1. Introduction

Winsley Parish Council recognises the positive contribution made by voluntary organisations, local community groups and charities to the well-being of the local community. This policy sets out the criteria and process by which Winsley Parish Council will consider the award of grants to support initiatives in the local community and to help create opportunities for its residents. A grant is any payment made by the Council to be used by an organisation for a specific purpose that will benefit the Parish, or residents of the Parish, and which is not directly controlled or administered by the Council. The Council awards grants, at its discretion, to Parish organisations which can demonstrate a clear need for financial support to benefit the Parish by:

  • Providing a service
  • Enhancing the quality of life
  • Improving the environment
  • Promoting Winsley Parish in a positive way

The Council has a limited budget to award on grants and guidance can be given to applicants as to how much money is likely to be available in a specific financial year. For 2019/20 the Parish Council’s grants budget was £1000. Requests for amounts exceeding the annual grants budget may be considered if the Parish Council considers the request would be of very significant benefit to the community.

2. Who can apply?

Local community groups, voluntary organisations and charities. The group must be based in the Parish of Winsley or in the immediate vicinity.

3. Grant Application Process

3.1. Grant applications can be made at any time. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Clerk at an early stage to discuss their proposals. There is no formal application form to complete but applications should cover the points below. These points will be used by the Council when deciding whether to award a grant.

3.2 Applications should include:

  • the amount of grant requested;
  • details of the project or activity for which funding is requested;
  • demonstration that the grant will be of benefit to the Parish or residents of the Parish;
  • the proportion or approximate number of beneficiaries living in the electoral area;
  • demonstration of a clear need for the funding, including details of any additional sources of income that will be used to meet the costs of the project or activity;
  • the group’s written constitution or details of the group’s aims & purpose;
  • evidence that the group holds a bank account requiring at least two signatures and a copy of the previous year’s accounts or, for new initiatives, a budget & business plan.

3.3 Completed applications should be submitted to the Clerk. A designated councillor will then review all information for presentation and discussion at the next appropriate Council meeting.

3.4 A representative from the group submitting the application should attend the Parish Council meeting at which the application will be considered, to respond to any questions or to clarify points raised. Councillors will decide, by means of a vote, whether to award a grant and the amount of any grant.

3.5 The decision as to whether a grant has been awarded, and for how much, will be confirmed in writing to the applicant as soon as practicable by the Clerk. The Clerk will arrange payment of grant monies.

3.6 Grant recipients must, at the conclusion of the project, submit a report on how the grant was used. This will be reported at the next Annual Parish Meeting. If a report is not received then future grant applications from that group may not be accepted.

4. Grant Conditions

4.1 The organisation must be either non-profit or charitable. Applications will not be considered from private organisations operated as a business to make a profit or surplus.

4.2 Grants will not be made to individuals.

4.3 Grants will not be made retrospectively.

4.4 Applications will not normally be considered from national organisations or local groups with access to funds from national ‘umbrella’ or ‘parent’ organisations, unless funds are not available from their national bodies, or the funds available are inadequate for a specified project.

4.5 An organisation should have a bank account in its own name with two authorised representatives required to sign each cheque.

4.6 The administration of and accounting for any grant shall be the responsibility of the recipient. All awards must be properly accounted for and evidence of expenditure should be supplied to the Council as requested.

4.7 Only one application for a grant will be considered from an organisation in any one financial year, unless there are circumstances that the Parish Council considers to be exceptional.

4.8 Ongoing commitments to award grants or subsidies in future years will not be made. A fresh application will be required each year.

4.9 Each application will be assessed on its own merits.

4.10 The Council may make the award of any grant or subsidy subject to such additional conditions and requirements as it considers appropriate. The Council reserves the right to refuse any grant application which it considers to be inappropriate or against the objectives of the Council.

4.11 Any grant must only be used for the purpose for which it was awarded unless the written approval of the Council has been obtained for a change in use of the grant monies, and that any unspent portion of the grant must be returned to the Council by the end of the financial year in which it was awarded.

4.12 The Council may make the award of any grant or subsidy as it considers appropriate in the event of any unforeseen urgent event.

4.13. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Council from exercising, at any time, its existing duty or power in respect of providing financial assistance or grants to local or national organisations under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, Section 137.

5. Policy Availability and Review

This policy is available on Winsley Parish Council’s website and in hard copy by request to the Clerk. The policy will be monitored and reviewed as required and at least once every three years. The policy may be amended at any time with the approval of the Parish Council.