Cheviot Neighbourhood Support Fund guidance notes and scoring matrix

Cheviot Neighbourhood Support Fund guidance notes

What is the Cheviot Neighbourhood Support Fund?

The Cheviot Neighbourhood Support Fund provides financial support to voluntary and community groups that are active within their communities and assists communities or interest groups with the development of community-based projects. The Neighbourhood Support Fund operates in line with the principles of best practice and our Code of Practice for Following the Public Pound. Each Area Partnership operates its own Neighbourhood Support Fund. The amounts provided are subject to periodic review by Scottish Borders Council. 

Applications of £500 and over will require a 10% organisational financial contribution.  Grants of up to £499 can be funded up to 100%, subject to availability of funds.

Who can apply?

You can apply for funding if:

  • You are a voluntary or community group based in Cheviot
  • You are a non-Borders based voluntary or community group who can demonstrate direct benefits for identified groups in Cheviot
  • You have a constitution or set of rules or equivalent
  • You have a bank or building society account
  • You have independently approved annual accounts which are less than 15 months old. New organisations must be able to provide a 12 month estimate of income and expenditure
  • Your activities benefit the well-being of communities within Cheviot
  • You are committed to equality for all and equality of opportunity

If your project is a ‘Borderswide’ project (i.e. it will be delivered in Cheviot and one or more localities in the Scottish Borders), you must demonstrate the benefits that the project will bring to the Cheviot area.  If you are applying to other localities, the Cheviot Area Partnership may only award funding on the condition that your applications to those localities are successful. Proportional funding may be available to successful applicants.

Applications are welcome from groups working in partnership but one group must be identified as the lead applicant.

Any group applying more than once should have fully evaluated their first project before submitting a second application. If you have previously received funding from us, an evaluation form must be submitted before an application can be made to the Neighbourhood Support Fund.

What is expected from a project application?

  • If the project is less than £500, a well thought-out plan is expected
  • If the project is up to £5,000, a robust and well-considered business case which addresses a special or particular need is expected
  • The project needs to be deliverable
  • Sufficient community engagement should have taken place, highlighting the community support for the project
  • Outcomes should be clearly defined, including significant community benefit
  • Capital projects need to show that they are sustainable
  • Statements of support for your project should be provided, if possible You should indicate how many volunteers may be involved in your project
  • You should indicate benefits to the environment, if applicable

We have made a commitment towards becoming more sustainable and reducing emissions over a number of years.  When submitting an application, we would like you to consider going plastic free where possible within your project. If you would like more information on going plastic free you can find lots of useful information on the links below.

What can funding be used for?

Funding can be used for a variety of purposes including the purchase of equipment, small capital works, hire and running costs, maintenance costs and capacity building projects. Funding can be used to support projects that aim to support the environment and biodiversity. Funding may also be used for local participatory budgeting (Community Choices).

The Neighbourhood Support Fund is an application-based funding scheme, based on need. In certain circumstances, it will be able to provide one-off support grants to help groups sustain themselves.

What cannot be funded?

Funding cannot pay for:

  • Ordering or spending which has taken place prior to application approval
  • Alterations and improvements to licensed serving areas
  • Trips abroad
  • Maintenance of private roadways
  • Salary costs

What happens if I receive funding?

Projects receiving funding must commence within 12 months (unless otherwise agreed) from the date of acceptance of the funding and are expected to complete an evaluation form as per the offer letter within 3 months of completion of the project.

Any amount not used must be repaid in full.

What type of questions will I be asked in the application?

You will be asked to evidence how your project will benefit the Cheviot locality via the following questions:

  • How will the project be delivered?
  • How has your community helped develop the idea?
  • What difference is your project going to make to the community?
  • How will you measure the success of your project in the community?

What supporting documents do I need to submit?

You will not be able to complete the online application form without submitting all supporting documentation. If you are a constituted group, you will need to provide the following:

Cheviot Neighbourhood Support Fund: Application Documents Checklist

  • Constitution (signed and dated by group members/trustees)
  • Bank statement (dated within the last three months)
  • Annual accounts (independently examined and no older than 15 months)
  • Equal Opportunities Policy/Equalities Statement
  • Three quotes/estimates for each item of expenditure
  • Written permission from landowner/landlord, if applicable
  • Planning permission, if applicable

Note: Constitutions, bank statements and annual accounts must all be in the same name as the name of the applying group.

f you are an unconstituted group, you will need to contact a constituted group to support your application and to provide the relevant supporting documentation detailed in the list above.

How will projects be assessed?

Assessment

Funding applications will be assessed by an assessment panel using the following criteria:

  • How do you know that there is a need/demand for your project/activity?
  • Project benefits to be gained - how well your project meets the objectives of the scheme
  • How your project will benefit the community and how it meets the scheme’s criteria
  • How the community is involved and what support there is for your project.
  • If you have received a grant or funding from us before and if you completed the grant evaluation form
  • How your group is set up and managed
  • Your finances and the financial need for funding (see note below)
  • Your group’s commitment to promoting equality for all and equality of opportunity
  • Note: If your group has more unrestricted funds than the value of the application, you should explain what you are planning to do with this money. If you have not set aside this money for anything specific funding is unlikely to be awarded.

Decisions

  • All applications will be checked by council officers who will ensure they meet the requirements listed under “Who can apply?” above. Qualifying applications will be sent to the assessment panel. Non-qualifying applicants will be notified accordingly.
  • Decisions on funding will be considered by the assessment panel and determined by consensus (i.e. widespread agreement). For grants greater than £500, the recommendations of the Assessment Panel will be considered at the Area Partnership meeting. If consensus is not reached at the meeting, the decision on the award of funding will be made by Elected Members, with the Chair having the casting vote. When recommendations for approval by the Assessment Panel are not accepted by the attendees of the Area Partnership (including Elected Members), reasons for such a decision should be clearly communicated to the Panel.
  • Applications of the value of £500 or under will be assessed by the assessment panel and circulated to Elected Members for a decision.

What is the timescale for funding?

You must send in your completed application with supporting documents at least six weeks prior to the Cheviot Area Partnership meeting at which you wish to have your application considered.

Cheviot Area Partnership Dates:

Dates of funding rounds are available on our Neighbourhood Support Fund.

If you have been successful, you will receive an award letter specifying the terms and conditions. You must sign and return a full copy to us within three weeks. Funding will not be paid until we have received a signed award letter. Following receipt of the signed award letter and acceptance of the terms and conditions, grants will be paid either directly into your bank or building society account.

Please note: if you are successful, it can take up to one month for us to process your payment.

Support

For advice on other funding opportunities, please contact:

Grants Administrator

  • email:communitygrants@scotborders.gov.uk
  • phone: 0300 100 1800

The Scottish Borders Third Sector Interface

For assistance in completing the online form and all other queries, please contact our Communities and Partnership Team on 0300 100 1800.

Further information can be found on our website