Mayor's Social Enterprise Award 2023

– Introduction
– Guidance notes:
   – Applicants must demonstrate
   – What can be funded?


The Mayor’s Innovation Fund Social Enterprise Award is designed to support social entrepreneurs to develop business solutions that will benefit the wider Lisburn Castlereagh community by addressing social or environmental issues or affecting social change.

The aim of the Award is

  • to offer social entrepreneurs an opportunity to create a new business or a new project within an existing social enterprise
  • to foster new ideas that have the potential to address social and environmental need
  • to inspire and promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship within the council area.

The Fund offers financial assistance of up to £5,000 towards costs associated with

  • Business Set-Up costs including capital costs, rent, equipment or marketing
  • Costs associated with developing or implementing a new product, service or process  
  • Research and development of a new business idea

The Award will be granted based on merit and applications will be assessed against the programme criteria.  

Applicants should note that the Mayor’s Innovation Fund is not a continual funding programme, but a one-off grant of £5,000.  Successful applicants will not be eligible to apply for future rounds.

The successful applicant must be prepared to take part in all publicity activities associated with the award.

The successful applicant must be prepared to take part in all publicity activities associated with the award.

Guidance notes:
Applicants must demonstrate

  • That the social enterprise, either a new project within an existing social enterprise or a new social enterprise to be established within 6 months, is based within the LCCC area.
  • How they plan to develop a new product or service not currently available within the LCCC area
  • How this one-off award will assist the enterprise to become sustainable in the future and continue to deliver in the long term.
  • It is desirable that the initiative seeking funding is youth led or is targeted at young people.

What can be funded?

Please note only expenditure relating to business set-up, expansion or diversification will be considered, examples include but are not limited to, marketing of products, equipment, set-up costs, or cost of renovating premises.

Only costs included in the application and any subsequent Letter of Offer will be eligible.  No spend must be incurred prior to acceptance of the Letter of Offer.

Quotations must be sought for all project related purchases in line with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Procurement thresholds and guidelines.

To ensure value for money for each, quotations and price checks should be sourced prior to ordering goods.

  • 3 written quotations are required for items up to £3,000
  • 5 suppliers  to invited to quote for items costing £3,001 to £5,000
  • Documentation to be retained for future evidence and audit.

NB. Funding will ONLY be available to an individual based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area

What can not be funded?

In general, the following will not be eligible for funding:

  • Political Organisations and activities which are party-political in intention, use or presentation
  • Any costs or projects which are clearly another statutory agency’s responsibility or costs that can be claimed back from elsewhere e.g. VAT
  • Costs towards banking charges and / or repayment of debt or loans
  • Costs incurred prior to a letter of offer from the council (retrospective funding)
  • Costs which are not clearly linked to the business
  • Costs that are assessed as poor value for money, or that are purchased not following council procurement guidelines
  • Capital costs which require planning or building control approval and do not have these permissions in place (due to the short timeframe)
  • Costs that are already covered by other funding or income source
  • Cash expenditure will not be eligible for refund from the council (audit trail)
  • Salary costs
  • Alcohol, gratuities, gifts and prizes
  • Purchase of stock for general trading purposes
  • Costs relating to transportation/vehicles
  • Professional and statutory fees including planning consents, building control and legal fees or any costs incurred in obtaining quotes

Application Process

Before applying, please check that:

  • you are eligible to apply;
  • your application meets the priorities of this fund;
  • you have completed every question on your Application Form;
  • you can provide all the information we ask for as part of the application process.

Once your application is received, we will:

  • Through a panel assess each application on the criteria
  • Contact you with questions should we need to, so please keep a copy of your Application Form for your reference;
  • Not assess your application if it is incomplete.

If your application is successful, we will:

  • Send you a Letter of Offer by email to sign and return to the council;
  • Clearly indicate the eligible expenditure for the funding offered.
  • Request the grant to be acknowledged through the inclusion of the official Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s logo on all related promotional material associated with the project and that Mayor Martin is invited to the event/activity to which the funding is awarded. 

Once we have received your signed Terms and Conditions we will:

  • Make payment to your bank account, via the Bankers Automated Clearance System (BACS).

If your application is unsuccessful, we will:

  • Contact you by email to inform you of the outcome, for which there is no right of Appeal.

Proposals must comply with relevant government, public health and licensing guidance and regulations. Any activity outside the set timescales or guidance and regulations will not be eligible for funding.

Closing date for applications is 12noon on Friday 28th April 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

Apply online

or download an application form.