LCCC DIY Community Fund 2022/23

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday 5th September.

– Guidance notes:
   – What projects are eligible?
   – What groups are eligible for funding?
   – What will we fund?
   – What will we not fund?
   – Project details
   – Delivering and costs
   – Application process

What is the DIY Community Fund?

The DIY Community Fund is a grant scheme to support the refresh, refurbishment or general improvement to existing community facilities. The grant will enable groups and organisations to improve income opportunities and make the facility more user friendly to further engage the local community.

The fund will make provision to fix, repair, maintain or improve community facilities to offer a wider range activities and services to broaden community engagement and respond to community needs. Its focus will be improving community facilities to develop resilient communities where people are engaged and empowered. 

The community and voluntary sector deliver crucial services locally providing facilities for a range of purposes.  This grant scheme is aimed at the following:

  • stimulating recovery following covid in local communities
  • enhancing the internal / external environment of local facilities
  • encouraging increased participation and programme delivery 
  • improving competitiveness and increasing income generation opportunities

How much is available?

The DIY Community Fund has £30,000 available. Organisations will be able to apply for grants up to a maximum of £1,000. There is no minimum amount requirement.

Guidance notes:
What projects are eligible?

The DIY Community Fund is open for projects located in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area and fall within the legal powers of the council. Only facilities which are not owned by the council will be eligible to apply. You must provide evidence of ownership or a lease. Information sessions will be offered to provide guidance to potential applicants.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that the facility to be enhanced is of strategic importance in the local community and can evidence this. For example, prove that the facility is needed and used by the community and is offering services not duplicated in the surrounding area; demonstrate the prevention of loss of vital community services; show how the improvement will encourage engagement or improve delivery of programmes.

What groups are eligible for funding?

The DIY Community Fund is open to community and voluntary organisations based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area that meet the following criteria:

              (a)  formally constituted community group or voluntary organisation
              (b)  registered charity
              (c)  Community interest group*
              (d)  not-for-profit company limited by guarantee

 *PTAs with ownership through school. Must be for wider community use.

What will we fund?

Examples of what we will fund:

  • Internal furnishings such as floor coverings, curtains, blinds, chairs, tables etc;
  • Materials including paint, wallpaper and hardware required to complete the refresh / refurbishment ;
  • Improvements to external environment including groundworks e.g. landscaping, planters, fencing; and
  • Items of equipment directly related to delivering the project.

Please note - if planning permission of building control consent is required, the applicant must be able to demonstrate this is in place.

What will we not fund?

Examples of what we will not fund:

  • Individual people (applicant must be a lease holder);
  • Large scale capital works;
  • Refresh/refurbishment that does not actively meet a community need;
  • Routine operating expenses, such as administration or staffing;
  • Equipment purchases that are not required to make a facility functional;
  • Direct programming costs;
  • Purchases of land;
  • Private businesses / commercial /statutory /regional sector organisations.

Project Details

Please provide sufficient detail to enable us to understand what your project is about and what you will do with any funding offered.

You should provide as much detail as possible including:  

  • What facility improvements you intend to make
  • How were these identified
  • Who will organise and manage it
  • How the improvement/s will benefit the local community
  • Do you have experience of delivering similar projects
  • What positive impact will the project make to your users / local community

Delivering and costs

You will need to let us know if planning permission or building control is required. This can take time and needs to be factored into the timeframe of the project. Procurement is also required for any project activity and quotes need to be obtained before any work can be carried out. Again, this will have a time implication.


Please consider the following when estimating the cost of your project:

  • Detail each specific cost on a separate line (eg. materials, equipment, furniture) giving a unit and total cost for each separate item when appropriate.
  • Ensure your costings are relevant and realistic. It is beneficial to obtain quotes/ current market rates for costs proposed.

Application process

A panel made up of representatives of Council officers will review all eligible grant applications and make recommendations to Council based on the results of an assessment process. 

What criteria will we use to assess project applications?

  • Projects will be assessed against set criteria. Eligible projects will be assessed against a prioritisation matrix with a minimum threshold score.
  • 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 Matrix – Project assessment on:

  • The improvements being made, what needs are being met, how these were identified and benefit the community, capacity, experience, anticipated impact.
  • Details of location and timeframe.
  • Estimated total cost (budget). Costs must be reasonable, relevant and present value for money.
  • Projects must achieve a minimum threshold score of 65 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 continued

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

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.

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