Living Places and Spaces

Living Places and Spaces

This programme will open in November 2021. We are not accepting applications until then.

Launching in November, this programme offers small scale capital grants of between £1,000 and £10,000. This is to support communities by creating more sustainable and resilient outdoor spaces through:

  • Greening - planting more trees and plants in an area
  • rewilding - allowing nature to take over an area
  • water management - slowing rainwater before it gets to the drainage systems.

The types of projects that could be funded include:

  • community gardens (a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people)
  • pocket parks and forests (small urban or rural forests)
  • allotments (an area of land used for growing fruit and vegetables)
  • rain gardens (an area which is planted so that rainwater from roofs, driveways, etc runs into it and soaks into the ground, and therefore does not cause flooding or other problems)
  • green roofs (a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation)
  • ponds and living walls or vertical gardens (vertical structures that have living plants or other greenery attached to them).
  • installation of outdoor furniture or features to encourage usage
  • measures to encourage walking, wheeling and cycling.

We are giving out these grants on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure.

Area
Northern Ireland
Suitable for
Voluntary or community organisations and schools
Funding size
£1,000 - £10,000 for capital costs
Total available
£500,000
Application deadline

5pm Friday 17 December 2021

How to apply

This programme will open in November 2021. We are not accepting applications until then.

We only have a limited amount of funding to award through this programme. We’re expecting a lot of applications. Many of them will be for good projects. This means we'll have to make difficult decisions. There are often lots of great projects we cannot fund.

We'll make approximately 80 awards through this programme. Applications will be accepted until 5pm Friday 17 December 2021.

As the programme is open for a short period, groups can only apply once.

Make sure you check who can and cannot apply.

How long will it take to get a decision?

We'll aim to give you a decision around two months from the programme closing date, so you have plenty of time to prepare for your project to start from March 2022 onwards.

What information you need to apply

We ask for two different people from your organisation to be our contacts for the project:

  • one person we can talk to if we have any questions about your project
  • the other person should be a senior member of your organisation, who will be legally responsible for the funding.

Both people need to live in the UK.

We need their:

  • names
  • contact details
  • home addresses
  • dates of birth.

Both people need to have different email addresses.

You’ll need to let the senior person in your team know you’re including their information as part of the application.

These two people cannot be:

  • related by blood
  • married to each other
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • living together at the same address.

We ask for the legal name of your organisation, the address and what type of organisation it is

Make sure these are current and match any information or identity documents we ask for (when you get to the application part). Your organisation’s ‘legal name’ may not be the same as your day-to-day name. Your legal name is the one shown on your governing document (like your constitution, trust deed, memorandum or articles of association).

We ask for information about your organisation’s accounts

We need to know the date your accounts end each year and how much income you have.

If you do not have yearly accounts because you’re a new organisation (less than 15 months old), that’s okay. We can still consider your application.

We ask for a bank statement from the last three months

It should show:

  • your organisation's legal name
  • the address statements are sent to
  • your bank's name
  • the account number and sort code
  • the date the statement was issued.

Here’s a picture of a similar bank statement we’re looking for

We can only transfer money into a regulated UK based bank or building society protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Your account must also have at least two unconnected people to approve all transactions and withdrawals.

We’ll have to reject your application if you do not give us:

  • the full and correct information we’re looking for, or
  • enough of the evidence we’re asking you for

We ask you for information about what sort of project you’d like to do

And how your project will meet the criteria listed in ‘The projects we fund’.

What happens after you apply

  1. You send us your application. We'll get back to you with a decision around two months from the programme closing date. During this time, we review your idea and do our security checks. You can find out more about the checks we make. If we need more information about your idea to help with our decision, we may give you a call or send you an email.
  2. If your application is successful. We'll send you an email with the good news. You can start your project as soon as you get this email if you want to. We’ll put the funding in your bank account within 14 days or sooner, if possible.
  3. If your application is unsuccessful. We'll let you know by email and explain the reason why.
  4. You can start spending the funding on your project. You should spend the funding in the way you said you would in your application (unless we’ve agreed to something different first).
    We might check in with you from time to time to see how things are going.
  5. Share your story. Let people know about your grant and the amazing work you're doing in your community. Sharing news about your project with your community can be a great way to keep them involved and engaged. Your award email will also include details on how to publicise your grant and let people know about how your project is supporting people in your community.

Contact us

If you’re not sure about the sort of things we ask for when you apply Contact us.

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Who can and cannot apply

You can apply if you are a:

  • voluntary or community organisation
  • registered charity
  • constituted group or club
  • not-for-profit company or community interest company
  • school.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • organisations that are aimed at generating profits primarily for private distribution
  • statutory bodies (including local councils)
  • organisations based outside the UK
  • one individual or organisation applying on behalf of another
  • people under the age of 18.

Board or committee members

It’s important that organisations applying have at least two people on their board or committee who are not related.

By related, we mean:

  • married to each other
  • in a civil partnership with each other
  • in a long-term relationship with each other
  • living together at the same address
  • related by blood.

All companies who apply must have at least two directors who are not related in any of these ways. This also applies to companies that are also registered as charities.

Contact us

If you’re not sure if you can apply Contact us. The team will be happy to help.

You can also check what other funding programmes you might be able to apply to.

Living Places and Spaces logo
The projects we fund

Your project needs to support communities by creating more sustainable and resilient spaces through:

  • greening - planting more trees and plants in an area
  • rewilding - allowing nature to take over an area
  • water management - slowing rainwater before it gets to the drainage systems

Project funding may also include connections to allow people to access these improved spaces, furniture to encourage usage and measures to encourage active travel. Requests of between £1,000 and £10,000 for small-scale capital projects can be considered.

You can still apply even if you have a current grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.

We'll support a range of projects

The types of projects that could be funded include:

  • community gardens
  • pocket parks and forests - small urban or rural forests
  • allotments
  • rain gardens - a depressed area in the landscape that collects rainwater from a roof or area of land and allows it to soak into the ground
  • green roofs - a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation
  • ponds and living walls or vertical gardens
  • furniture to encourage usage and measures to encourage active travel walking, wheeling and cycling.

We want the projects to reflect a mix of communities and places from across Northern Ireland. We’ll make sure there’s a geographical spread of funding and a range of activities being delivered across the projects we support.

We'll take this into account when assessing your application against others that we receive.

You must involve your community in your project

We believe people understand what's needed in their communities better than anyone else. It’s important to us that you involve your community in the design, development, and delivery of the project activity you’re planning.

If your project works with children, young people or vulnerable adults

You need to have a policy in place that explains how they'll be safe. We might ask to see this policy if we award you funding. The NSPCC have helpful advice about setting up and following good child safeguarding policies.

Contact us

If you're not sure about the projects we fund contact us.

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What you can spend money on

We can pay for capital costs between £1,000 and £10,000 that meet the aims of this programme.

You must spend the money within one year of receiving your award.

This list does not include everything. If you're not sure, contact us.

We can fund:

  • land and building costs (i.e. the costs of creating pathways, installation of vertical garden structures, developing a green roof etc.)
  • equipment and materials (i.e. trees, plants, seeds, pots, tools, furniture etc.).

For land or building projects, you’ll need to either:

  • own the land or building
  • have a lease that cannot be ended for five years
  • have a letter from the owner saying the land or building will be leased to you for at least five years
  • have a letter from the owner or landlord that says you're allowed to do work on the building
  • and you should also think about if you may need planning permission for the work.

You should consider the environmental impact of your project and try to reuse, reduce and recycle where possible.

We cannot fund:

  • revenue costs (including salaries)
  • projects delivered outside of Northern Ireland
  • items which will only benefit an individual or family, rather than the wider community 
  • contingency costs, loans, endowments or interest
  • feed-in tariff payments
  • VAT you can reclaim
  • activities that generate profits for private gain 
  • costs that have already been incurred 
  • work on land or buildings where you do not meet our requirements around land ownership and permissions.

Contact us

If you’re not sure if you can apply  contact us. The team is happy to help.

You can also check what other funding programmes you can apply to.

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