This grant programme is currently closed. We expect this grant programme to re-open to application in the spring of 2024.
You can view previous grant guidelines below.
Please note, these grant guidelines may change when/if the programme reopens to applications. Please make sure you read the new guidelines before you submit your grant application.
- About the Wessex Water Environment Fund
The Wessex Water Foundation Environment Fund supports charitable and community activities that improve local biodiversity or have a positive impact on the local environment for local people.
Applications must demonstrate one or more of the following outcomes:
- Involving communities in environmental activities that benefit the local area
- Having a positive impact on the local environment
- Sharing learning with local people about supporting the environment
Priorities for this programme are:
- Reducing water use
- Improving environmental sustainability in the local area*
- Improving local biodiversity
* For example, this can include activities aimed at reducing waste, recycling and using reusable alternatives, growing own produce, using less energy.
Please note that water refill points are not eligible.
- What you can apply for
You can apply for a grant towards core costs and/or project costs that will help you to make improvements to the local environment. For example, you can apply for a grant towards equipment, salaries and/or overheads. What’s important is that it will help achieve one or more of the above outcomes and meet at least one of the above priorities. Section 6 of this guide provides some examples of previous grants awarded.
At the end of this guide there is an Extra Guidance section. This contains checks for practical projects to undertake when working near protected sites or species.
- Who can apply?
This programme is for voluntary and community groups with charitable aims, registered charities, and Community Interest Companies. You must:
- Have an annual income of less than £500,000. This programme is targeted at organisations where a small amount of money can make a significant difference, so we will also consider your access to other sources of funding and prioritise where it can make the biggest impact.
- Be based and working in Somerset (but not Bath & North East Somerset or North Somerset)
- Have a board or committee with at least three members and the majority being unrelated to each other and/or not living at the same address.
Schools and parish councils may also apply if they can demonstrate community benefit.
- Previous applications
You cannot apply to the Wessex Water Foundation Environment Fund if you are currently receiving Partners Programme funding from Wessex Water.
You cannot apply if your organisation has received a Wessex Water Community Fund grant since December 2022.
- How much do we award?
You can apply for up to £2,000 towards a project/activity covering a period up to 12 months.
- Examples of previous grants
- To restore and maintain a wildlife pond
- To install a litter picking station
- Towards a community tree planting event
- To install a rainwater harvesting solution and irrigation system on a community garden
- What we don’t fund
- Water refill points
- Applications from individuals
- National organisations (independent branches can apply)
- General appeals
- Activities which are a statutory responsibility
- Political groups, campaigning and/or activities promoting religious beliefs
- Animal welfare (except activities that directly relate to improving local biodiversity)
- Arts or sports projects with no significant community or charitable element
- One off events with no significant community or charitable element
- Medical research, equipment, or treatment
- Projects that take place before a grant can be awarded
- Activities that raise funds for other organisations
- How to apply?
The closing date is Monday 22 May 2023. You can apply online. Alternatively, you can request an application form by post. As well as the completed application form you will need to provide the following*:
- A copy of your constitution/governing document that sets out the purpose of your organisation and how it is managed.
- A copy of a bank statement in the name of your organisation. Evidence of account can be a copy of a recent bank statement that is no more than 3 months old. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your organisation’s name, the address where statements go, date of statement, the account number and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
- A copy of your most recent annual accounts or financial records that show your organisation’s balance of funds, income and expenditure.
- Your safeguarding policy documents for working with children and adults at risk. This is required even if you don’t work directly with children or vulnerable adults. For guidance, please see https://www.ncvo.org.uk/help-and-guidance/safeguarding/#/
- A copy of your Equal Opportunities Policy.
*Apart from the bank statement, you do not have to send the above documents if you have already sent them to us within the past six months and they haven’t been amended in that time.
If you are not a formal group and cannot provide the above, you will need to ask another constituted organisation to apply for the grant in their name and manage the funds on your behalf. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.
- What will happen next?
Once we have received your application (including all supporting documents) it will be assessed by a member of staff. They may contact you for further information. The application will then go to a local decision panel which will include representatives from Wessex Water and the local community. You will be notified of the outcome by early July 2023.
- Reporting on your grant
All successful applicants will be sent an End of Grant report form at the end of their funded work. This form asks for details of how the grant was spent and what was achieved.
- Contact details
This fund is being managed by Kirsty Campbell, who works for Somerset Community Foundation. If you have a question or would like to discuss your application before you apply, then please contact Kirsty by:
- Email at email@example.com
- Phone on 01749 344949
- Extra Guidance – Please note that you may not hear back on the outcome of your application until July 2023, your project timeline should reflect this as we cannot fund work already started.
When submitting applications for projects involving practical work, please make sure you have checked whether your proposals could affect protected sites or species and demonstrate in your application how this has been accounted for. For example:
- If you are clearing scrub, have you thought about nesting birds or small mammals such as Dormouse?
- If you are working in ponds, have you thought about Great Crested Newts?
- If you are working in rivers, have you thought about Water Voles, Otters or Beavers?
Further guidance on protected sites and species is available at Construction near protected areas and wildlife – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Please bear in mind that other permissions or working methods may be required for practical works which may need to be evidenced in your application:
- When creating ponds or similar features, have you checked whether planning or other permission is required (advice is available from the Freshwater Habitat Trust at Create A Pond – Freshwater Habitats Trust Freshwater Habitats Trust)?
- If working in rivers or streams, are any permissions needed (you can check guidance at Check if you need permission to do work on a river, flood defence or sea defence – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)?
- Have you checked for invasive species or are following management guidance (you can find more information at Home » NNSS (nonnativespecies.org)?
- Does your project involve any historic features (e.g. Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas)?
- If works to existing trees is planned, have you checked if any permissions are needed (Arboricultural Association – A brief guide to legislation for trees)?