LCCC Connect – Invest – Transform: Pilot Community Investment Fund Phase 2

Guidance notes

– Programme criteria
   – 
Application process
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What is the pilot Community Investment Fund?

The Community Investment Fund forms part of the Connect – Invest – Transform Investment Plan. This new capital fund aims to support community, sporting and interest groups to progress a capital project that meets community needs whilst aligning with the principles in both the council's Investment Plan and Lisburn and Castlereagh Community Plan as detailed below.

As a precursor to the wider fund, the council has agreed to extend the Pilot Community Investment Fund initially launched in April 2021 in order to capture further learning and good practice prior to full roll out of the wider programme in the near future. This represents an opportunity for the council to continue to pilot ways to connect with local communities and explore opportunities for balanced investment at a local level across all our seven District Electoral Areas (DEAs).

A total fund of £500,000 will be made available under this application call to allow for 2-3 further applicants to be identified in the pilot extension. The total fund ceiling may be increased if more than 2-3 exceptional and deliverable projects are submitted for consideration and all aspects of the eligibility and assessment criteria have been met accordingly.

Community Plan

Investment Plan

What do we want to achieve with the pilot Community Investment Fund?

We want to invest in our communities, provide a catalyst for growth, and act as a stimulus for wider neighbourhood regeneration. This means we will consider funding new buildings, improvements to existing buildings and open space projects. This pilot fund aims to seek a partner(s) who will deliver against the principles of The Investment Plan and Lisburn and Castlereagh Community Plan, whilst providing invaluable feedback on the fund and related processes and milestones. The learning captured in this pilot fund will shape the roll out of the wider fund which will also seek applications for balanced investment across all seven DEAs.

How much is available?

The Pilot Community Investment Fund seeks application requests for up to a maximum of £250,000 and a minimum of £150,000 per application. Applicants are also required to identify at least 50% match funding resources that will need to be secured no later than June 2023.

How do I apply?

Groups who are interested in proposing a project for consideration under the Pilot Community Investment Fund should complete this online application form.

The deadline is 4.00pm on Friday 13th May 2021.

Timeline for the Application Process

Date Activity
Monday 11th April 2022   Open Call for application form submissions 
Friday 13th May 2022  Closing date for application form submissions 
16th & 17th May 2022 Assessment of application form submissions 
Tuesday 24th May 2022   Recommendations from the application call presented to council for approval
May/June 2022 Notification to applicants re: outcome 

Will all statutory approvals related to the project be required to be in place at application form submission stage?

No. There will however be a requirement for all statutory approvals (to include planning permission) to be secured by June 2023.

Does an outline business case, feasibility study or economic appraisal need to be completed for the project by application form submission stage?

No. For those applications that are successful, an outline business case, feasibility study or economic appraisal will need to be completed by September 2022 in line with the stipulations of the letter of offer ‘in principle’.


What projects are eligible? 

This is a capital funding stream which will only fund capital projects which are not owned by the Council.  Applicants should note that the fund will support capital projects on Council land and other statutory owned land as long as the relevant security of tenure is secured. Projects must be located within the LCCC area. We will not fund revenue costs associated with developing the project or sustaining the planned outcomes.  We are looking for schemes which will address community and/or sports benefits for a community led regeneration project. The project must align with the principles laid out in the council’s 10 Year Investment Plan and Lisburn and Castlereagh Community Plan.

What groups are eligible for funding?

Groups can apply for funding from the pilot Community Investment Fund, if they are -

  • a formally constituted voluntary or community group
  • a registered charity
  • a community interest company
  • a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee
  • a social enterprise
  • other statutory agencies where the Council has a partnership arrangement
  • Groups who have an open and accountable governing document, applicable to the principles within the Fund.

We will not fund individuals, sole traders or profit-making organisations.

Can a group apply for more than one project under the pilot programme?

No, only one application can be received from each organisation and an organisation as part of a Consortia can also only place one application bid. If you are unsuccessful under this pilot fund this would not disadvantage you in applying under the wider scheme. The council would also be committed to engaging with you to provide feedback on your application to the pilot scheme and understand what support you need to progress to the wider scheme once the call is open.

Can projects be 100% funded through the Pilot Community Investment Fund?

No. There is a requirement for match funding to be secured of no less than 50%. A further requirement of the fund is that all match funding should be secured by June 2023.

Programme criteria

What we will fund

We will fund:

  • Building and engineering works (e.g. new build, facility repurposing/development, extension, refurbishment, modernisation or conversion) required for the delivery of the project
  • Purchase of equipment or fixtures and fittings in line with the pilot capital community fund
  • Purchase of plant and equipment necessary for running the project
  • Professional fees associated with capital spending on your project, including project management and legal fees.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • purchase of land or buildings
  • any costs which someone else is paying for, whether in cash or in kind
  • routine repairs and maintenance to buildings
  • general improvements to public areas unless they are essential to the project
  • personal equipment not essential to running the project
  • maintenance equipment, fixed or loose equipment or office equipment which is not essential to the project
  • transport that is necessary for delivering the project
  • the purchase of a leasehold that has less than the projected life of the asset
  • running costs for the building after the project is finished
  • funds to build up a reserve or surplus, whether distributable or not
  • loan repayments
  • contributions to general appeals.​

What criteria will we use to assess project applications?

All projects will be required to complete a Pilot Community Investment Fund application form. Projects will be assessed against 5 criteria – eligibility, affordability, feasibility deliverability and sustainability. Eligible projects will be assessed against a prioritisation matrix based on the above criteria where they will have to reach a minimum threshold score as detailed below:

  • Project Eligibility – If applicants do not meet the project eligibility criteria the application will be deemed to be unsuccessful and no further scoring will be recorded.

Prioritisation Scoring MatrixProject assessment on:

  • Affordability (25 marks) – estimated total cost, CIF funding request, and match funding identifed or secured to date.
  • Feasibility (25 marks) – what needs are being met, how these were identified, key beneficiaries, key outputs and outcomes, strategic fit to council outcomes – Community plan, 10 year Investment Plan, fit with any other strategic plans. 
  • Deliverability (25 marks) – details of location, which DEA the site is in, ownership of site, security of tenure, planning in place or applied, have any feasibility studies/appraisals been completed. Evidence of equality of opportunity and good relations in the development,  Evidence of a project delivery plan with key milestones.
  • Sustainability (25 marks)– how will the asset be managed and sustained once completed and operational, project management experience and skills within the organisation, and other key risks identified and mitigated against.

Projects must score a minimum project threshold of 70 marks out of 100 in order to be successful and will be ranked according to individual scores.

If two or more projects achieve the same score they will be required to present their proposal to a panel for assessment. This panel will comprise Officers who were not involved in the original scoring exercise. The panel will retain the right to seek additional information to facilitate reaching a recommendation for Council to consider.

The successful Pilot Community Investment Fund projects must commit to provision of feedback to Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council as part of a model of co-design to capture learning, key monitoring, milestones and good practice during the pilot phase prior to inform the roll out of the full Community Investment Fund at a future date.  This may include attendance at council facilitated workshops and or meetings as part of the dissemination of key project information.

Following the application process a due diligence process will commence with successful partners to release the Fund, but it should be noted that no award will be made until an appraised business case and related legislative elements are closed out.

NB. Funding will ONLY be available to groups based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area that meet the above criteria.

Application process

Before applying, please check that:

  • your organisation is 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:

  • Perform an Eligibility Check on your application and then assess it against the key themes of the grant, as highlighted in the PROGRAMME CRITERIA section above;
  • 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 project is successful, we will:

Invite you to submit an outline business case that will build on your initial business case/feasibility study submission but will be aligned to the councils Accounting Manual.  A template will be supplied to you as part of the Council’s due diligence process.

Summary of process for Pilot Community Investment Fund:

  1. Application and Project approval
  2. Submission of Outline Business Case and related legislative documents
  3. Due Diligence & Governance review
  4. Implementation of Pilot Process
  5. Monitoring & Evaluation
  6. Recommendations to wider Community Investment Fund

If your application is unsuccessful, we will:

  • Contact you by email informing you of the reasons why your application has not been successful, for which there is no right of Appeal.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council request the successful applicant submit relevant promotional material of their project to share on its social media platforms.

Apply online