The first step for allotment groups looking for funding for a project is to contact their local voluntary sector support organisation or community foundation,who will have information about national and local grants available from public funders, the Big Lottery and trusts and foundations. Community foundations also administer grant schemes specific to their locality. Many produce funding bulletins you can sign up for and they may be able to offer one to one support or free access to one of the subscription funding databases. The Funding Central database is free to use for organisations in England with an income below £100,000.
Click on the links below to find your local support organisation.
Types of funders
Grant making Trusts and Foundations, there are about 8,000 grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK, giving a total of approx ₤2 billion in grants each year. Trusts use the income from invested capital to pay grants to organisations and individuals who meet their funding criteria, this may be a particular need or interest and many favour a particular geographical area. One example is the Nineveh Charitable Trust
Public Sector Funds, These are more likely to be offered in the form of contracts for services rather than grants of money but many local authorities still have community funds available that give small grants to community groups; either contact your local councillor or search your local authority website.
Coalfields Regeneration Trust is an independent grant making body serving the former coalfield areas of Wales, Scotland and England (East Midlands, Kent, North East, North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire). The Community Investment programme gives grants for activities that improve health and well-being.
The National Allotments Gardens Trust offers grant funding to registered Allotment Associations and Committees for the improvement and development of facilities on registered and permanent sites. Non statutory sites may also be granted funding if a long term lease is in place.
The Corporate Social Responsibility schemes of large companies will support initiatives in their area or ones recommended by their employees with materials or labour and occasionally grants e.g. Wessex Watermark awards supports organisations environmental projects based within the Wessex Water region. It is worthwhile for an Allotment Association in search of funding for a project to canvas their members to find out where they work and ask them to approach their CSR departments.
There are also a variety of grant schemes offered by large companies such as the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, Aviva Community Fund, Greggs Local Community Projects Fund, and the Co-op Local Community Fund These schemes may be open for applications for a limited period each year.
B and Q in the Community has a scheme in place to donate un-sellable products and materials for re-use by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups, for the benefit of the local community and the environment.
National Lottery, This is public money generated through sales of Lottery tickets, it is distributed via several organisations but the National Allotment Community Fund is where allotment associations can look to for funding. The focus of their grant programmes change periodically but there is a facility on the website to search for suitable grant schemes in your area. Allotments have received funding from Awards for All and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The most popular allotment projects that have received grant funding from the Big Lottery between 2005 and 2015 have been
Site security and safety such as improved pathways
Water supply, recycling and environmental projects
Projects to encourage new plot-holders
Landfill Communities Fund –Landfill operators contribute money to projects that meet their specific environmental criteria and the scheme is tightly regulated. Information about funding and eligibility is available on this page Viridor
To read a guidance sheet on grant fundraising from the Lottery and charitable trusts click here