety policy, depending on proposed activity.
All documents must be submitted in order for an application to progress.
If you are unsure, you can access advice from the relevant Stronger Communities Coordinator, or from One Knowsley:-
Stronger Communities Coordinators
The Closing Date for Applications is 5pm on Friday 18 August 2023
What happens next?
Completed applications will be reviewed for eligibility. During this time, you may be contacted via the online portal messaging function for more information after applying. In this instance, contact will be attempted twice only. Failure to respond within timescale will result in the application not progressing to Panel.
After a period of due diligence, applications will be presented to a Panel of representatives from each of the Council’s departments and a representative of One Knowsley. Recommendations will then be made to the Council’s Cabinet in light of the Fund’s criteria and the budget available.
Confirmation of funding
Once support for the project has been approved, Knowsley Council will send confirmation of the funding award to the successful organisation. The project can then begin to be implemented. All payments will be made via the relevant organisation’s bank account.
All recipient organisations will be required to formally sign terms and conditions in relation to the allocation of funding at the beginning of the application process. This process is in place to ensure that public funds are protected. The Council expects decisions to be made in within 17 weeks of the closing date for applications.
Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how project outcomes have been met and explain what tools and methods have been used to gather that information. An End of Grant Monitoring Form will be provided and grant recipients are expected to collect data on the progress of their beneficiaries during the period of the grant, share feedback, and provide a short case study to ensure that the positive impacts against each priority can be recorded, shared, and celebrated.
This form will be issued 12 months after the funding allocation has been paid.
This form will record:-
Confirmation that all funding has been spent in accordance with the agreed funding approval (evidence should be available for inspection by the Council).
- Progress of the project compared to the approved activity
- The number of beneficiaries involved in the project.
- The work carried out, e.g. training provided, volunteering opportunities, pupils supported etc.
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 End of Grant Monitoring Form or uploaded to the online portal throughout the funding period so that improvements can be recorded. The End of Grant Monitoring Form will evidence the work completed and will link closely to the Fund's criteria, aims, and objectives.
Administration of the Programme
- Requests for funding of up to £2,000 and £10,000 are allowable.
- There will be one call for funding during the 2023/24 financial year (commencing in July 2023) and funding will remain available until such time as the budget of £280,000 is exhausted.
- Applications will be reviewed and recommendations will be made to the Council’s Cabinet for final approval.
- Direct beneficiaries of intervention must come from Knowsley.
- The funding cannot match fund pan-Liverpool City Region projects. Funded activity must be exclusive to Knowsley.
- All requests for funding must be on the application form developed specifically for this Fund.
- The impact on the Fund against the priorities must be demonstrable.
- Unless otherwise specified by the Council, applicants are required to maintain records to evidence the impact of their interventions for scrutiny and inspection by the Council for six years following receipt of funds. This will include evidence relating to payments, financial records, and outcome monitoring reporting and will be regardless of whether any costs will be incurred by the organisation to retrieve such records.
- Applicants are required to publicise the Stronger Communities Fund in any marketing for their intervention and make clear the direct support that has been provided by Knowsley Council.
- Within 17 weeks of the call for applications, applicants will be informed of whether their submission has been successful.
- Payments will only be processed following receipt of signed grant agreements and agreement to the Fund’s conditions.
- Council officers and One Knowsley staff are available to support groups to develop ideas which meet the required criteria.
- Groups can receive one allocation of funding per organisation for up to £2,000 and one allocation of funding per organisation of up to £10,000.
- Applicants will need to declare that all effective insurance, safeguarding and health and safety compliance is in place and provide associated documentation where necessary.
Please note that all organisations applying to this Fund are required to submit an accompanying Safeguarding Policy.This Policy will then be reviewed by Social Care officers.Subject to its review, applicants may be required the make recommended changes to their policies and resubmit to the Council within a designated timeframe where it will then be reassessed.
- Early notification of the inability to spend funding within the allocated time period will be encouraged to enable funding to be reallocated.
- Any unspent funds remaining at the end of the project period must be returned to the Council.
- All projects will be required to be delivered within a fixed time period as set out within the grant agreement and conditions.
Please be aware that a full audit trail of evidence of expenditure and outcomes should therefore be retained for inspection. Appropriate checks may be carried out by the Council’s Internal Audit team. This might take place at any point within a six-year period of receiving the grant.
Additionally, at the end of each Funding period, a selection of projects will be selected for full audit.
Knowsley Council has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud/corruption.