Community Energy Fund

The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub is now inviting applications for the Community Energy Fund.

Please note, all funding is subject to final agreement between the Net Zero Hubs and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. The submission of an application form does not guarantee funding.


The Community Energy Fund (CEF) is a £10m grant scheme for urban and rural communities to develop energy services to benefit their local area.

The funding will help to kickstart clean energy projects including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points. It can also be used to fund fuel poverty alleviation schemes such as energy efficiency, retrofit, and advice projects.

The new fund follows the success of the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), with an expanded remit to include both rural and urban areas in England.

Aims of the scheme

The CEF aims to empower local people to take control of their energy future by:

  • Increasing the number of community-owned low-carbon energy assets
  • Supporting communities to reduce energy cost and demand
  • Generating local income through community-owned energy assets
  • Reinvesting income locally and kickstarting private investment
  • Supporting local jobs, growth and volunteering opportunities
  • Enabling places to benefit from clean, renewable, local energy

The fund will achieve its aims by supporting the earlier-development stages of community-scale projects.

About the funding

The fund is for the development of projects from concept to investment-ready scheme. It does not provide capital funding for the installation of projects themselves.

Funding will be offered for a Stage 1 Feasibility Grant of up to £40k to produce a feasibility study to establish the technical and financial viability of a project, and/or a Stage 2 Development Grant of up to £100k for a more detailed investigation of the technology, for planning applications and to develop a business case.

Who can apply to the CEF?

The fund is for eligible community-based organisations on England with projects that will bring benefits to the local community. These are:

  • Amateur sports clubs
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations
  • Community Benefit Societies
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Co-operative Societies
  • Development Trusts
  • Faith Groups
  • Pre-commencement societies
  • Registered charities
  • Registered Social Landlords (partnered with a community group)
  • Town or Parish councils

Applicants need to show that a good level of community engagement has been carried out, and that there is genuine community support for the project, including plans for ongoing community engagement.

How will the fund be delivered?

The CEF is a national scheme funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. It will be delivered through the five Local Net Zero Hubs across England, which support the public sector and not-for-profit organisations to develop net zero projects and attract investment.

Eligible applicants should apply to the Fund via their local Net Zero Hub.

Apply for the Community Energy Fund

The North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub will run three application rounds for the Community Energy Fund, subject to funding available, with timescales for the first round as follows:

Round 1

  • Open for applications – 05/12/23
  • Close for applications – 05/01/24
  • Successful applicants notified – w/c 19/02/24

Please fully read the guidance document before completing your application form. Please also ensure that you are completing the correct application form for the funding you require. Stage 1 funding is for the completion of feasibility studies, while Stage 2 funding is available for post-feasibility project development.

To apply for the Community Energy Fund, please submit your application and all supporting documents to [email protected] midnight on 5th January 2024

Read more and apply for the Community Energy Fund here.

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Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme 2024

North Tyneside Council is seeking to fund local providers to deliver a high-quality programme of activity during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays for children eligible for free school meals.

Providers may come from the public, private or voluntary and community sector.

The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme is for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. The aim is to make free places available to children eligible for free school meals for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week, six weeks a year.

Providers can access this funding to offer free places for children on free school meals alongside other fee-paying children. Where providers are charging a fee for attendance it is encouraged that this is offered at as low a cost as possible.

There are approximately 8,300 children eligible for income related free school meals in North Tyneside. North Tyneside Council hopes to offer an all-encompassing programme to benefit children, young people, and their families.

Easter 2024 – Closes 15 January
Summer 2024 – Closes 1 May
Christmas 2024 – Closes 1 September

Read more about the HAF 2024 funding here.

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Office for Veterans Affairs: Support for female veterans

Women veterans who have suffered sexual trauma in the military will soon have access to improved clinical support within the UK healthcare and charity sector thanks to a new £200,000 government fund. This funding will support the rollout of dedicated training and guidance for frontline staff to support women veteran survivors of sexual trauma across healthcare services, military and civilian charities.

£200,000. UK Healthcare and charity sector.

Find out more about the Office for Veterans Affairs

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Hospice Grants 2023: Dying at Home with Dignity

This grant programme will support projects that provide hospice/ palliative care for people who are terminally ill and dying at home. Funding is available to encourage hospices to expand their services to new client groups as well as their carers/families, by inspiring and funding small innovative projects that will make a tangible difference to people dying at home. The intention is that project outputs would lead to examples of best practice, a framework of ‘what good looks like’, opportunity to share issues and encourage hospices to work together to provide a specialist service.

Up to £40,000. UK Hospices. Open – 5th December 2023 to 29th January 2024

 Read more and apply here.

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The Fat Beehive Foundation

The Fat Beehive Foundation is an independent UK registered charity that provides small grants for websites and digital products to other small UK registered charities with a turnover of less than £400,000. Funding priority for this quarter is art and culture, with an additional focus on hard-to-fund digital expenditure that other funders often won’t cover.

Up to £2,500. UK Registered Charities. Deadline – 5th January 2024

Find out more about The Fat Beehive Foundation

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Clothworkers Foundation

Grants are available to put towards capital projects, including building purchase, building work, fittings and fixtures, equipment and vehicles. This has now been expanded to include capital grants for digital infrastructure and they will also consider applications for products and software, such as websites, databases and apps.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the work fits within one or more of the programme areas and that at least 50 per cent of service users benefiting are from one or more of those groups. These are:

  • alcohol and substance misuse
  • disadvantaged minority communities
  • disadvantaged young people
  • domestic and sexual abuse
  • homelessness
  • older people
  • people with disabilities
  • prisoners and ex-offenders
  • visual impairment.

The size of grant awarded will depend on a number of factors including the size of the organisation and the cost and scale of the project. The funders aim to make a decision within eight weeks for grants and projects of less than £10k and within six months for grants over £10k.

No min/max specified. Not for profit (registered).

No deadline.

Read more and apply here.

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Co-op Foundation: Young Gamechangers Fund

Co-op Foundation, Co-op and the #iwill Fund have partnered to deliver a £4.5 million fund aimed at supporting youth-led social action in communities.

Individuals aged between 10 – 25 and groups or organisations with an annual income of less than £250,000 are invited to apply. Applications are encouraged from young people that traditionally have not had access to funding, or have experienced barriers that prevented funding, and those from marginalised groups and communities.

Up to £20,000. Individuals and small groups or organisations.

Deadline – 19th December 2023

Find out more about the Young Gamechangers Fund

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UK Shared Prosperity Fund People and Skills Year 3 Call

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is inviting applications from organisations for provision related to their UKSPF People and Skills 2024/2025 investment, which aims to:

  • Simplify the employability landscape, to make it easier for residents to access provision;
  • ensure that employability provision is demand led, prepares people for labour market opportunities and that employers are involved in shaping delivery;
  • create an employment journey which supports people towards work, into work, and within work.

They are interested in innovative proposals that focus on providing both economically inactive and unemployed residents with support to move towards work, into work, and within work. Lead organisations are required to submit applications in the form of a business case and finance and outputs table document.

£500,000 – £1.5m. Open to all organisations.

Deadline: 15th December 2023

Read more and apply for UKSPF funding here.


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Cosaraf Charitable Foundation’s Hardship Grants

Grants to Support Individuals & Families in Need.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to charities, housing associations, schools and social services providing support for individuals and families across the UK who are in financial need.

The Cosaraf Charitable Foundation’s Hardship Grants will support individuals and families who have exhausted all other sources of funding and are struggling with everyday costs, such as basic living expenses, household items and utilities, work- or education-related expenses, or rent arrears.

Priority will be given to the most financially excluded people, families over individuals, those with caring responsibilities, and to items that will make the most difference to the individual/family’s long-term future.

Applications can be made at any time and are assessed every six weeks.

Read more and apply.


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Community Orchard Funding

Whitley Bay Community Allotment and Orchard before and after picturesFirst published by North Tyneside Council on 30/11/23

More communities in North Tyneside could soon have their own orchards, thanks to new funding from North Tyneside Council.

The council has secured £11,300 of Coronation Living Heritage Funding to help local community groups establish orchards in their area.

The funding covers a one-off payment to set up the orchard, with a small allowance the following year to plant replacement trees.

An orchard is a collection of fruit and, sometimes, nut trees. They can be grown in small spaces and don’t need acres of land for planting. In fact, the minimum number of trees for an application is five.

Community orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant and cultivate a variety of fruit trees. They can become a hub for community activities and events.

Jean Morrison is Secretary of the Whitley Bay Community Orchard and Allotment. The residents there began planning for an orchard on derelict land 12 years ago, and received funding from North Tyneside Council, along with other partners, to help start the orchard.

It’s now flourishing, with more than 40 fruit trees, and the group has plans to host a hive of honeybees.

Jean is encouraging others to start an orchard: “We started out with some abandoned land, covered in bramble and rubble, with lots of anti-social behaviour problems. We’ve now transformed it into a haven for the community. It’s for everyone, and for anyone to use, including children and community groups.

“The plot is narrow, but you can create an orchard from the most surprising of places. I’d definitely encourage others to start their own. We’re so happy with what we’ve achieved”.

Councillor Sandra Graham, Cabinet member for the Climate Emergency said:

“We’re proud of the work we do to increase bio-diversity across the borough, and our ambitious target to be carbon-net zero by 2030. I am delighted that we have secured this external funding which will enable more residents to have their own havens.

“Orchards contribute to pollinator populations and are an opportunity for schools and the community to learn new skills, like wildlife identification, horticultural skills, and maintenance of the trees.

“These orchards will not only benefit residents now, but future generations to come”.

To register your interest and receive an application form, please email [email protected] and mention the Coronation Living Heritage Fund.

The Coronation Living Heritage Fund supported by £2.5m in funding has been made available through Defra’s £758m Nature for Climate Fund to allow county, unitary, metropolitan, London borough, district and city local authorities the chance to apply for up to two grants for projects ranging between £10,000 and £50,000.

The funding will support the development of micro woods and community orchards and commemorate the King’s Coronation. Funds can be distributed across projects in their area.

Through the England Trees Action Plan and supported by the £758m Nature for Climate Fund Defra will help to transform the treescape and the forestry sector helping to put the UK on track to meet net zero targets, reverse the decline in nature and support economic growth.”’

For more information about North Tyneside Council’s Action on Climate Change, click here.

Image shows the Whitley Bay Orchard and Allotment before and after the renovation and planting of the orchard. For more information about the Whitley Bay Orchard and Allotment Group, please contact [email protected]

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