Investing in Communities – our large grants programme in Scotland – is closing to stage one applications at 12 noon on Tuesday 30 June 2015!
Over the last few weeks my Big Advice Team Scotland colleagues and I have been getting loads of calls and emails about all three parts of Investing in Communities (Supporting 21st Century Life, Life Transitions and Growing Community Assets). Here’s the top questions you’ve been asking us so far in the countdown to the 30th of June:
Q: Are you expecting a lot of applications?
A: Yes – past experience suggests we’ll get a lot more applications than we can fund, so there will be a lot more competition.
Q: Will you prioritise certain types of application?
The gist is that we’ll prioritise applications supporting people in the most disadvantaged areas, and that demonstrate good community engagement and connections. We’ll also be prioritising certain outcomes within Life Transitions.
Q: Are there any other things we should consider given funding will be tight?
A: Demonstrating that your project is needed and will strongly meet our outcomes is still the key. I also think that showing good value for money will be important though, and having some match funding lined up wouldn’t hurt – especially for larger projects.
Q: We just heard about the deadline. Is it worth us rushing in an application?
A: To be honest, only if the project has already been well developed and thought out. If you are starting from scratch with a few weeks left I think it will be pretty difficult to put together a competitive application.
Q: When will you open new programmes?
A: We’re planning to launch new funding programmes in late 2015 (read more here).
Q: We’re looking to upgrade our local sport facilities. Should we apply to Growing Community Assets
A: No. We are unlikely to fund a sports focused project through Growing Community Assets, so it’s not really the way to go. I’d certainly speak to our friends over at sportscotland though.
Q: We are looking for general refurbishment costs for our local hall/community building. Should we apply to Growing Community Assets?
A: Again, no, as this is not something that’s likely to fit well with what we’re looking for through Growing Community Assets. Growing Community Assets is really focused on developing community buildings or assets that will help address harder needs or inequalities in your local area. In my experience things like general refurbishment, new roofs, minor extensions to village halls don’t tend to quite manage this.
Q: Can we get an extension to the deadline?
A: Nice try! Sorry, no – the deadline is the same for everyone midday, 30 June 2015.
Got a question? Find contact details for the BIG Advice Team Scotland here.