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Year 2 Community Grant Scheme Guidance Notes – Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund

The Programme

Introduction

In 2020 Foundation for Future London, through generous funding from Westfield Stratford City, opened the first community grant strand of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund. The fund aims to support local organisations and individuals to create new jobs, learning, training, and educational programmes through the means of arts, culture, innovation, public realm and creative placemaking.

The Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund is an ambitious five-year programme that aims to invest £10 million into the local communities of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest, and we are now pleased to be opening Year 2.

Year 2 has been designed with evaluation and feedback from Year 1 grantees to ensure that the process is accessible, transparent and allows applicants to make informed decisions, follow a simple applications process and gain additional support when needed.

The Grant Schemes

The community grant strand is made up of Small, Medium, and Large Grant Schemes. In Year 1 we awarded funding to 21 Small Grant projects, 11 Medium Grant projects and 3 Large Grant partnership projects.

Year 2 follows the same format, but we are pleased to award even more funding this year. The Small Grant Scheme has a pot of £180,000 and will award 30-35 small grants. The Medium Grant Scheme pot is £330,000 and will award 20-24 grants, and the Large Grant Scheme has a pot of £390,000 and will award 5-8 grants.

What are we looking for?

Funding Themes

For all three of the community grants schemes, at the heart of your project there must be a core commitment to one or more of the following:

  • Employment opportunities
  • Will your project provide employment opportunities for local people, including access to paid work experience / internships, access to apprenticeships or gaining access to jobs?
  • Learning opportunities
  • Will your project provide ladders of opportunity through learning and training opportunities for local people, including accessing lifelong learning opportunities from early learning, schools through to late career and post retirement and/or will the project offer bespoke career and higher education path support, training, and secondments?
  • Young people
  • Will your project have a young person led approach with particular provision for local young people to access broader skills development opportunities, careers workshops and related learning and/or one to one coaching and mentoring?
  • Business and entrepreneur support
  • Will your project provide local people with the opportunity to have business and/or entrepreneur support including freelance, business and entrepreneur set up, development and training?

Outcomes

We appreciate these four overarching areas are a broad spectrum, so to aid understanding of outcomes expected through the grants, we have developed a user centred process.

Outcomes are the project’s short, medium or long-term goals that will lead to a meaningful impact for communities in the local boroughs. Applicants will be asked to identify a set number of outcomes that their project will achieve. The number of outcomes expected will be based on which strand you are applying for.

We have provided a list of 13 short, medium and long-term outcomes to be selected. Number of outcomes expected will be based on which strand you are applying for (see information below)

Short Term Outcomes Medium / Long Term Outcomes
Participants gain technical/sector- specific and/or creative skills Increased employability of participants
Participants gain essential skills Increased capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship
Participants grow their networks and awareness of local opportunities Increased diversity in the creative/entrepreneurial sector in the boroughs
Participants gain confidence in their potential and self-initiative More diverse audiences engage with the cultural sector and benefit from community assets/available services
Participants are better equipped to process difficult emotions Participants act as agents of change within the local community
Participants are equipped to act as agent of change in their boroughs Organisations and schools integrate creative approaches within their projects
Organisations and schools are exposed to creative approaches to wellbeing

Local Engagement

In your application, we need to understand what the need is for your project, how this has been identified and how local people have been involved in the planning and development of the proposed activities. You or your organisation should be able to demonstrate that you have good links and networks in the community to deliver the activities and collaboratively address the proposed outcomes.

In addition to the above outcomes, projects that have a) considered community engagement and consultation and b) have demonstrated follow up or longer-term opportunities to participants will be considered more favourable for being awarded funding.

Project Activity & Case Studies

Our Fund is about creating inclusive and sustainable opportunity — we are keen to back a range of activities and innovative ideas that drive the proposed outcomes. The Foundation for Future London is a strong advocate for the ability of creativity to enable levelling up opportunities and to be a strong contributor to the London economy.  Therefore, we are keen to fund project activity that has origins in:

We have a range of case studies and videos from projects we have funded across Year 1 of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund that will help demonstrate the kind of projects we support — you can also see our Project pages for more examples.

Assessment Criteria & Support Area

Funding decisions will be based on the merit of your application. The assessment process will utilise a scoring matrix to assess applications to a consistent and fair standard.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the forefront of the Foundation’s grant giving. We actively encourage applications from all communities including Black, Asian and ethnically diverse, disabled, learning disabled, unemployed and/or low waged, people without qualifications, suffering housing difficulties, Gypsies and Travellers, LGBTQ+, children and young people, older people and people with mental health issues or health issues.

We want to make sure funding opportunities reach a wide audience and serve to support locally rooted charities and community focused initiatives. We also encourage applications from individuals and organisations led by local people whose projects engage and serve East London’s diverse communities of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest and Newham.

To get a better understanding of the support areas and beneficiaries the Foundation’s funding seeks to target, see our list of groups in the appendix.

Scheme information

Small Grant Scheme (via Expression of Interest)

Value: £1,000 to £5,000

Project Duration: 6 – 12-month projects

Outcomes: Minimum of two short to medium outcomes must be demonstrated

Eligibility: individuals; schools; small to medium not for profit organisations with less than £500k turnover (priority will be given to grass root organisations)

Timeline of Process: Taking on board feedback from Year 1, we have simplified the process for the Small Grant scheme with an understanding that application processes can be overwhelming for small organisations and individuals. We have broken the process into two simple stages this year.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest Form opens 24 August and closes 24 September 2021. This stage will ask basic organisation/individual key details and request a one-page summary of your project’s aims and objectives.

Stage 2: Shortlisted proposals will be notified on 11 October and will have four weeks to develop and submit additional information. This stage will delve a little further into expected outcomes and more detailed budgetary information.

Awarded:– Late November 2021

Commencement of Projects: – December 2021/January 2022

Review Process: Stage 1 applications will be internally shortlisted by three team members. Project overviews will be matched against the four key core foundation themes and suggested activity outcomes. Stage 2 applications and those to be awarded will be assessed internally by three team members and the Foundation’s CEO. We expect to shortlist approximately 100 applications at this stage, which will be matched against the assessment criteria. Feedback will be given to those unsuccessful in Stage 2 only.

Additional criteria:

  • If you are applying for the maximum fund amount, you must evidence why the full amount is needed.
  • If you have previously been awarded funding from the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund or any other Foundation grant programme, you are still welcome to apply for Year 2 funds. However, you must be clear if this application is for a new project or an extension to the already funded project. Need for the new project or additional funding must be evidenced.

HOW TO APPLY:

https://forms.gle/WsCce93BMuRt5nuo9

NOTE: This online form must be completed in one go, so you need to prepare your proposal offline first.

Download all questions in the form (PDF download)

Medium Grant Scheme

Please note: updated guidelines will be reissued closer to the opening date.

Value: up to £15,000

Project Duration: 12-month projects

Outcomes: Minimum of three short, medium, or long-term outcomes must be demonstrated

Eligibility: Schools; not for profit organisations with less than £1.5 million turnover (schools and East Bank partners are exempt from turnover)

Timeline of Process:

Online applications will open on 30 September and closes 3 December

Awarded – January 2022

Commencement Projects – March to April 2022

Review Process: All applications will be carefully reviewed and evaluated against the four key core foundation themes as well as short, medium, and long-term goals, expected impact, user, and beneficiary groups and budgetary spend. Shortlisting will take place internally via our online system and by three team members. Final awarding will be decided by the Foundation Grant Assessment Panel, which includes the Foundation’s CEO and one/two Foundation Trustees. Feedback will be given to all applicants; however, level of feedback will vary dependent on the stage of the process and size of the grant applying for.

Additional criteria:

  • If you are a school applying you must evidence that the funding applied for will not be for core school day/ curriculum activity
  • If you are applying for the maximum fund, you must evidence why the full amount is needed and where it will be used.
  • If you have previously been awarded funding from the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund or any other Foundation grant programme, you are still welcome to apply for Year 2 funds. However, you must be clear if this application is for a new project or an extension to the already funded project. Need for the new project or additional funding must be evidenced by provision of an impact report from the previous project.

HOW TO APPLY: Link to be released on 30 September and updated guidelines will be reissued

 

Large Grant Scheme

Please note: updated guidelines will be reissued closer to the opening date.

Value: up to £50,000

Project Duration: 12- 18-month projects

Outcomes: Minimum of five medium and large outcomes must be demonstrated

Eligibility: Schools; Not for profit organisations with less than £1.5 million turnover (Schools and East Bank Partners are exempt from turnover)

Timeline of Process:

Online Applications — Open 30 September and closes 3 December

Awarded – January 2022

Commencement Projects – March to April 2022

Review Process: All applications will be carefully reviewed and evaluated against the four key core foundation themes; short, medium, and long-term goals; expected impact; user and beneficiary groups; and budgetary spend. Shortlisting will take place internally via our online system and by three team members. Final awarding will be decided by the Foundation Grant Assessment Panel. On occasion, we may request further information to help us determine the outcome of any application. Feedback will be given to all applicants; however, the level of feedback will vary depending on the stage of the process and the size of the grant applied for.

Additional criteria:

  • If you are a school applying you must evidence that the funding applied for will not be for core school day/ curriculum activity
  • If you are applying for the maximum fund, you must evidence why the full amount is needed and where it will be used.
  • If you have previously been awarded funding from the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund or any other Foundation grant programme, you are still welcome to apply for Year 2 funds. However, you must be clear if this application is for a new project or an extension to the already funded project. Need for the new project or additional funding must be evidenced by provision of an impact report from the previous project.
  • A partnership and/or consortium approach to the project must be evidenced.

HOW TO APPLY: Link will be released on 30 September and updated guidelines will be reissued.

 

Additional Information

Applicant Requirements

  • Be a not-for-profit organisation that is formally constituted i.e. has a signed governing document in the group’s name. This includes unincorporated associations and community groups, registered charities, social enterprises (including those run as a sole trader), schools, Community Interest Companies (CIC), Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO), companies limited by guarantee and faith groups where the project clearly does not promote a particular religious or political view
  • An individual applying must be able to provide two references.
  • If you are an individual or non-registered group applying, you must be living, working, or studying in one of the four London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest Be connected with and meet the needs of the local communities in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
  • Have good financial management procedures, including keeping records of income and expenditure
  • Have a comprehensive safeguarding policy in place if working with children and young people under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults
  • Have a commitment to, or are working towards, London Living Wage where possible
  • We will expect you to sign the Foundation’s pledge for commitment from your organisation and project to our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion statement

Capacity Building and additional access support

The Foundation aims to make the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund as accessible as possible. We are pleased to announce a 12-month Capacity Building Programme this year for all existing and future potential grantees. The aim will be to allow grantees to develop skills and ideas for present or future projects and funding applications.

Further information on how to book can be found on the Foundation’s website.

We recognise discrimination is an issue that impacts much of our society, and we are proud to be a part of a community that counters this at any given opportunity. As a result, we actively encourage applications from people of all faiths, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic circumstances, and backgrounds, as well as those from disabled communities. No educational qualifications are needed to join our programmes.

If you require adjustments or access support to take part in the application process or to participate in the Capacity Building Programme due to a disability, neurodiversity, caring responsibilities or for any other reason, you will be able to provide details in the application form or contact us to discuss further.  If you need any of the information about this Fund in a different format, please contact us at Grants@future.london

What we will and won’t fund

You can apply for funding to cover project activities and staffing, running costs related to the project and the purchase of equipment you need to deliver your activities. We can fund a mix of project activities, operating costs, and organisational development but all costs must directly relate to the delivery of proposed activities.

The Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund will not fund:

  • Expenditure or activities that have already taken place
  • Religious or political activity (we will accept applications from religious organisations if they can clearly demonstrate wider community benefit)
  • Services that are a statutory responsibility (i.e. are the responsibility of the Council, Government or Health Authorities)
  • Projects or activities that have no community or charitable element
  • Foreign travel
  • Projects that do not have a strong arts/cultural component
  • Activities that have no public benefit for residents of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest
  • Activities placed in a formal education setting as part of the core curriculum
  • Recurring or on-going projects costs such as regular workshops/existing provisions

Documents

Depending on level of funding required, the following documents may be requested at application submission or upon awarding of the grant, so please be ready to submit them. If you are concerned that you do not have these documents in place, please speak to a member of the team who may be able to offer advice, support, or alternatives.

  • Two references for applications from individuals
  • Constitution or articles of association
  • Approved accounts or a record of income and expenditure for the organisation
  • One bank statement dated within the last three months evidencing the organisation’s account details. If this is not possible, alternatives may be explored with the team
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Licenses and Risk Assessments
  • Confirmation of partnerships/references
  • Equality & Diversity Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy

Tips for applying

  • Answer all the questions
  • Consider access and inclusion as a central part of your proposal
  • Make sure the idea fits the criteria of the fund
  • Use simple, clear language to sell us your idea
  • Evidence local community connection and involvement in your project

If you are not successful

We have limited funds and all applications are assessed carefully against the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund Outcomes to ensure a fair spread of funding across each of the boroughs. We are expecting a strong demand for all strands and will also be prioritising projects where are funding is likely to make a bigger difference such as projects will lower levels of matched funding, not in receipt of statutory funding etc.

If your project is not successful, we will email you to let you know our decision. Where possible, we will endeavour to provide feedback on your application; however, you will be free to reapply in future rounds.

If you are successful

If you are successful in being awarded a grant, you will receive an offer letter and a copy of a grant agreement setting out any conditions relating to the offer.

This will also be an opportunity for us to raise any questions, project changes or suggestions identified during the application assessment, define future check-in points, and discuss further wrap-around capacity building support. To accept the grant offer, the signed grant agreement will need to be returned to the Foundation to release the funding, which will be paid to your bank account or nominated account via BACS, in staged payments as applicable.

If the applicant no longer wishes to receive the grant, or to terminate the application at any point, this must be received in writing.

Monitoring and Reporting

You will be expected to keep and provide the following:

  • Financial records of how the grant is spent, including receipts and invoices
  • Records and evidence of the identified outputs e.g. number of people benefiting, number of sessions, audience numbers, records of attendance
  • Records of the identified outcomes e.g. the difference the project has made to participants, participant feedback, staff observations, external reports from partners
  • Anything that your organisation has learned from delivering the activities
  • Photographs and videos of the project activities (if appropriate)
  • A case story from at least one participant

It is important to gather information throughout the duration of your activities. These pieces of information must be submitted in an end of grant report.

We are aware that monitoring and reporting, particularly demonstrating impact, can be a daunting process. Therefore, the team, plus expertise from an external evaluator will be available to support you and your project through the process.

The contribution of Foundation for Future London/Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund must be acknowledged in any promotional literature or annual report issued in line with the marketing and communications guidelines, which will be provided and can also be found on our website. We reserve the right to use any photographs or details of the project in any future literature and/or promotion.

Contact Details

For any initial programme queries or to arrange a call please email:

Grants@future.london

For any queries regarding the capacity building programme and workshops please email:

Capacitybuilding.ffl@outlook.com

FAQS

Do I have to complete my application in one go?

Yes, the online form must be completed in one go, so you need to prepare your proposal offline first. You can download all questions in the form (PDF download).

Can I apply if I am already receiving funding, training, or any other support from Foundation for Future London?

You can still apply if you are either already receiving funding from the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, or from a different Foundation for Future London programme. However, you must be clear if this application is for a new project or an extension to the already funded project.  Need for the new project or additional funding must be evidenced by provision of an impact report from the previous project.

Do I need to make plans for social distancing for future programme activity?

The Foundation acknowledges that whilst Covid-19 has been an exceptional event, the future remains unpredictable and uncertain and we therefore advise checking with and following Government guidelines. Plans will continue to need to be flexible and may change, and the Foundation will continue to support organisations through this period.

We will be looking to support projects that take a proactive approach and have contingencies built into their plan, including their budget so that they are best able to work with their communities and venerable people. All applicants, especially those with a high degree of face to face engagement and/or large events should expect that that there will be some form of social distancing measures in place for the next 12 months, including potential future lockdowns.

Can I submit more than one application for different strands?

You may submit more than one application for different strands providing you can evidence how the project matches against criteria and outcomes expected.

Will you consider applications for others strands if they are better suited?

If the assessment team feels the application is more suited to a different strand, we will flag this up to the applicant. However, the applicant would need to apply again as information for the strands may differ at some points.

Can I apply to fund a project that aligns with a previously funded programme of work?

The Foundation is keen to fund projects where our funding is likely to have a greater impact but your project can be linked to other work or a wider project. What is key is that the idea you’re proposing should be new, additional and demonstrate a clear project development.

When do I have to deliver my project by?

We are looking to support projects that are planned to start early Spring 2022. Due to the Covid-19 we understand that timelines may differ and may change, and this will involve continued conversations and adjustments.

If your project is for Autumn 2022 or beyond, you should probably wait for future funding rounds and apply to those, as you may be less likely to succeed in this round against projects that could happen sooner.

Would it be good to have match funding?

We encourage applicants to explore other avenues of funding to match our funding and enhance the project outputs and outcomes, but it is not essential for our funding scheme.

Can I talk to you about my project before I apply?

Please contact us on grants@future.london to arrange a pre application conversation. Attending the pre application workshops will also be beneficial.

How do I appeal a decision made by the grants panel?

If unsuccessful in your application, you will receive feedback. Feedback detail level will be dependent on which strand you are applying for and at which point you have been unsuccessful. If still dissatisfied at that point of the decision, you can email grants@future.london to lodge an appeal. You must evidence why you are appealing. This will be taken to the Foundation’s Grant’s Committee for a final decision.

 

APPENDIX

Funding Support Areas and Beneficiaries Priorities

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the forefront of the Foundation’s grant giving. We actively encourage applications from all communities. We want to make sure funding opportunities reach a wide audience and serve to support locally rooted charities and community focused initiatives.

To get a better understanding of the support areas and beneficiaries the Foundation’s funding seeks to target, see our list of groups below. We encourage applications from these support area, as research and feedback from the communities indicate the highest need. However projects with other areas/benificiaries can still apply for grant funding and will be considered the same if need is demonstarted.

Issue/Support area project is tackling User Group/

Beneficiaries

Ethnicity of Beneficiaries / User Group  Age group of beneficiaries/ User Groups
Community Support and Heritage Young Families/Lone Parents White British/Irish/ Welsh/ Scottish, Northern Irish/ any other White background Early Years (0-4)
Research and Innovation Older People Gypsies & Travellers Children (5-12)
Health & Wellbeing including Mental Health & Long-Term Illness Children/Young People Black Caribbean British & White Young People (13-18)
IT / Technology LGBTQI+ Black African British & White Young Adults (19-25)
Covid-19 Recovery NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) Asian British & White  Adults (26-65)
Creative Placemaking Long Term Unemployed Other Mixed Ethnicities/Multiple Ethnic backgrounds Seniors (65+)
Arts and Culture Substance Misuse/Addiction All ethnicities
Education, Learning & Training Physical or Learning Difficulties Asian & Asian British
Domestic Violence Mental Health Issues Indian
Crime & Safety & ASB Refugees/Asylum Seekers/Immigrants Pakistani
Poverty & Disadvantage Women Bangladeshi
Social Inclusion & Fairness Men Chinese
Discrimination Ex Offender/Risk of Offending Any other Asian background
Supporting Family Life/Caring Responsibilities Local Residents Black, African, Caribbean or Black British
Environment/ Improving Surroundings People in Care Caribbean
Homelessness Low Skill Levels African
Cultural/Racial Integration Living in Poverty Any other Black, African or Caribbean background
Refugees/Asylum, Immigration Victims of Crime/Violence/Abuse Arab or Arab British
Sport & Recreation Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Community Latin American/Latinx or Latin American/Latinx British
Substance Abuse and Addiction Vulnerably Housed Any other backgrounds
Violence, Exploitation, Sexual Abuse
Disability/Access Issues

 

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