City Gateway

Reaching Communities England

City Gateway

Flexible funding over £10,000 for up to five years to organisations in England who want to take action on the issues that matter to people and communities.

Area
England
Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations
Total available
£190m this financial year
Application deadline
Ongoing
How to succeed

Reaching Communities make grants of over £10,000 in England, supporting organisations with great ideas that enable communities to thrive.

The grants are awarded to voluntary and community organisations or social enterprises for up to five years. We can fund project activities, operating costs, organisational development and capital costs.

We’re really interested in hearing your ideas. Whether they’re big or small, tell us what you think will improve your community.

Our funding priorities

We support ideas that meet one or more of our three funding priorities.

Show us how you plan to:

  • bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities

  • improve the places and spaces that matter to communities

  • enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.

What we want to see

You developed your idea by involving the people who will benefit

We want to see that you’ve spoken to people and listened to what they have to say.

You’ll support what’s already working well

Use your knowledge of the skills and experience people already have and explore how you can build on it.

You can test new approaches

We’re interested in your original and creative ideas for achieving your mission, and are keen to share what you learn with others.

You understand the existing activities and services that do similar work

Have you spoken to other groups? What can you learn from them, and how can you contribute to what they already do?

You’re committed to equalities and the environment

We’ll want to know about your equalities policy and your environmental policy if we’re interested in your idea.

Visit our website for more information on our equality principles

Visit gov.uk for more information on environmental responsibility

You’re people led, strengths based and connected

Through all our funding, we’re interested in supporting organisations that are:

  • people led - meaningfully involving the people you’re working with in the development and delivery of your activity

  • strengths based - making the most of the skills that already exist in communities

  • connected - understanding what other relevant organisations are doing and developing good working relationships.

Check if you’re eligible

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a:

  • voluntary and community organisation

  • registered charity

  • social enterprise

  • group of organisations, as long as they are led by a voluntary and community organisations or social enterprise

  • school

  • statutory body (including town, parish or community council)

  • community interest companies (with two or more directors).

We can’t accept applications from:

  • individuals

  • sole traders

  • organisations based outside the UK

  • anyone who is applying on behalf of another organisation

  • organisations without at least two unconnected* people on the board or committee.

(*not a relation by blood, marriage, in a long-term relationship or people living together at the same address)

We will consider funding unincorporated groups, but normally expect the groups to use our funding to incorporate and, where appropriate, register as a charity.

What can you spend the money on?

We can fund:

  • staff salaries

  • project activities

  • running costs

  • small-scale refurbishment

  • equipment

  • organisational development.

We can’t fund:

  • activities that generate profits for private gain

  • religious activity (although we can fund religious organisations if their project benefits the wider community and doesn’t include religious content)

  • activities that replace government funding (for example, we can only fund school activities that are additional to the curriculum)

  • activities that benefit individuals, rather than the wider community

  • political activities
  • retrospective costs
  • loan repayments.

Not sure if you’re eligible?

If you’re unclear whether you can be funded, get in touch with us:

Phone: 0345 4 10 20 30

Text relay: 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30 (for those with a hearing or speech impairment)

Email: general.enquiries@biglotteryfund.org.uk

What to expect

1. Find out if we can fund you

  • Check that you’re eligible

  • Read this guidance

  • Talk to us

How to get in touch

Phone: 0345 4 10 20 30

Text relay: 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30 (for those with a hearing or speech impairment)

Email: general.enquiries@biglotteryfund.org.uk

2. Tell us your idea

First, give us a brief outline of what you want to do.

You don’t have to have all the details, but try to include:

  • what you want to do and why

  • what difference you think your idea will make

  • how people and communities are involved with your project

  • the background to your organisation

  • the length of your project budget and how much funding you’ll need from us

  • how your idea fits in with other activities.

You can submit a form online, book in a phone call, send us a video, or email us.

We’ll then get in touch to find out more about your idea.

3. Submit a full proposal

If your idea is accepted, we'll ask you to submit a full proposal.

Your application will be made up of:

  • your proposal for funding

  • organisation details.

A Funding Officer will help you put your proposal together and give guidance on the areas that you need to cover.

Your proposal will be assessed at a Big Lottery Fund decision-making panel, alongside a report by the relevant Funding Officer.

If you’re successful

You’ll get a call from your Funding Officer and an offer letter in the post.

If you’re unsuccessful

You’ll get a call or email from your Funding Officer letting you know the decision and offering any relevant feedback.

4. Get ongoing support

If you’re successful, we’ll work with you to identify the right level of support throughout the duration of your grant.

We’ll agree your payment plan, how often you’ll update us on your progress, and how we gain assurance for the funding we have awarded.

We’ll also discuss how we can support you to celebrate and promote your funding, engage with the wider community and share your learning with others.

You can view our terms and conditions here (PDF 181KB).

Get started

First, send us a brief outline of your idea.

Submit your idea

Other ways to submit your idea

You can also contact your regional funding team to book a time with a funding officer to tell us your idea over the phone (or you can email your ideas to them directly):

Region Email Phone
North East & Cumbria

Covering Newcastle, Cumbria and the north-east of England

NEandCumbriateam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0191 376 1700
North West

Covering Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside

Northwestteam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0161 261 4646
Yorkshire and the Humber

Covering Yorkshire, north and north-east Lincolnshire

YorksandHumberteam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0113 224 5349
South West

Covering Exeter, Bristol and the south-west of England

Southwestteam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0139 284 9747
London, South East and East of England Londonandsoutheastteam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0207 211 1998
East and West Midlands Midlandsteam@biglotteryfund.org.uk 0121 345 7800

If you want to get in touch with us about anything else, please visit our Contact page.

Checks

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