LCCC COVID Recovery Fund

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council funded through the Department for Communities (DfC) COVID Recovery Fund, has launched a grants scheme for constituted community/voluntary and faith-based organisations.

The fund will assist local grassroots community organisations in the delivery of COVID recovery interventions to provide support to communities as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

– Guidance notes:
– Programme criteria
Application process

What is the COVID Recovery Fund?

The COVID Recovery Fund will offer groups and organisations the financial support to address the changing needs of their beneficiaries /service users and to increase their organisational resilience and agility as a result of COVID-19.  The scheme aims to assist recovery and help organisations develop flexible and responsive plans and activities to become more resilient and financially sustainable in the future.

The fund supports the adaptation of delivery to existing services that were previously suspended or reduced due to the COVID crisis. It will also assist with the creation of new services to tackle community needs and challenges resulting from, or existing needs exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposals can include costs associated in adapting the delivery of, or creating new programmes, services and activities to help recover from the crisis.

The grant has to be spent by 31st March 2022.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Friday 17th December.

How much is available?

The COVID Recovery Fund has £100,000 available for the scheme and applicants can apply for a minimum of £1,000 and up to a maximum of £5,000.

Guidance notes

Who can apply for a grant?

The Fund is open to community/voluntary organisations and faith-based organisations base in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area that meet the following criteria:

  • an open and accountable governing document (Constitution or Articles and Memorandum of Association, or applicable governing document) that has been properly adopted;
  • a bank account in the name of the organisation, which requires at least two (unrelated) signatories   
  • an annual set of independently examined financial accounts, endorsed at an Annual General Meeting;
  • a Management Committee or Governing Board, elected by its membership at an Annual General Meeting, and elected office bearers;
  • have appropriate Safeguarding Policies for protecting Children and Vulnerable adults, who are involved as part of the group’s programme;
  • Up to £5 million Public Liability Insurance, to cover all risk associated with the activities of the organisation.

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

Programme criteria

The fund is designed to assist local community and voluntary groups in the delivery of COVID recovery interventions and the people they support beyond the immediate crisis.

The scheme will assist organisations to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19, operate sustainably and continue to have a positive impact in their communities. This may mean developing new income streams, restructuring the organisation or changing how services operate and are delivered. It will help organisations to renew services to adapt to the new normal.

To meet community needs, organisations must be able to adapt, develop and to provide sustainability or growth in the longer term. Applicants should illustrate how their proposal will help them improve their ability to respond to continued and future challenges due to the pandemic.

What we will fund:

Types of projects can include (but not restricted to):

  • Building capacity for increased needs
  • Expansion of services or activities to increase number beneficiaries eg. people experiencing increased stress / isolation, vulnerable groups
  • New income generation activities
  • Switching existing programmes to remote delivery
  • Money management courses to strengthen financial resilience
  • Training for re/upskilling staff
  • Equipment purchases to enable programme delivery
  • Adapting outdoor activities and spaces to enhance facilities and services and enable them to continue safely

What we will not fund:

  • Individual people
  • Private businesses / commercial /statutory /regional sector organisations.
  • Any works, studies or technical support whose focus does not actively meet a community need
  • General building or ground maintenance
  • Projects/services operating outside of Lisburn & Castlereagh area

The financial support available through this grant may not cover all costs associated with the requirements of the group for the development of your project. Where this is the case, the criteria will require the organisation to cover any shortfall from their existing resources and provide proof of funds.  Match funding is not a pre-requisite for the submission of applications. 

Your application

Section 3 - Your Project

Please provide sufficient detail to enable us to understand what your project is about.

You should provide as much detail as possible including: 

  • Demonstrate the required need with evidence of how your group has been adversely affected by COVID
  • How the changes will benefit the local community
  • How will the project be delivered
  • What are the anticipated outcomes
  • Evidence of need
  • Experience, skills and capacity of organisation to deliver the project

Section 4 - Delivering Your Project

When will your project be delivered and who will manage and review it.

Section 5 - Costs

You will be expected to breakdown what you plan to spend the funds on in your application.  Please consider the following when estimating the cost of your project:

  • Detail each specific cost - breakdown into units costs where applicable
  • Base costs on quotes  / recent expenditure
  • If you are not applying for 100% of your project costs, tell us where you will get the balance from. This might be from another funder or from your own funds. If from another funder, tell us if this money been secured.

Examples of eligible costs:

  • New, improved and/or additional activities and services delivered where these directly support recovery plans.
  • Equipment or materials needed for new or improved activity and services.
  • Costs associated with adapting premises for re-opening, operating safely and broadening community participation.
  • Expenditure to enable groups to operate safely - signage, screens. 

Section 6 - Sustainability

Consider how the project will be funded and sustained in the long term.


What criteria will we use to assess project applications?

Projects will be assessed against 5 criteria – eligibility, affordability, deliverability, feasibility 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:

  • Feasibility – what needs are being met, how these were identified, key beneficiaries, key outputs and outcomes, strategic fit to council outcomes and with any other relevant plans. 
  • Deliverability – details of location, timeframe, management
  • Affordability – estimated total cost (budget). Costs must be reasonable, relevant and present value for money.
  • Sustainability – how will the projected be sustained in the future.

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

Successful projects must provide feedback to monitor progress, evaluate results and capture learning and good practice.  This may include attendance at council facilitated workshops and/or meetings.

Application process

All funding requests must be returned by email to the address provided on the front of this document. The required supporting documentation must be sent with the application unless we have received it in the last 12 months and no changes have been made to it.

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:

  • Send you a Conditional Offer and our Terms & Conditions of Grant by email for your organisation 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 an Elected Member or Council Officer from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, is invited to the event/activity to which the grant is awarded.

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

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

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.

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.

Apply online