The focus of our funding will be supporting community-driven projects that address waste and consumption. This will mean different things to different communities, but most people now recognise that we all need to move to more sustainable ways of living.
The amount of funding available per application will depend on what each partnership needs at this stage:
- applicants who need more time to develop their partnership, engage widely or test their approaches can apply for initial development funding (the minimum grant size is £100,000, up to a maximum of £150,000 - the minimum length is 12 months). You may have an opportunity to apply for longer-term funding at a later stage.
- applicants who have more developed project proposals and might be able to start longer-term plans at an earlier stage can apply for larger, longer-term awards (the minimum grant size is £500,000, up to a maximum of £1.5 million. We expect the length of full awards to be between three to five years). You do not need to have had a Climate Action Fund development grant first to apply for a full award.
Why waste and consumption?
One of the biggest contributing factors behind man-made climate change is that we are using more and more ‘stuff’ and throwing it away ever faster. Modern societies have become characterised by increasing levels of consumption and, subsequently, waste. This increasing consumerism - fast food, fast fashion and ‘single-use’ products - has been a major contributor to the rapid increase in carbon emissions over recent decades.
Communities have a central role to play. They can promote and support the behavioural change and attitude shifts needed to reduce unnecessary waste, and encourage people to switch to more thoughtful ways of consuming. This is not about stopping all consumption but thinking more about what we use and how we use it. Cutting unnecessary waste, and supporting the development of a circular economy, will be key to moving us to a low-carbon society.
For more information about why waste and consumption is an important focus for us, and what that could look like as a community-led project, read our blog.
What we’re hoping to fund
Our focus of waste and consumption covers themes such as the following sub-categories:
- food waste
- repair and re-use
- retail and consumerism
- waste streams.
This is not a complete list. We’re interested in hearing about other project approaches and we’re not looking for projects to necessarily address all of these sub-categories.
High demand for this funding
We expect that demand for this funding will be high. In round one, we got over 630 initial idea applications and made 23 funding awards. So, if you're applying, make sure your project meets what we're looking for.
In round one, for example, we received a lot of quite similar applications for local projects to start or develop repair cafes and resource libraries. We support these kinds of projects, but we’re not able to support lots of very similar projects or approaches through this particular funding. So, we’re most interested in seeing how such projects can build on what they do by increasing their scope and the number of people they reach.
We want to make sure that we support a range of projects that reflect a mix of communities and places from across the UK.
Equity, diversity and inclusion
How projects consider equity, diversity and inclusion in every aspect of their work is vital. We’re particularly interested in projects focusing on climate justice and addressing social inequalities, and those led by people and communities more adversely affected by climate change.
The projects we fund must also be able to show:
- how they are community-led - the project will be led and driven by local groups with a deep understanding of local needs, and the idea will have been designed and developed by involving the people who will benefit. We want to see that the project has spoken to people in the community and listened to what they have to say, what they want, why it’s important to them, and how people will be involved.
- that they’re working in partnership - projects will be place-based, community-led partnerships that bring together a wide range of people and organisations with a shared vision of what local climate action should look like. We know that change involves all parts of society and expect you to be working with multiple partners from different sectors. We’re particularly interested in partnerships that include health and the NHS, local authorities and/or housing associations. We cannot fund organisations aimed at generating profit for private distribution, but we’d encourage partnerships to find ways to work with the private sector. If awarded funding, partnerships will be expected to put in place a partnership agreement (if they have not done so already), specifying how they will work together.
- their plans for how the project will achieve lasting impact - to maximise the climate benefit, it’s important that the changes made are sustainable beyond the funding we might give. We’re looking for projects that are able to show how their work will support behavioural and lifestyle changes across their community, and potentially longer-term attitude shifts. Whether this is building on work that you’ve been doing for years, or taking a completely fresh approach, we’re particularly interested in projects that can show how their work will point towards wider systemic change.
- how they will reach more people - projects need to engage with people outside of those already taking climate action and will be able to show clear plans for, and a commitment to, public engagement.
- their approach to learning and sharing - projects will have plans as to how they’ll measure change and demonstrate the difference the project will make, including how they’ll share their learning to enable and inspire others to take action.
We’re also interested in hearing from groups who are considering different ways to finance their projects, including developing the potential for income generation from non-grant sources.
Reducing your environmental impact
We all have a responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. This includes the communities and projects we support. Find out more about how to reduce your environmental impact on the GOV.UK website and on our website.
We’ll expect lead organisations and all partners to consider their environmental impact and to have relevant policies and procedures in place.
What we’re unlikely to fund
We’re unlikely to fund:
- applications that cannot show how the wider local community has contributed to the design and development of the project
- applications that want to deliver a nationwide project
- applications from single organisations
- applications that are about promoting a single organisation’s - or group’s - agenda
- applications for statutory activities, so many recycling and domestic waste projects are unlikely to be eligible for funding
- applications that are only looking for capital funding
- organisations applying for significantly more funding than they have experience of managing, or that significantly increases their annual turnover.
Other possible climate action funding
If this programme is not right for you, or you’ve been unsuccessful in applying, find out about other possible climate action funding.
Delivering your project in Welsh
If you receive funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for a project in Wales, you'll need to deliver it in Welsh as well as English. Read our guidance on managing your project bilingually.