Big Blog Scotland by Alistair Jackson

This year we’ve been talking a lot about ‘community assets’. From the Scottish Land Fund re-launching in March to our new Community Assets grants coming on the 13th July, some big grants will be on offer this year for the spaces, buildings and facilities that make our communities good to live in.

But the vast majority of grants we give for ‘community assets’ are £10,000 or less!

So lets look at what’s available, and why our smaller grants may be the best place to start for your hall, building or greenspace project:

Awards for All Scotland

Pros and cons of applying to Awards for All for community assets projectsAwards for All is our most popular grant in Scotland, and supports hundreds of community asset projects each year with awards of up to £10,000.

Awards for All is really useful because it can fund a much wider variety of projects and organisations than our larger community assets grants. For example, as you can see in our press release in June we funded a church to refurbish their community halls, redevelopment of a community growing space and new flooring in a boxing club. We also gave grants to help plan future work on assets, including a community owned swimming pool in Argyll.

So, what are the pros and cons of applying to a Awards for All for your community asset project?

PRO:
Relatively quick and easy way to access £10,000 (single application form, money within 4 months if successful)
Covers refurbishment (or even purchase) of community buildings or land, and installation of equipment, and feasibility/scoping work to support such projects.
Only a lease on the land/building required (our larger community asset grants require ownership)
Open to most types of community organisations, including sports clubs and church halls
Good success rate – usually around 60%

CON:
Maximum grant is £10,000, so might not cover everything you need
Less suitable for large-scale projects – can only contribute towards work where total cost is under £75,000

What else could we apply for?

We also run a fund called Investing in Ideas, offering grants up to £10,000. This can support the planning, community engagement or technical work required if you are thinking of taking on an asset in your community. It is unlikely to support projects that have a heritage, arts or sports focus, and there tends to be more competition for grants compared with Awards for All.

What if we need more than £10,000?

Community-run and led organisations can use the Scottish Land Fund to purchase land or buildings, or our forthcoming Community Assets grants to purchase, develop and run such assets. Both of these offer grants up to £1M for assets the community will own (as opposed to leasing).

However, these funds have stricter criteria, are more competitive, and are unlikely to fund refurbishment costs alone. So, if you are looking to spruce up your village hall, allotment or playpark you are probably better off with Awards for All – even if that means seeking some match funding from another source.

Not sure what grant is right for you?
Let us help! Email us – advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk – or give us a call on 0300 123 7110.

Source: BIG Blog Scotland

Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns