Hinkley Point C (HPC) is one of the biggest developments that Somerset has ever seen. Building work started in 2017 and is expected to continue until at least 2027. It’s making a big difference to the lives of people living nearby, particularly in places like Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea and the surrounding villages.
The differences that people are experiencing have changed over the years. There have been new opportunities for people living in the area, but the build has also impacted on some people’s quality of life.
This fund is for communities that are experiencing these changes. You can ask us for money if your group works in one of these communities, and you have an idea to make the local area better. Whatever you ask for, it must improve community wellbeing and quality of life.
How much money can I ask for?
You can ask for £250 to £20,000 from this fund.
If your project lasts for up to a year, then the most you can ask for is £10,000.
Or you can ask us for up to £20,000 if your project will continue for 3 years (we call this a multi-year grant).
We have around £200,000 in total to give out this year.
Who’s allowed to apply?
We welcome applications from groups that exist to support people in their local community. We can award money to groups that are not registered charities, but the purpose of the funding must be charitable. This means we can give a grant to:
- community groups
- registered charities
- community amateur sports clubs
- community interest companies (CIC) limited by guarantee that have a clear asset lock benefitting local communities
- companies limited by guarantee that are not-for-profit with all surpluses re-invested back into the organisation
- faith organisations, but not for the promotion of religion
- community benefit societies
- local statutory organisations, like parish councils or schools.
Whatever sort of group you work or volunteer for, you can only apply if your organisation:
- normally runs on less than £250,000 each year
- is based in the county of Somerset (but not North Somerset or BANES)
What can the money be used for?
You can ask us for money to do lots of different things, including:
- refurbishing buildings
- buying pieces of equipment or materials
- paying staff time or volunteer expenses
- hiring venues or other rental costs
- promoting your work.
Who’s more likely to get some money?
We want to support many different groups, but there will never be enough money for everyone. The groups that are more likely to be successful are those that are:
- in communities that have experienced bigger impacts from Hinkley Point C
- supported by many people in the wider community
- clearly addressing the impacts of Hinkley Point C, or making the most of the opportunities it creates
- working closely with other organisations to make sure everyone can benefit
- offering good value for money
- thinking about what will happen after the funding ends.
What are some examples of things you’re interested in funding?
Here are some examples of where we might be able to give you money:
- A sports club in a community that has grown because of HPC, but which needs refurbishing to make their facilities suitable for everyone.
- A village hall in a community that has grown because of HPC, which needs new equipment to make their clubs and events accessible to all.
- A youth club that works in a community near the HPC development that needs support for youth worker salaries to support young people to take advantage of education or work opportunities.
This isn’t everything we’ll fund, but we hope it gives you an idea of how this money can be used. If you have an idea for a project, please talk to us.
Do I have to write a report if you give me some money?
You need to spend your grant within 1 year (or 3 years if you’re applying for a multi-year grant) and send us a short report. You need to complete the report online and it will look like the application form. We ask you to tell us how the money was spent, what difference it made, and if you had any problems. We also ask you to send us stories and photos about the people you have supported, if you can.
How do I apply?
You can apply to this fund by filling out an online application form. This takes you to a registration page where you’ll need to enter your email address. The registration page can be reached by clicking on ‘apply here’ at the bottom of this page.
You don’t have to complete the form in one go. Instead, you can complete some sections then click ‘save draft’ at the bottom of the page. Use the link in your email to return to the form at another time.
You also need to attach the following documents alongside your application:
- your governing document or set of rules
- your most recent accounts
- the names and addresses of the people who run your group, if it is not registered with the Charity Commission or Companies House
- your safeguarding policy
- a bank statement from within the last 3 months. This can be a scanned paper statement, or a copy downloaded from an online account. We need to see the bank name, your group’s name, the address where statements go, the account number and the sort code. You may redact transactions if needed.
Finally, you must read the terms and conditions and click ‘submit’.
The Small Grants Committee will also look for any letters of support for your project. This helps to show us that the community wants your project.
What happens after I apply?
You’ll receive an email once your online application is complete. We will then assess your application and may contact you with further queries if needed.
When we assess your application, we look at a number of different things. See below for an example of this:
• A small sports club has noticed the local population has grown, and people new to the area are unfamiliar with their new community. The club believes this rise in population is because they are based near Hinkley Point C, and on the route for the park-and-ride.
• They know that sport has been shown to bring people together and form good relationships in communities. But their facilities are old and unattractive, and people are travelling further afield to other clubs instead.
• The club applies for funding to refurbish their facilities. They want this to make their club more attractive to local people and help create a better community spirit.
• The sports club noticed that traffic had increased through the village. This was backed up in a parish council meeting, where members of the public raised concerns about the impact on the village. The club members have also had conversations with their neighbours and friends, who say their journey to other sports facilities further afield has been affected by the increased traffic.
• The club’s plan is to offer more attractive local facilities, which they hope will bring the local population back to the club. In turn, this will reduce the number of journeys made for leisure purposes in the area, alleviating a small amount of traffic and contributing to the environmental and social wellbeing of the community.
• The sports club has been a long-standing organisation in the village and the parish council sees it as an important facility to improve people’s health and fitness. A local councillor is supportive of developing the club and writes a letter of support for the project, outlining how the community has grown and the community perceives this to be because of HPC. The parish council has also contributed some funding to the club, to show how important it is to the community.
• The club has contact with the local GP social prescribing team, which has also sent a letter to show their support for the club.
Governance and Delivery
• The sports club has been running for 10 years and the management team has successfully completed several upgrades and repairs to the facilities, demonstrating their capability to see this project through.
• The club also has a strong safeguarding policy in place, which helps them keep their younger members as well as vulnerable adults safe.
• The project plan has clear milestones and timings, allowing for any delays to be addressed.
• There is evidence of a strong committee which represents different members of the community.
• The club can evidence good financial controls and good money management
Value for money
• The plan clearly outlines the costs involved, including several quotes for the work to be completed.
• The club has secured funding from other sources, including a fundraising event held by their members and a grant from the parish council. The planned timeline for the work is realistic and the contractor the club has selected is experienced in working on sports facilities.
• The sports club refurbishment has an expected lifespan of 15 years, which will leave a good legacy for the HPC Community Fund in the village and provide the club with facilities that will withstand the test of time.
HPC Community Fund Awards Panel
Members of the HPC Community Fund Awards Panel will consider applications and make final funding decisions. The panel is made up of representatives of Somerset Community Foundation, Somerset Council, EDF as well as Independent community members.
The panel meet every 8 weeks and we will let you know your outcome within a fortnight of their meeting.
If you’ve read through this page and you’re not sure whether to apply for money or not, then the best thing to do is call Pete, who manages the HPC Community Fund small grants programme.
Pete works for Somerset Community Foundation and can be reached on 01749 344949 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pete’s job is to help you make your application, so please do get in touch.