Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund

The Social Infrastructure Fund is Norfolk County Council's capital grants scheme for voluntary and non-profit making groups.

Set up in 2020, grants of up to £250,000 are available for groups who are involved in community projects and initiatives that benefit the residents of Norfolk. Groups can use the funding to make improvements to their existing facilities, or to fund new initiatives and projects.

This grant is part of our commitment to voluntary and community organisations. It helps strengthen local communities by providing support for local buildings and facilities.

£775k of funding is available this year – with £225,000 set aside for smaller projects of between £5,000 and £50,000, and the other £550,000 for larger projects between £50,000 and £250,000.  

The grant is for capital projects that support the Council’s Better Together, for Norfolk strategy, and that help the county with the challenges it currently faces, such as increased living costs. For example, the money could be used to:

  • Enhance a community centre or village hall by adding the latest digital technologies to creatively open up activities to a wider range of people
  • Make improvements to the kitchens in your community centre so that you can provide more meals for people in need over the winter
  • Build a Changing Places toilet to enable everyone to access your services
  • Improve a building to make it more accessible or a more attractive place for clubs to meet

Groups and organisations can submit expressions of interest from 25 July 2022.

The closing date for expressions of interest is 5pm on 20 September 2022. 

In late October, we will invite successful projects to make a full application, which they will need to submit by 5pm on 12 December 2022.

How the grant works

We will put out at least one call for projects each year. You can only apply for a grant when we are calling for projects.

We may put out further calls in the year, depending on how much of the funding we give out in the first round. If we don’t allocate all the funds in a financial year we will roll the remaining funding over to future years.

Check whether your group is eligible and apply

The grant process

  • We will start accepting expressions of interest from: 25 July 2022
  • Online introduction sessions – meet the team for an informal chat. Email socialinfrastructurefund@norfolk.gov.uk to book your place. Session dates:
    • 11am, 15 August 2022
    • 11am, 17 August 2022
    • 11am, 7 September 2022
  • Closing date for expressions of interest: 20 September 2022
  • Letters welcoming full applications: from 24 October 2022
  • Grant applications close 5pm 12 December 2022
  • Grant assessment panel sits: Week beginning 16 January 2023
  • Grant offers out: Week beginning 23 January 2023
  • First update from successful projects: March 2023
  • Second update from successful projects: July 2023
  • Final update to show impact of grant and show case success: October 2023

Our team will look at the information you have provided against a range of issues including:

  • Fit with our objectives and priorities
  • Need and demand for the project
  • Governance and finances
  • Delivery timescales

If your expression of interest is successful we will contact you and invite you to make a full application.

We will send you a form to fill in that asks for some more detailed information about your project, including:

  • How your project meets our criteria
  • The outcomes you hope to achieve
  • The people your project will help
  • The environmental impact of your project
  • How you will fund your project and cover your revenue cost
  • Your detailed project plan, including key project milestones

We will also ask you for the following information:

  • At least three quotes for the work to be carried out from three different independent suppliers
  • A detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your application for funding
  • A copy of a recent bank statement for all accounts held in the name of your group
  • A copy of your most recent annual accounts or audited accounts
  • Your constitution or other governing documents
  • Your equal opportunities policy or statement if this isn’t included in your constitution
  • A copy of your last annual report and annual general meeting (AGM) minutes
  • Your child protection policy, if you have one
  • Your safeguarding vulnerable adults policy, if you have one

The closing date for final applications is 5pm 12 December 2022

Our panel will look at the projects and score each of them against a scoring table. A maximum possible score will be 35 points. If any projects score below 14 points we will not consider them for funding.

Scoring areas:

  • Aims of the project
  • Who will benefit and how
  • How the project contributes to delivering our Better Together, for Norfolk priorities
  • How the project will support challenges currently affecting Norfolk’s communities
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Funding and costs – value for money funding and ongoing costs
  • Delivery and milestones

For each scoring area, points are given from 1-5:

  • Unacceptable response: No evidence provided / does not meet the criteria - 1 point
  • Weak response: Little evidence of ability to meet or deliver to the proposed criteria - 2 points
  • Fair response: Adequate evidence of ability to meet or deliver to the proposed criteria – 3 points
  • Good response: Clear evidence of ability to meet or deliver to the proposed criteria – 4 points
  • Response which exceeds criteria: Clear evidence of ability to exceed the proposed criteria – 5 points

If your full application is unsuccessful, we will write to you to let you know. We will give you feedback on how we came to our decision.

If your full application is successful, we will write to you to let you know. You will need to sign and return our offer letter. We will ask for your organisation’s bank details so that we can make the grant payment to you.

You will need to include our logo and/or mention the support we have given the project on all related promotional materials such as press releases, posts, flyers, websites, signage etc. This includes contacting us at socialinfrastructurefund@norfolk.gov.uk in order to coordinate any press coverage. We would also like to receive photographs of your project as it develops.

You will need to send us two interim reports. One by the end of March 2023 and the other by the end of July 2023. We will also ask you to send us a final report by the end of October 2023 to show the impact of your grant and help us showcase your success 

We will use these reports in our internal audit process. As part of these reports you will need to give us evidence e.g. receipts, invoices, bank statements etc to show how you are using the funding we gave you. 

Throughout the project, and until we’ve agreed the project closure report with you, you will need to agree to open your books to our internal auditors if we put in a reasonable request to you.

You can only spend the grant on the purpose you have put in your application. If for any reason your circumstances change, and you wish to change the way you spend your grant you will need to contact us to ask. If we agree to the change then we will confirm this in writing.

Was this webpage helpful?