Localities Bid Fund


Updated 17.12.2018

What is the Localities Bid Fund all about?

We have allocated a total of £500,000 to a pilot Localities Bid Fund across the Scottish Borders. The Fund was designed to support community projects and initiatives across the Borders that address local priorities and benefit your community. The Fund was split across the five Area Partnerships and support community activities decided by a public vote. The first round has already taken place and approximately £204,000 is in the process of being awarded to communities within the Scottish Borders. 

When does the Localities Bid Fund open and close?

The second round of the fund opened for applications on Monday 7 January 2019 and closed at 5pm on Thursday 28 February 2019.

How much is available in each area?

The balance of £296,000 is split across each area as follows:

  • Berwickshire - £48,374.30
  • Cheviot - £50,568.20
  • Eildon - £119,802.30
  • Teviot & Liddesdale £40,080.30
  • Tweeddale £61,416.20

What will you fund?

Your project/idea can be new or an existing activity, but it must be inclusive and open for wider community use and align with one or more of the following:

  • The Council's Corporate Plan,
  • The Scottish Borders Community Plan, and/or
  • A local priority identified by your local Area Partnership

What is the Community Plan?

The Community Plan details what the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership agree are the key challenges that the Scottish Borders experiences, and what the Partnership want to achieve. The Community Planning Partnership is made up of both statutory and non-statutory partners from across a range of public, third and community sector organisations.

The priority areas identified in the Community plan are:

  • Economy, skills and learning
  • Health, care and well being
  • Quality of life
  • Place

Has a local priority been identified in my area?

The following area has identified a local priority:

This is the only area with a localised priority.

How much can my project bid for?

  • Non-constituted groups can bid for up to £5,000.
  • Constituted groups can bid for up to £15,000.

What do you mean by 'constituted' and 'non-constituted'?

A constitution is a written agreement of what a group is going to do and how they will do it. In basic terms, a constitution is simply a set of written rules, effectively the 'instruction manual', or an agreement governing the aims of the organisation, how it will be run and how the members will work together. The group is run on a voluntary basis and is set up as an organisation in its own right with a management committee, constitution and its own bank account.

What if more than one bid comes in for the same project/idea?

The Communities & Partnerships Team would contact the named leads and encourage them to join forces to strengthen their bid. This would also optimise the community vote, however if they wish to remain separate that would be their own decision.

Will the Localities Bid Fund cover all the costs of our project?

No, all projects will be expected to match the amount bid for with a 10% cash contribution. Please see the examples below:

Item of expenditure

Total cost

Item A


Item B


Item C








Amount requested from the Localities Bid fund


10% cash contribution




Other funding sources (if applicable)


In progress / secured

Awards for All (Big Lottery)



Foundation Scotland Express Grant


In progress


Item of expenditure

Total cost

Item A








Amount requested from the Localities Bid fund


10% cash contribution


What won't we fund?

LBF2 will not fund:

  • Trips abroad
  • Activities which only benefit individuals
  • Organisations who aim to make a profit
  • Political or religious activities
  • Any retrospective costs already incurred by the applicant
  • Projects that disadvantage any groups or individuals in the community
  • Public sector provision that is required by statute (law)
  • Payments towards areas generally understood to be the responsibility of statutory authorities, including schools, i.e. projects that take place in school, during school hours and/or only for the benefit of the pupils will not be considered. PTAs/Parent Councils can apply, but must evidence the project has genuine wider community benefit outwith the school
  • Projects not aligned to Council and/or Community Planning Partnership policies, strategies and priorities
  • Applications from groups based outwith the Scottish Borders.

A maximum of 50% of your application costs can be used for staffing/salary/consultants/external trainers, but cannot be used to fund core staffing activity/time.

If your idea or project is not supported by the Localities Bid Fund please get in touch with us as there may be more appropriate funding.

Retrospective Costs

Applicants can only apply for funding to cover future costs of delivering their activity. LBF2 cannot be used to fund costs already incurred by the applicant. Any groups submitting invoices or receipts which are dated prior to funding being awarded won't have their funding fulfilled.

Staffing costs

A maximum of 50% of your application costs can be used for staffing/salary/consultants/external trainers, but cannot be used to fund core staffing activity/time. Core staffing activity / time describes the permanent hours that an organisation employs a worker for, and the regular activity the organisation delivers. For example, if a youth centre employs a youth worker for 10 hours per week to deliver three evening drop-ins, LBF2 funding cannot be used to fund those 10 hours. Instead LBF funding could be used to fund additional youth work hours to deliver new activity.

Type of group

Maximum LBF2 Bid

Maximum staffing costs that can be applied for (50%)




Non constituted



What types of projects are you looking for? Can we get the potholes fixed in our village?

No, we are looking for community activities which are inclusive, accessible and make a positive impact in the wider community. This is an opportunity to bring about a change in your community and respond to what people in your area are asking for.

Can our school use the fund to buy new books and stationery?

No, we are looking for innovative, community projects. Also as a school is part of the Local Authority, it would not be eligible to apply. However if a Parent Council comes up with an innovative community project, they can apply to the Localities Bid Fund.

Will all the bids that go forward to the public vote be published on the SBC website?

Yes, a list of applicants going forward to a public vote will be published on our website.

Our group/organisation was successful in Round 1; can we submit an application for Round 2?

Yes, previous applicants are welcome to apply to LBF2. We welcome applications for new ideas and projects as well as existing activity.

My group has no cash but we have people willing to give their time. Do we need the cash as well?

Yes, a 10% cash contribution demonstrates commitment and engagement to the project and is a test of the robustness of the project idea. 

We want to pay a consultant that will show if a project can go ahead. Do these costs count as staffing?

Yes, if a project would like to apply for funding to hire a consultant to advise on the eligibility of a project, this would be considered staffing costs.

What responsibilities do we have as applicants?

All group members should be aware of the intention to apply to LBF2 and have agreed to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of the project as detailed in the application form. Applicants should have researched the costs involved in their project and be able to supply evidence of these costs. Applicants should also have approached the relevant bodies to seek permission for their activity (where relevant) and considered how long term projects will be supported / funded in the future. For example, if you are applying for outdoor play equipment, how will that equipment be maintained?

I have got an idea but no experience of pulling a project together, will this stop me from submitting a bid?

No, we welcome new, innovative and creative ideas.There is a wide range of support available to help you.

Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service (BAVS) can help projects in the Berwickshire Area.Tel: 01361 883137

The Bridge can help projects based in other areas of the Borders.

  • Central Borders Tel: 01896 755370
  • Roxburgh Tel: 01835 863554
  • Tweeddale Tel: 01721 723123

Is there anyone who could help me fill in an application form?

Of course, give the Communities & Partnerships Team a call and they will assist you. Please be aware that if your group requires support, the cut-off date was Friday 8 February 3 weeks before the final deadline. Please call us on 0300 100 1800.

What information do we need to submit alongside our application form?

  • Quotes for the cost of work to be carried out / cost of resources and equipment
  • Evidence of planning permission or evidence that planning permission is being actively sought (if applicable)
  • Land owners permission (if applicable)

What happens after we have submitted our application?

We will confirm receipt of your application. All applications will go through a pre-assessment check by the Communities & Partnership Team to ensure that the application forms have been completed satisfactorily, that they meet the priorities and outcomes of our Corporate Plan and the CPP Community Plan and are appropriate for the Localities Bid Fund, or if there are other, more appropriate funding streams.  All applications will be presented to the Borders Assessment Panel and assessed against the LBF2 criteria. The same voting process from the first round (i.e. funding allocated to those projects with the most votes) will be used for those agreed projects going forward to a public vote, and funding will be awarded to the most successful bids and publicised on our website, at Area Partnerships and through social media.

What is to stop the larger towns winning all of the votes?

In the first round of the Localities Bid fund we found that the projects that had undertaken a lot of marketing/campaigning in the area were successful - irrespective of the size of their town/village.

Is this fund to replace Council Services?

No, we are looking to give communities the opportunity to identify and deliver projects that are important to them in their local community.

How is this different from the Community Grant Scheme or other SBC Community grant funds?

The Localities Bid Fund is very different from any other community grant funds in that the process is Participatory Budgeting, which means the public will vote and therefore ultimately decide on whom the funding is allocated to. It is our job to engage communities, increase their awareness of the fund and help them to see that it's an exciting, new process which ultimately allows them to decide what they want.

Where can we get an application form?

Application forms are available on our website. If you don't have access to the internet you can get a paper copy. Please call us on 0300 100 1800.

How can I find out more about the Localities Bid Fund?

More information is available on our website.

If my bid is unsuccessful at the Community Vote will there be other options for funding?

Yes, if you still wish to pursue your project you can discuss further options with the Communities & Partnerships Team

How old do I need to be to vote?

You need to be 16 years of age, or older, in order to vote

How do I vote?

You will need to be pre-registered in order to vote. Information about how to do this, and where you can vote, will be available soon.

Further Information

Further information is available: