Funding Bulletin

Welcome to the CVS Inverclyde Funding Bulletin for February 2024.

We hope this page provides you up to date information and inspiration to submit applications to support your valuable work across Inverclyde. Please make sure that you follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on deadline information and funds with short lead in time.

If you are working on an application and need some support, please contact us at to find out about our editing and enhancement service, or sign up for one of our funding events on our website.

Member Event: Funding Surgery with the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland

We’re delighted that Joao Goncalves, Inverclyde’s funding officer for The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, will be visiting our offices at the West College Scotland throughout January and February to meet with organisations interested in applying for Lottery Funding.  Members can sign up for a one-to-one session with Joao, to discuss projects ideas and get advice to help submit an application. Spaces are limited so don’t delay and sign up today!

Sessions for Monday 5 Feb are fully booked but sessions are available for Monday 19 February.

Throughout 2024, we plan to bring you more funding events and support to meet your needs, and so we can design a programme that meets the funding needs of local groups and organisations, we’d very much appreciate if you could spend a few minutes of your time completing the following survey. The survey will close on Friday 9 February so please provide us with your feedback as soon as possible.

Bank of Scotland Foundation: Empower

Overview: For 2024, the Bank of Scotland’s Empower grants programme has been refocused on smaller charities working with vulnerable groups and individuals. Funds of up to £150,000 are offered to charities dealing with issues like education barriers, mobility issues, poverty, poor housing or mental health struggles.

Eligibility: Applicants must be OSCR-registered Scottish charities with a minimum of three years’ worth of accounts lodged on time. Annual turnover needs to be more than £150,000 but less than £500,000, directed specifically to supporting vulnerable groups. Animal welfare and religious charities are prohibited from applying, as are political organisations and charities whose sole activity is making grants, donations or gifts. Any organisation that received funds from the Foundation within the last two years is unable to apply, as are those with an unsuccessful bid in the last 12 months, and so are charities with outstanding grant evaluations.

Eligible Costs: Unrestricted funding is provided, which can be used to cover anything from core and delivery costs to general running costs.  

Grant Levels: The Empower programme supports a three-year grant of £150,000, paid in three equal instalments. Applicants are asked to provide an indication of what funding will be used for, but it doesn’t need to be ring-fenced for these purposes.

Application Deadline:

The window for applications is small – the programme opens at midday on Monday 5 February and closes exactly ten days later, on the Thursday 15 Feb.

To register interest, send an email to or phone 07385 024428. Further information is available online at

To register interest, send an email to, to discuss your idea with The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland. Promising ideas will be allocated a Scottish Land Fund Adviser from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who will assist with the application process.

MacRobert Trust – 12th February (Alastrean) 2024

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for UK-registered charities, and smaller independent charities tend to be prioritised. Funds are allocated in response to one of three themes: Armed Forces & Good Citizenship, Education & Professional Excellence, Local Community & Other MacRobert Interests.

King Charles III Charitable Fund – 19th February

Small grants of up to £5,000 for charitable organisations, particularly those supporting deprived areas.

Smarter Choices, Smarter Places – 31st March 2024 (expressions of interest due by 10th February)

Encouraging sustainable transport options, the SCSP Open Fund offers grants of between £5,000 and £100,000 to constituted groups, charities, public bodies and not-for-profit organisations. It can be used for staff costs, activities and events, but not capital costs. Projects need to be match-funded at 50 per cent, with evidence of encouraging active and sustainable travel, or promoting home-working.

Idlewild Trust – 13th February 2024

Arts and conservation body Idlewild Trust awarded almost £175,000 in 2022 to programmes which support creative artists including musicians, dancers, actors and writers. Grants of up to £5,000 are offered either to nurture professional artists early in their careers, or towards the cost of conserving historic/artistically important objects, works of art, buildings or places of worship.

Bairdwatson Charitable Trust – 19th February

Grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are offered by this charitable trust towards training for employment, vocational skills and employment support. Applications from organisations working with young people and the unemployed are actively encouraged. Grants can cover a 12-month period, and there is £65,000 scheduled for distribution in the current round of funding.

The Souter Charitable Trust – 1st March

With a focus on spiritual welfare, the Souter Charitable Trust has underpinned campaigns as diverse as feeding children and ending modern slavery. Applications by UK charities are being sought towards projects engaged in the relief of suffering. Building and renovation works are excluded from grants, which tend to be between £1,000 and £3,000. No application forms are required.

Alliance Scotland Self-Management Fund – 5th March

Alliance Scotland has announced the first round in a new cycle for the Self-Management Fund, titled Self-Management for Life. Large and small grants are being distributed to charities and community organisations working in Scotland, to support new activities that will encourage a new approaches or add to learning around self-management.

The Joseph Rank Trust – 31st March

Although a specific deadline isn’t quoted for The Joseph Rank Trust’s grant scheme, the next Trustees meeting is scheduled for April. OSCR-registered charities can apply for grants or match funding, with no application forms – instead, they must fill two sheets of A4 paper with objectives and aspirations. These may include building projects, while Christian faith groups are free to apply.

Music For All – 1st April

The first Community Project Funding round of the year sees Music For All offering grants of up to £2,000 for community groups supporting secondary schoolchildren, people with learning or cognitive challenges, and sufferers of degenerative conditions. Acoustic and electric guitars are also offered to disadvantaged individuals, plus community groups in deprived or marginalised areas.

Grantscape Scotland – SUEZ Communities Fund – 3rd April

The first annual funding round for Grantscape Scotland’s SUEZ Communities Fund welcomes applications for projects located within ten miles of a landfill site. A total of £200,000 in grants is offered to Scottish sites, with individual awards ranging from £3,000 to £25,000. Previous grants have funded the creation of playparks, community gardens, disabled toilets and building renovations.

Ethnic Minority Development Fund – 3rd April 2024

CEMVO Scotland runs a development fund supporting ethnic minority-led third sector organisations. Funds ranging from £500 to £20,000 are available to bring ethnic minority people together, support them and/or improve local places and spaces. Unregistered voluntary organisations and faith-based groups are eligible to apply; funds could cover equipment, events, staff, building or running costs.

Scops Arts Trust – 30th April 2024

Established five years ago to support the performing arts, Scops Arts Trust operates a series of annual grants for different sectors. Their first 2024 round focuses on music performances at arts festivals, alongside improving children’s musical education. SMEs, charities and community groups may apply, with project-based funding of up to £30,000 offered on a one-off or multi-year basis.

Three Guineas – no deadline

An open-ended 2023/24 grant round is currently open for Three Guineas, a programme which champions legal advice and advocacy for disabled, neurodiverse or autistic people. A total of £1.5 million will be awarded, with maximum individual grants of £50,000 per year for up to three years. There are no restrictions on use, as long as any funds improve access to justice for disabled people.

The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust – deadline varies

This Trust runs several funding programmes, including an open-ended small grant scheme for sums up to £15,000. Anything beyond this qualifies under the Main Grants programme, typically awarded over a three-year period, with deadlines depending on the theme. Charities based in Scotland can apply for either project or core funding, revenue, or capital costs, out of a £3 million annual pot.

Scottish Recovery Consortium – Recovery Seed Fund

The newly launched Recovery Seed Fund offers awards of up to £5,000 to help with startup and running costs for Lived Experience recovery groups. Intended to help these organisations trial and develop ideas or services, it’s only open to unconstituted groups or organisations less than 12 months old, with income of less than £30,000 per year. Politics and religion are excluded areas.

The National Lottery Community Fund – Scotland

The National Lottery Community fund covers a range of funding streams supporting a wide range of activities for people with a diverse range of needs.  For projects of between £300 and £20,000 requiring funding for up to two years please visit Funding programmes | The National Lottery Community Fund ( Or, if you project requires funding of £20,000+ for up to three years please visit Funding programmes | The National Lottery Community Fund (

Inverclyde Community Fund – The Inverclyde Windfarm Fund

Grants of up to £1,000 for community groups and voluntary organisations to deliver community-based projects which MUST contribute to one of the following: Environmental; Renewable Energy; Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Development; Charitable; Educational; Community; Sport and Recreation; General community amenity schemes. 

Creative Scotland – Open Fund for Organisations

The Open Fund seeks to invest in creative projects, productions, or a period of research and development.   Grants of between £1k and £100k are available for activity lasting 18 months.  Applicants must consider their project in the context of the following criteria – Quality and Ambition, Engagement, Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, Fair Work and International.

BBC Children in Need (CIN) Grants Programme

CIN grant programme now comprises two separate funding streams: core costs funding and project grants.    Each stream offers up to three years funding for organisations working with children and young people aged 18 years and under, who address their challenges, and build their skills and resilience.   Grants of no more than £40,000 per annum, or £120,000 over three years are available.  

The Robertson Trust

Grant applications are assessed a rolling basis for charities with an income of up to £2million that address poverty and/or trauma in their communities.   There are different fundings streams depending on organisational turnover and applications must fall into one of the following themes: financial security, emotional wellbeing and relationships, educational pathways or work pathways. 

Variety, the Children’s Charity – Wheelchairs For Children

A leading provider of wheelchairs to children is accepting grant applications from non-profits working with young people. Sports wheelchairs may be applied for by voluntary organisations, self-help groups, statutory services and registered charities alike. They may also wish to tell their service users that individuals can apply for a broader array of wheelchairs (powered, all-terrain or lightweight).

Barclays Community Football Fund

The national game is being made more widely available following the launch of the Barclays Community Football Fund last year. Open to football clubs and community groups nationwide, it provides £500 grants for new or existing football groups, alongside training and support resources. EDI training is offered, with a focus on teenage girls, diverse communities and disability awareness.

Trusthouse Charitable Foundation – no deadline

Trusthouse’s aim is to address disadvantage across the UK, by giving grants to SMEs with a track record of addressing deprivation. Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 are available for a one-year period, for projects with a focus on community support. Funds may be used on core costs, salaries or key projects. Target areas must perform poorly in Indices of Multiple Deprivation data.

Victoria League in Scotland Trust

A long-established fund aimed at helping overseas students settle in Scotland is offering grants of up to £5,000 for projects, from a £12,000 annual pot. Charitable organisations can apply if they support overseas students and their families while studying in (or visiting) Scotland, especially if they’re focused on Scottish heritage and/or building relationships between different cultural groups.

Firstport – Start It

Individuals looking to kick-start a social enterprise in Scotland can apply for £5,000 in funding towards start-up costs. Applicants must demonstrate their business idea would address a community, social and/or environmental issue. Funds can be used to pay for anything from marketing and incorporation to insurance and equipment, but applications can’t be political or religious in nature.

Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust

Four times a year, the Gordon Fraser trustees meet to choose worthy causes for receipt of an annual fund worth around £140,000. A hundred donations are typically made each year, often focusing on charities working with children, the environment or the arts. The Trust favours applications from Scotland over those from other parts of the UK, and applicants must be registered charities.

Scottish EDGE

Now into its 23rd round of funding, Scottish EDGE is marketed as Scotland’s biggest business funding competition. It offers a variety of loans and grants ranging in value from £10,000 to £100,000, helping charities, social enterprises and startup ventures to grow and expand.

While a number of schemes are operated (with separate categories for social enterprises or companies where every director is under the age of 30), EDGE is the main category. Cash awards are made alongside support packages, following a three-stage assessment process which judges each application on six factors including customer focus, utilisation of funding and the overall value proposition.

Awards are typically split 70/30 between grants and loans, with loan-only awards capped at £70,000. Applicants must have identified competitors, created growth plans and undertaken business risk assessments, while net zero and circular economy contributions are also assessed. A three-minute video submission is a core component of the application process.

With over £25 million already awarded to over 600 businesses, the latest round of funding opens on the 7th of February before closing on the 6th of March. Winners will be announced in early May, with an awards ceremony taking place a fortnight later.

Full details can be found online at, alongside a checklist of assessment criteria, from mentor networks to target customer bases.