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Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund

Applications for the fund are now closed.

Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, groups across Norfolk have supported their communities in a variety of ways, from food and deliveries to tackling loneliness through befriending schemes.

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.

£1m of funding is available this year – with £250,000 set aside for smaller projects of between £5,000 and £50,000, and the other £750,000 for larger projects between £50,000 and £250,000.  

The grant is for capital projects that support the Council’s plan Together, for Norfolk, and that help the county recover from the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the money could be used to:

  • Create a better outdoor space for COVID-safe activities
  • Enhance a community centre or village hall by adding the latest digital technologies to creatively open up activities to a wider range of people
  • Improve a building to make it more accessible or a more attractive place for clubs to meet.

The closing date for applications was midnight on 10 September 2021.

The grant process

  • Grant opens: 12 July 2021
  • Application support workshops: 26 July – 13 August 2021 (Dates to be confirmed)
  • Closing date for applications: 10 September 2021
  • Grant assessment panel sits: Week beginning 27 September 2021
  • Grant offers out: 4 October 2021
  • First update from successful projects: 15 December 2021
  • Second update from successful projects: 30 March 2022
  • Final update to show impact of grant and show case success: 15 June 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 Together, for Norfolk priorities
  • How the project will support Norfolk’s COVID19 recovery
  • 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 application is unsuccessful or your project is not eligible, we will write to you to let you know within two weeks of making our decision. We will give you feedback on how we came to our decision.

If your application is successful, we will write to you to let you know. You will need to sign and return our offer letter. You will then need to send us an invoice for the amount. We will then set your organisation up on our financial system and pay the grant in full directly into your organisation’s bank account. 

You will need to include our logo / 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 before 15 December 2021 and the other before 30 March 2022. We will also ask you to send us a final report by 15 June 2022 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.

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