The current round of Community Choices has closed. We will be accepting new applications in September 2021. Please check back soon for more information.
Small Grants programme
The Community Choices Small Grants programme allows local residents to suggest ideas to receive public funds in their ward.
The programme supports anyone – an individual or a community group - with an idea to take forward projects that will make a difference to people living in the Council area.
The fund aims to make your area fairer, healthier, more connected and more inclusive. You can suggest ideas under any of the above aims.
Fairer & Healthy Communities
We want to help people most affected by, or at risk of, disadvantage. Within this, we want to improve people's mental health and wellbeing, and improve support for people with alcohol and substance use issues, their families and communities. Examples of projects or activities could include:
- increasing physical activity
- tackling digital exclusion
- breakfast clubs and other food-based projects
- community gardens
- environment projects
Connected & Inclusive Communities
Sometimes people can find it difficult to participate in community life or get to know other people in the community. This could be for many reasons such as low confidence, loneliness, social isolation, fear of crime, changing circumstances, low income, caring responsibilities or because of prejudice or discrimination. Proposals could focus on providing support to enable people to get to know one another or make connections with others in their community. Examples of projects could include running inclusive community events, setting up groups or activities, and tackling digital exclusion.
How much can you apply for?
The Small Grants programme offers awards of up to £1,500 within any financial year. (A financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March.)
Who can apply?
Anyone can apply.
- Expression of Interest Form
Capital Funding programme
The Community Choices Capital Funds programme supports individuals or community groups to take forward any project that requires a capital investment that will make a positive difference to people living in the Falkirk Council area.
The programme can be accessed for projects costing a minimum of £5,000. Proposals should outline a clear vision and ambition for a positive future. They can also seek to improve existing services or resources, resulting in communities which are Fairer and Healthier or more Connected & more Inclusive.
The Capital Funds programme is different to the Small Grants programme, and can only be used for certain types of projects. There are strict rules about what is capital spending and what is revenue spending. We will work with you to ensure that any projects requesting capital funds meet the definitions for capital expenditure.
Revenue vs. Capital expenditure
||Money that is spent on day-to-day things which don't last a long time. E.g. groceries, electricity bills, bus fares and other running costs.
||Money that is spent on things (assets) that are expected to last for a longer period of time. E.g. purchasing a house, a car, a fridge-freezer, etc.
What is eligible for Capital Funding?
The Capital funds programme can be used to invest in resources and facilities for the benefit of the community and must be able to continue to offer public benefit throughout their lifetime.
This means that the funds cannot be spent where only an organisation or individual would gain a personal benefit.
Capital spend is expected to create something new (an asset) or improve an existing asset such as a structural improvement to a building, for example.
There are three main types of capital expenditure:
- Building something new – a house, or an office for example. Not all the costs of a new build can be treated as capital but the majority can. The costs of looking after the building after it has been built (revenue costs) are not covered.
- Improving an asset – money spent on an existing building, for example, can be called capital if it substantially increases:
- the useful life of the asset; or
- the market value of the asset; or
- the extent to which the asset can or will be used.
Normal day-to-day running costs – for example, painting rooms, changing carpets, fixing windows – are not capital costs, and are not covered.
Money spent on improving other assets, for example a road or a park, may be capital depending on what the money is spent on. For example, re-turfing and planting in an existing park will not be capital spending. However, turning a piece of waste land into a children's playpark may be capital spending.
- Purchasing equipment – money spent on buying, for example, a minibus. The equipment, which should cost more than £5k, should reasonably be expected to last for more than a year.
As an example, undertaking repairs in a broken playpark will not be capital spending but buying new equipment may be. However, looking after that equipment in the future will not be capital spending.
Items not classed as Capital Expenditure
Examples of costs which must be treated as revenue costs and are not eligible for a capital grant might include:
- Routine maintenance and repairs
- The purchase of small items of furniture or equipment, i.e. a shelving unit or disabled toilet seat
- Repainting parts of a building
- Installing new electricity sockets
- Replacing taps
- Road markings
- Replacing a sign
- Repairing brickwork
- Cost of moving offices
- General salaries and expenses
In each of the above examples, the money has not met the necessary requirements for improving an asset. They will not substantially increase the:
- useful life of the asset; or
- market value of the asset; or
- extent to which the asset can or will be used
How does the Community Choices Capital Funds programme work?
There are two ways to proceed:
- Apply for a grant and take responsibility for delivering your idea.
- Work in partnership with the Council to deliver the proposal within your community.
How much is available?
The £1 million that has been allocated in the first year will be split between Falkirk’s nine electoral wards.
There is no limit to the amount of money a proposal can be awarded from within each ward’s allocation. However, projects must require a minimum of £5,000 of capital funds to be eligible. Where there are numerous applications within a ward, the wider community will decide by a public vote which proposals will be successful.
Who can apply?
Eligibility for capital funds depends on two things:
- the nature of the organisation (i.e. how your organisation is structured) and;
- what your project proposal sets out to achieve.
For example, if your project seeks to secure funds to transfer an asset (e.g. a community centre) into community ownership, your proposal would need to demonstrate that you have plans in place to undertake an asset transfer.
Once your initial proposal is received, help and support will be available take forward the more technical aspects.
- Expression of Interest Form