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Reaching Communities England

Funding projects that help people and communities most in need
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Funding size:
See programme details
Total available:
£200 million
Application deadline:

What’s it all about?


The aim of Reaching Communities is to fund projects that can help meet our aim of improving communities and the lives of people most in need. A community can be people living in a local area or those with similar interests or needs.

The Reaching Communities programme has two strands:

  • Reaching Communities funding is for projects that help people and communities most in need. Grants are available from £10,000 upwards and funding can last for up to 5 years. Through this strand we can fund up to £100,000 for land, buildings or refurbishment capital costs.
  • If you need more than £100,000 for a land and/or buildings project you can apply through the Reaching Communities buildings strand.

If you are applying for more than £500,000 you must contact us first to tell us why you believe a larger project is needed. Call the Big Advice line on 0845 4 10 20 30

All projects must address one or more of the following outcomes:

  • People have better chances in life, with better access to training and development to improve their life skills
  • Stronger communities, with more active citizens, working together to tackle their problems
  • Improved rural and urban environments, which communities are better able to access and enjoy
  • Healthier and more active people and communities..

The NAVCA website has details of your local funding advisors at its members’ directory page. However much you want to apply for we encourage you to speak to a funding adviser. They can help you plan your project and give you guidance about how to fill in an application form.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are:

  • An unincorporated association, incorporated association, trust or company set up and registered as a charity.
  • An unincorporated association set up as a voluntary and community group.
  • A community interest company.
  • A not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
  • A community benefit society.
  • A town or parish council.
  • A statutory body, including schools.

Projects must help people and communities in England. Project activities must take place in the UK.

We strongly encourage partnerships between the voluntary and community sector and the statutory sector.

Reaching Communities grants will not normally be available to groups applying on behalf of other organisations, in poor financial health, with poor history of managing grants, or established outside of the UK.

If you are a branch, or related to, a large organisation that may have some legal responsibility for any grant awarded, they must know about your application.

What can you apply for?

  • We can fund new or existing projects and will make a contribution to the core costs of your organisation where these costs are essential to managing and delivering your project.
  • You can make more than one application at any one time, but each application must be for a different project.
  • While we welcome applications from religious organisations, we do not fund religious activities.
  • We do not fund party political activities.
  • If you apply for a grant for existing work, we will ask you to send us an evaluation report. Evidence of the impact of your project is important to our understanding of the difference your project will make.
  • A grant will not cover costs you have to pay before we give you a grant.
  • A grant will not cover costs which someone else is paying for in cash or in kind.
  • Reaching Communities grants are not available for infrastructure funding or for research projects which produce knowledge aimed at an external audience with the aim of increasing the body of academic research.
  • If you need more than £100,000 for work on land and/or buildings, you should apply to the Reaching Communities buildings strand.

For a full list of what you can apply for read the Reaching Communities guidance notes.

Essential application documents – you must read/complete these before you apply

  • Reaching communities Stage One application form
  • Reaching Communities Guidance notes.

Related documents – you may find it helpful to read these documents before you apply.

  • Reaching Communities Guidance notes for land and buildings projects up to £100,000

The application process

We want to let you know quickly whether or not we can fund your project. First of all you need to complete a Reaching Communities Stage One application form. We will let you know whether your project is one that we might consider funding within eight weeks of receiving your form.

If you are successful at Stage One, we will send you a Stage Two application form. You will usually have four months to complete this. All applicants invited to Stage Two will also be offered an optional sum of money to use to develop the organisation’s knowledge, skills and confidence. Find out more about how this offer works.


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation


  • Stronger communities