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Grants and Funding

Grants and Funding

The search for funding can be a long and arduous one. Wherever you look it is a virtual certainty that the amount of money in any fund will be less than the amount wanted by all those chasing it.

Organisations with funding schemes usually have their own purpose for which they make this funding available. So if your scheme does not fit that purpose, it's not the one to pursue!  However, if after an initial look, your need seems like it might fit, the best thing is always to speak to them.  The sooner you do this the better - they can always ask you to "call back at a later date, when you have more information".  If you leave it too late, you run the danger of missing deadlines or even making yourself ineligible to apply at all.

The main sources of grant aid for projects are:

There are literally thousands of organisations that offer grants to community and voluntary groups.  Where you apply will depend principally on the following:

  • Whether you are a charity, community group, other voluntary organisation, statutory or public organisation;
  • The rules and priorities of the organisation which is offering the funding - for example, it may itself be a charity (grant-giving trust), a voluntary organisation, a National Lottery distributor, or a central Government department or agency, and will specify who can apply and what they will give money for;
  • The rules of a particular grant aid scheme, which will dictate who can apply and for what.
  • All of the above will also have a direct bearing on the way you need to put your application together and the people you need to involve in the actual development and delivery of the project.
  • Approach the potential funder early, do not wait until the work has started.
  • Get the application in before any given deadline.
  • Complete all parts of the application form.
  • You need to 'sell' your scheme to the potential funder.  Include as many details as possible on why your scheme is important, what the benefits will be and how many people will be affected.
  • If you are undertaking a building project, consider how the future running costs will be met.

Funding for leisure activities through the District Council

This is a time of great pressure on funding.  If you speak to our officers (contact details given below), depending on the nature of your need, they may also be able to assist with ideas for other sources of funding.

Sport and Physical Activity


Email:  Jamie Burton

Play and Youth


Email:  Jamie Burton

Arts, Heritage and Community


Email:  Martin Devine

New Forest RDPE (Leader)

Email:  Sally Igra
Website:  New Forest Leader

The grant aid funds are open to bids from organisations with a proper constitution.  Schemes promoted by individuals are not eligible for consideration, nor do we provide funding for individuals.  If you are an individual seeking personal support for costs such as those involved in sports coaching, visit our Sports Funding page.  If you are seeking funding for Play related schemes, visit our Holiday Playscheme Funding Applications page.

District Council Capital Funding

These funds are for the construction of new buildings or the extension of existing buildings.  We cannot support maintenance works as these are the responsibility of the organisation itself.  If you are involved in a building project and you start before you make contact with us, we will not be able to consider your project.

Schemes must be specifically allied to the Council's Corporate Plan - Corporate Plan 2012 - 2016.  Any bids under this heading are the subject of a long process via what is known as the Council's Expenditure Plan.  Bids will be needed by the end of June in any given year.  However, the outcome of the bid will not be known until February of the following year and, if successful, the actual funding would not be available until after 1st April.

In order for us to be able to even consider an application, the following criteria need to be met:

  • The application needs to be from an organisation, not an individual.
  • The organisation must have a constitution which is to the satisfaction of the Council.
  • The organisation and the project must be to the benefit of residents of the New Forest District Council area.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that the organisation is financially and administratively viable.
  • Every application is to be made on the Council's application form.
  • Applications cannot be made retrospectively - i.e. you cannot apply if the organisation has already entered into any form of commitment in respect of the project, prior to making an application.
  • If you are requesting an investment in property or land, you will need to be able to show that the organisation has security of tenure.

If you have any uncertainties about these criteria and how they relate to your circumstances, contact the appropriate officer first.

Capital Form

As we have mentioned above, it is better to contact us first, before filling in a form.   Please view the adobe icon Grant Aid Capital Application Form [59kb] so you can see what is required for an application.

Capital Application Guidelines

Further information:

If you require any information or further assistance with any of the Council Leisure Grants, or indeed, you would like some advice on who to speak to about funding in general, please contact:

Martin Devine
Head of Leisure and Employment
Beaulieu Road
Appletree Court
Hampshire   SO43 7PA

Email:  Martin Devine

Other useful links:

Arts Council England
Big Lottery Fund
Hampshire County Council Grants
National Lottery: Good Causes
 Awards for All
Community First, New Forest
Heritage Lottery Fund
Sport England
Updated: 31 Mar 2015
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