The Local Communities Fund (LCF)

Images of outdoor activities and community with the words Investing in our communities to help Nottinghamshire thrive

Nottinghamshire County Council recognises the huge contribution that the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) has made to lives of residents over many years which has been brought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council has a strong record in supporting the VCS by empowering local communities to be more self-sufficient. This continues to be a key priority for the Council and supporting the VCS to grow and thrive is central to achieving this.

The Council’s recovery plan for helping to address the impact of the pandemic provides opportunities to invest in the VCS to help support the delivery of Council Priorities. These priorities, (currently being consulted on), are: healthy and thriving people and communities, a greener Nottinghamshire future and a prosperous and growing economy.

A new discretionary grant funding scheme, The Local Communities Fund, is the successor to the Local Improvement Scheme.  The Local Communities Fund consists of a Revenue Programme (split into two parts: ‘Small Grants’ and ‘Large Grants’), a Capital Programme and a Talented Athletes Programme.

A summary of each programme is provided below and further details about the Capital and Revenue Funds are provided in the Guidance for Applicants [PDF].

Applications for revenue funding are invited from VCS organisations that have developed effective activities in response to a local need / gap analysis. Examples of activities include:

  • Offering early help and prevention to those who most need it.
  • Providing support to communities of interest, including rural communities, and helping those who face particular challenges.
  • Increasing opportunities available for advice and signposting for the most vulnerable residents and communities.
  • Increasing pathways to volunteering, providing opportunities for individuals to contribute to their community whilst enhancing the sector’s reach.
  • Helping to address climate and environmental change.
  • Enabling Nottinghamshire residents to contribute to social and cultural opportunities.

The Revenue programme consists of 2 parts:

Revenue Small Grants

This is a rolling programme, i.e. organisations can apply at any time, to assist the Voluntary and Community Sector respond to identified and emerging needs.

The maximum award will be £5,000 per project in any financial year. Successful organisations will be offered a 12-month funding agreement.

Revenue Large Grants

The Revenue Large Grants Programme is for applications over £5,000 per project and aims to support the co-ordination of investment in priority areas. Applications are invited from Nottinghamshire County-based organisations that can:

  • Demonstrate a good track record of delivery and supporting local communities, whether by geography and / or by interest
  • Demonstrate professional standards and good governance.

Partnership bids will be welcomed and should demonstrate effective collaboration across service delivery.

Organisations applying for a large grant must submit their application by 31 December 2021. Successful applications for Large Revenue Grants will be offered a funding agreement for up to 4 years (subject to satisfactory annual monitoring), commencing April 2022.

Further information about the Revenue Small Grants and Revenue Large Grants criteria is available in the Guidance for Applicants .

Eligible organisations can apply for one-off Capital grants up to a maximum of £20,000 per organisation in any funding year.

Applications for Capital funding should have in place at least 50% match funding and should show how the proposed project:

  • Helps to address local priorities, e.g. improving access to new or existing services such as sports and leisure, protecting the environment, reducing loneliness, improving physical and mental health
  • Improves local places and spaces that are important to communities
  • Brings people together and involves them in the design and implementation
  • Helps to address climate and environmental change and/or minimises any negative impact on the environment.

There is a 2-stage application process for Capital projects and organisations are welcome to apply throughout the year. Further details are provided in the Guidance for Applicants .

Brown Tourist Signs / Information Boards / Gateway Signs / Interactive Signs
If you wish to apply for funding towards brown tourist signs / information boards / gateway signs / interactive signs, please read the ‘General Guidance and Example Costs for Signs’ document.

“Once again we want to invest in capital projects with full match-funding already in place, so they are ‘ready to go’ to make best use of these funds.” Cllr Cottee

The Council is expanding on its previous Talented Athletes programme with an increased maximum award of up to £1,000 towards:

  • Supporting Nottinghamshire athletes aspiring to compete or already competing at the highest level in their sporting category
  • Encouraging up-and-coming athletes
  • Providing more support to athletes who face the greatest challenges.

Further information about the LCF Talented Athletes programme is available here.

In line with the principle of involving County Councillors (Elected Members) in their communities, all applications for revenue and capital funding must provide a supporting statement from an elected Nottinghamshire County Councillor for the District in which the proposed project will be delivered. Further information is provided in the Guidance for Applicants.

Before applying, please read the Guidance for Applicants , which includes information about the revenue and capital criteria, examples of projects that the funding can be used for and how to apply.

To improve our grant process, we have introduced a new online system. This new system brings lots of benefits for applicants, such as: saving applications part-way through, downloading applications and uploading supporting information.

Register and apply on

You only need to register once, even if you decide to apply for multiple projects across more than one fund.

Nottinghamshire County Council must be acknowledged as a funder as part of all publicity about the funded project, including any written or spoken public presentations. Guidance, logos and support with publicity messages and arrangements will be provided by the Communications and Marketing Team to organisations awarded funding. Further details will be posted here when the first batch of awards are announced.

All applicants will need to confirm that they have read and agree with the Council's Privacy Statement.

Funding awards are decided by Elected Members. Applications received by 31st December 2021 should receive a decision by April 2022. For applications received from January 2022, please check this webpage for updates about decision timescales or sign up to Email Me to receive updates by email.

If your application is successful, the organisation must be willing and able to comply with the funding terms and conditions which includes:

  • publicising the project in line with the County Council's Acknowledging Funding and Publicity guidelines
  • providing monitoring information as outlined in the Guidance for Applicants 
  • repaying to the County Council any grant money not spent and/or where the organisation / project does not comply with the terms and conditions of the funding.

The Council takes a zero tolerance stance towards fraud and corruption and will investigate and take the necessary action in cases of suspected fraud in line with the Council's Fraud Response Plan.

Organisations may find it helpful to review the application questions to before starting their application. Please ensure that you select the correct example for the fund that you would like to apply for:


If you cannot find the answer to your question on this webpage or in the Guidance for Applicants [PDF], please email the Communities Team at:

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