As Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease Warwick District Council is making funding available to help support community organisations through the ‘recovery’ phase to enable them to deliver essential services to vulnerable people most impacted by Covid-19 in keeping with Government guidance.
The Community Economic Recovery Fund (the Fund) aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need; it is specifically targeted at local organisations who have a role in supporting the Warwick District community and are experiencing short-term financial hardship and/or have had to cease operations due to COVID-19, or simply need funding to provide, adapt or increase their services for community benefit in the aftermath of this crisis.
Organisations to be supported
Broadly defined this scheme is to support organisations/groups who are responding to people in need within Warwick District.
Examples of not-for-profit organisations that can apply include:
- Voluntary and community organisations/groups
- Local registered charities which don’t have a national infrastructure to support them
- Town or Parish Councils if they have set-up a specific infrastructure to respond to the crisis
What can be funded
An application must include an identified project/scheme/activity or need with set objectives, for example;
- Equipment required to deliver services to support those who need them, for example; an extra lap top to allow a volunteer to do administration for the group or containers that could be used to deliver goods
- Emergency repairs to an organisation’s infrastructure
- Adaptations to Covid-proof facilities
- Purchase/provision of PPE
- Mileage for volunteers
- Provision of food, household goods, other essential items for those most in need
- Sessional costs for trained workers to support individuals/groups recover from impacts of Covid-19, for example; additional sports/activity coaches or trained counsellors to deliver a specific project or session(s)
- Staffing and administrative costs specific only to the management, support and delivery of the identified project/scheme/activity – these costs must be clearly distinguishable and separate from the core running costs of the organisation
Who the fund is not able to help
The fund is designed to help voluntary and community organisations responding to people in need within Warwick District, it will therefore not be able to help:
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Commercial organisations/self-employed
- Political organisations
- Organisations which can access funding elsewhere
- Organisations who are located outside of Warwick District
Expenditure that cannot be funded
- A project/scheme/activity need that;
- Is not within Warwick District
- Should normally be funded by statutory agencies
- Includes the advancement of religion
- Requires the Council to assist with future running or maintenance costs
- Has already been funded by another grant provider, i.e. no ‘double-funding’ (except where match funding may apply to enable the project to be viable)
- The applying organisation is deemed as being able to afford themselves, therefore, unrestricted cash reserves are more than 12 months operating expenditure costs (basic fixed costs to ensure the organisation can exist for a further 6-month period should there be no income)
- Ongoing core costs, for example; staff wages/salaries (not associated with the identified project/scheme/activity), utilities, insurance
- Loan or debt repayment
- Non-essential liquid and foodstuffs
- Projects/schemes/activities that have already taken place
- Contribution to an organisation’s own grant fund/scheme; we cannot contribute general funding to an organisation/scheme which will then make future unspecified grants/hardship donations whenever they are applied for
- Assistance to meet wider funding gaps; this fund is restricted to assistance needed to cope with the impact of COVID-19
- Expenditure deemed unnecessary or unreasonable by the Council
How much can be funded
Awards will be up to a maximum of £3,000. (It remains at the Council’s discretion to consider higher awards if it’s considered that the benefits and impacts of the project/scheme/activity warrant it).
Payments can be made in advance but applications must be itemised and receipts provided after purchase. Any unspent funds must be promptly returned back to the Council to be used to support other organisations.
Please read the 3 criteria below for the Fund before you apply:
1. People in need within Warwick District
The fund will prioritise organisations who work with one or more of the following groups:
- People with physical and mental disabilities, lower socio-economic groups, older people, children & young people, and/or those with long term health conditions
2. Financial need
The organisation can demonstrate clear financial need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and have less than 6-months operating expenditure costs remaining in unrestricted cash reserves after any contribution being made towards the specific project/scheme/activity that the CERF application is for. In your application please set out:
- The expected financial impact of Covid-19 on your organisation, including the impact of any actions you can take to reduce this
- Any immediately available, unrestricted funds you have in reserve and an explanation of why these funds cannot be used for the project to be funded
NOTE - regard will be taken of previous applications already made to the fund.
3. Impact of not receiving funding
The organisation demonstrates the consequences of not receiving funding, and how this impacts on the organisation's ability to deliver support to people in need within Warwick District with particular reference to the groups named in criterion 1 above.
Please also note the following conditions
- The project must not require the Council to assist with any future organisational core running costs outside of the scope of, and not specific to, the delivery of the project itself
- Applications can only be made electronically via the online application form;
- A copy of a recent bank statement for all accounts held by the organisation must be included along with a copy of the last years’ annual accounts. If the organisation hasn’t been in existence long enough to have a set of annual accounts, the last 3 months’ bank statements will need to be provided instead
- If the organisation has recently been established in response to Covid-19 and doesn’t currently have a bank account either an account will need to be opened or the organisation will need to find a ‘parent’ organisation to hold funds on their behalf, for example; a registered charity. In either case, a bank statement must be provided to evidence the account to receive payment
- If a ‘parent’ organisation has agreed to hold funds, we will also need confirmation from the account holder that they have agreed to hold funds on the applying organisations behalf which they will restrict/’ring-fence’ for the sole use of carrying out the project that the CERF grant is contributing towards
- Retrospective grant applications cannot be made
- Evidence of costs/grant amount requested must be supplied with the application, for example; quotes, invoices, receipts
- The offer of a grant does not convey approval of technical, legal, financial or other matters relating to the project/scheme/activity, which will remain the responsibility of the applicant; the Council cannot accept liability for any misjudgements by applicants
- Applicants are required to have the relevant insurance in place for their project such as public liability insurance, where appropriate
- The organisation may be offered a contribution to their project and not the full amount
- Payments can only be made directly to the bank account of the organisation undertaking the project/scheme/activities subject to the discretion of the Council
- Payments can be made up-front, however, any unspent funds must be promptly returned back to the Council to be used to support other organisations
- Awards for projects/schemes/activities where VAT will be reclaimed by the organisation will be a contribution towards ‘net’ costs only
- Grants should be spent within 12 months of the award being made, and a monitoring & evaluation form will have to be completed and returned. The Council may require return of the money (or part thereof) if it has not been spent without good reason.
- Organisations cannot apply to the Fund more than once in a 12-month period for the same project and/or where the project previously funded or part thereof is still active unless there is a significant new cohort of beneficiaries/revised tier for the district/lock down resulting in increased need for support. Previous awards must be spent and evaluated before further applications can be submitted.
- The award of a grant remains at the discretion of the Council regardless of whether or not an application meets the current fund criteria and conditions
NOTE: applications and payments will be checked and any instances of fraud will be reported to the Police.
How to apply
A CERF online application form must be completed. This will need to be supplemented with additional information as appropriate, for example; bank statement(s), annual accounts, quotes, receipts, invoices etc.
Applications can be made on a rolling basis, however, please note that there is a limited budget therefore applications will be considered on a first come first served basis until the budget has been spent.
Any queries please email CERFund@warwickdc.gov.uk. If you need help completing the form, please download the Community Economic Recovery Fund (CERF) questions to prepare before completing the online form.
Once an application is received
Your application will be acknowledged within 5 working days; we will contact you if any further information is required.
If your application does not meet the eligibility criteria or cannot be recommended for approval, we will formally advise you of this and the reasons why.
Applications which meet the fund criteria will be assessed by Council Officers in consultation with the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Community Protection with decisions made on a priority basis according to the funds that remain available. The applicant will then formally be notified of the outcome.