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Cost of living - third sector and community grants


The funding available on this page is for community organisations that wish to set up support projects.

We know that the cost-of-living crisis is a matter of deep concern both in terms of the implications for delivering local plans and because of the impact on people in our community. 

We have taken into account feedback received from residents and our partners and recognise how difficult the last few years have been for people in Blackpool with the challenges of living through a global pandemic. Blackpool Council are proud of the work that has been achieved by our community partners and the way in which the communities of Blackpool came together during this time of need.

Blackpool Council’s immediate focus is to now work with our partners to enhance and possibly adapt their provision so that it meets emerging cost-of-living-related needs. We want to support and encourage our community sector organisations to continue delivering and utilise their strengths to further enhance their services and offers to residents of their community.

With this in mind Blackpool Council will offer grant funding that has been made available from DWP/HM Government's Household Support fund and the NHS and Blackpool Council Public Health to enable existing organisations to deliver support to Blackpool residents. 

In view of the different requirements from each source of funding that we will be using we will allocate any agreed awards from the most appropriate budget in accordance with scheme requirements.

Any awards that we allocate from the HM Government Household Support Fund must be spent by 31 March 2024. We will consider projects that may cease before this date. Households are likely to need more support during the winter months. We would expect project plans to take this into account and budget funding accordingly so that anticipated expenditure will not be even spread each month, with a greater emphasis on colder months.

Who can apply, and how much is available?

  • Applications can be made by voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector organisations (VCFSE), schools and early years settings based in Blackpool to support Blackpool residents in need
  • Organisations must have a community bank account with two signatories (not at the same address). The account must be in the name of the community group, we will require evidence
  • Organisations must have a written constitution, we may request evidence
  • Organisations will need to have valid public liability insurance. For projects that provide food and refreshments food hygiene accreditation will need to be in place. Organisations that have paid employees will also require employers liability insurance. We may request evidence of these requirements.
  • Organisations that have taken part in previous rounds of funding will need to have completed monitoring reports and evidenced successful outcomes
  • Organisations should not have debts in arrears with Blackpool Council
  • There is no lower financial limit. We would like to encourage a broad range of innovative applications. The maximum we will fund is £50,000 per project although we would expect this to be exceptional
  • We welcome joint applications and these may attract a higher score
  • Reasonable administration expenses (eg room hire, volunteer expenses) may be claimed

Funding bands

  • Band 1 applications - under £1,000
    Your project should be ready to start as soon as possible - funding needs to be spent by 31 March 2024 at the latest. 
  • Band 2 applications - £1,000 to £10,000
    Your project should start as soon as possible. Your funding needs to be spent by 31 March 2024. Although we may consider a longer timeframe in exceptional circumstances
  • Band 3 applications - over £10,000
    Your project should start as soon as possible, we understand more time may be needed for planning and allocation of resources. Your funding needs to be spent by 31 March 2024. Exceptionally we may consider a longer timeframe, where we may apportion funding from other streams in order to meet various grant conditions

We aim to respond to all applications within 14 to 21 days.

What we cannot fund

  • Public or private sector organisations and sole traders. Applications from schools will be considered
  • Organisations that are not constituted and that do not have a bank account in their own name
  • Your usual running costs and core expenses
  • Capital projects
  • Consultants fees
  • Legal fees and expenses
  • Retrospective costs for money already spent or projects that have already started
  • Projects that benefit public or private enterprise or statutory activities
  • Cost of alcohol
  • Mortgage repayments, associated costs, and council tax
  • Political, and religious activities
  • Activities not benefiting Blackpool residents
  • Trips and excursions

What we will consider

We are looking for innovative ideas and a wide range of projects across the town. Some examples are listed below but this is not exhaustive.

Schemes that support households

Offering a range of support to vulnerable households that are struggling with the cost of living, especially those that have limited means. Projects can include all or some of the categories below. Where ever possible schemes should try to avoid the payment of cash and consider use of vouchers, provision of materials or payments direct to providers of services eg retailers and energy providers.

  • Support with food
  • Support with the cost of energy and water
  • Support with materials linked to energy and water - for example this could be warm clothing, energy efficiency measures including insulations, and essential equipment
  • Support with wider essentials - for example unforseen emergency costs

Your project will need to devise a clear and fair rationale to decide how any funding would be awarded and allocated to households. Projects should endeavour not to provide support by giving cash to people but instead consider providing vouchers and tangible items where appropriate. We can provide further advice about the options available.

Energy efficiency schemes

Offering a range of support to individuals and families to ease the pressure of the cost of living crisis and to encourage them to socialise during the bleak winter month.
This could include things like

  • Family meals / discounted meals/over 55s lunch clubs
  • Cookery classes and ideas to save on food and energy costs
  • Food pantry
  • Washing and drying facilities

Community buildings

The cost of owning and running a community asset, like a community centre, is rising in line with inflation and energy bills.

If this is something concerning your partnership and may result in you having to close, we can possibly consider short term support for higher costs that might be additional to your previous usual running expenses.

Welcoming places

An increasing number of community organisations offer welcoming places and warm hubs during the winter – places where people who are struggling with the cost of food and energy can meet up, have something to eat, and socialised.

If your partnership owns a community building, you may be thinking about using it to set up a welcoming place to host food and heating initiatives. This could include activities such as recipe and cookery classes, how to keep warm, sharing community resources.

Alternatively, for partnerships who don’t own a space, there may be an opportunity to work with us to set up a welcoming place and promote awareness of the space to residents in your area. 

We would normally expect more of this kind of activity to take place during the winter when people are more likely to want to go somewhere to keep warm.

Outreach support

This could include mobile community food banks, and other ideas to contact people that are hard to reach. 

Further information

When completing the application form we need to know the number of households that you intend to support. 

  • The definition of a household with a child is a household containing any person:
    • who will be under the age of 19 as at 31 March 2024 or
    • a person aged 19 or over in respect of whom a child-related benefit (for example, Child Benefit) is paid or free school meals are provided
  • The definition of a household with a pensioner is any household containing any person who has reached state pension age by 30 March 2024 (and no eligible children as defined above are resident)

Evidence of outcomes

As part of the funding criteria we're keen to see evidence of outcomes against your application.

Each successful organisation will be expected to provide an end of project summary to include information on activity delivered, uptake, outcomes and feedback from participants. We may also contact you during the course of your project to discuss progress. Larger projects may also be requested to provide interim progress reports.

Where photos and case studies are included organisations must ensure they have received permission to share.

Blackpool Together - our offer of help for local people

Blackpool Together is our partnership of local community organisations that have agreed to come together to support local residents with a wide range of support including issues associated with the cost of living. We meet on a regular basis for lively discussions and planning, and also keep in touch by email. Successful applicants will be expected to contribute to the group and attend meetings, events and provide wider support wherever possible.

Further questions

  • The funding available on this page is only for Organisations that wish to set up community projects.
  • If you would like to discuss your proposal and ideas with us before final submission to us this can be arranged. Please complete the request form.

How to apply for funding and conditions

  • Please complete the request for an application form
  • There is no closing date although we reserve the right to withdraw funding at any time
  • Applications will be assessed and scored by a panel of officers and we aim to notify you of the outcome of your application as soon as possible
  • Payment will be made into the bank account specified in your application. We may request documentation to verify the account details
  • Applicants will need to accept our funding conditions. An end of project report will be required and we may contact you from time to time to discuss progress and monitor the success of your project. We will request an interim report for larger projects.
  • You need to agree that we will share your information within Blackpool Council and NHS for the purposes of evaluation. We may also need to share your information with HM Government's DWP for wider statistical purposes.
  • You will not normally need to provide us with details of individual residents that have received support but this information should be retained for inspection and audit purposes by us if required.