Good Relations Project Grant 2023/24

The closing date for receipt of applications is 1.00pm on Thursday 11th May 2023.

The Good Relations Grant Programme is for community relations and cultural diversity projects and is open to community / voluntary groups who are engaged in the delivery of programmes / initiatives which focus on reconciliation and cultural diversity. The aim of the fund is to promote good relations between people of different religious and political beliefs and different racial groups.  You must demonstrate how your project meets the objectives of the fund, as outlined within this guidance.

A maximum grant of up to £3,000 is available for any one organisation in each financial year for a 1 year period.

We are holding two workshops for those interested in applying:

  • 24th April at 7pm in the Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn
  • 25th April at 11.00am via Zoom

 To register for workshop, please contact Community Services on 028 9244 7713 or email

What is Good Relations?

A working definition of good relations, provided by the Equality Commission is:

“The growth of relationships and structures for Northern Ireland that acknowledge the religious, political and racial context of this society, and that seek to promote respect, equity and trust, and embrace diversity in all its forms.”

Together Building a United Community (TBUC)

Good Relations Programmes in all council areas has to date been 75% funded by The Executive Office (TEO).  The 'Together: Building a United Community' Strategy published on May 23 2013, reflects the executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society. Its vision is

“A united community, based on equality of opportunity, the desirability of good relations and reconciliation - one which is strengthened by its diversity, where cultural expression is celebrated and embraced and where everyone can live, learn, work and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.”

The Department proposes to work with Councils on the basis of their current good relations audits and to focus on delivering Good Relations outcomes under four key themes:

  1. Our Children and Young People;
  2. Our Shared Community;
  3. Our Safe Community;
  4. Our Cultural Expression.

General Eligibility For all Funding Rounds

The following list is a basic eligibility criteria that your organisation must meet to be able to apply for any grant from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. If your organisation does not meet the eligibility criteria, we will not consider your application for funding. Council officers will perform an initial eligibility check on all applications to ensure that the application meets the basic eligibility criteria including the following:

  • Evidence that the application is from a formally governed community/voluntary sector organisation, which includes a community forum, network or similar body
  • Evidence that the applicant group’s governing document open and accountable
  • Evidence that the group is based with the Lisburn & Castlereagh area or that the project beneficiaries are resident of the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area
  • Successful applications will be determined on the basis of merit.
  • If more than one group operates within a particular locality, the Council would welcome partnership applications, however a lead applicant will need to be identified. Please note in this case the applicant must demonstrate that there is no project duplication
  • Organisations must be based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area and funding must be spent between the date of the Letter of Offer and 29th February 2024.
  • Applicants can apply to other sources of public support, outside of the council, but must declare this in their application form.
  • Organisations in receipt of a grant must comply with all statutory obligations regarding the delivery of and access to their programme, including council procurement/ Health & Safety/Safeguarding and licensing requirements.
  • Applicants will be expected to make every effort to increase capacity within their local community, through for example, skills training and volunteering.
  • It is a prime responsibility of Council to ensure the proper and efficient use of, and accountability for, public monies.  To this end, applicants must forward all supporting documentation requested along with the application. The council will be unable to award successful applicants without all supporting documentation being received.
  • Applicants will be required to demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of their project, and adequately show how it will have a positive and measurable impact on the local community.
  • Future funding may be withheld if any required closing documentation is still outstanding for previous grants administered by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, including invoices, receipts, accounts, bank statements and evaluation reports.
  • Successful applicants in any given year should not presume continued support in subsequent years.
  • Evidence that the project is not of a commercial nature or organized  on a profit / commercial basis
  • Evidence that the projects administration/equipment costs are proportionate to the overall  programme  costs
  • Evidence that the application is not for trade or professional conferences / conventions
  • Evidence that the application is not primarily fundraising for charitable purposes, or deploying potential sources of income to a charity
  • Evidence that the application is not for a social event that has no community benefit

What is not eligible for funding

We do not fund organisations that are:

  • not formally constituted, in other words, they do not have a constitution or memorandum and articles of association
  • not operating on a not-for-profit basis (taken from the constitution or memorandum and articles of association) as we cannot support commercial projects or projects that could be carried out commercially. If, in the reasonable opinion of the council, the organisation applying for funding is a de facto commercial organisation, whatever the legal make-up of the organisation, then the council shall not fund that organisation. The decision of the council shall be final in this regard.
  • able to share out profits (taken from the constitution or memorandum and articles of association)
  • not prepared to share learning from their project with us and other relevant groups
  • Local authorities or public-sector organisations
  • Local authorities, public-sector organisations or regional voluntary organisations with a focus wider than LCCC area
  • In operation for less than one year

Projects that:

  • take place outside of the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area
  • provide no potential benefit to the public, either in the short or long term
  • are of a commercial nature, organised on a profit / commercial basis
  • are aimed at funding the normal running costs of a community organisation
  • have already taken place or are already under way at the time of the assessment
  • duplicate what already exists
  • are party political in intention, use or presentation
  • promote a particular religion
  • are  primarily fundraising events, for charitable purposes, or deploy potential sources of income to a charity
  • are contrary to any Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council policies

As well as the above, the following are considered ineligible for all grants:

  • Application forms that are not completed
  • Projects by individuals/sole applicants
  • Contributions towards general appeals
  • Funding towards campaigning around a single issue
  • Activities related to the promotion of religion or political parties
  • Areas of statutory responsibility or where such funding has been withdrawn
  • Retrospective payments or the repayment of loans
  • Organisations that are in poor financial health or cannot show effective financial control
  • Organisations who have previously received a grant from us that was not managed satisfactorily or was not completed. This includes if you did not send us the monitoring and evaluation forms within the agreed timescales or if you did not seek approval for changes to your project.
  • Building/capital costs
  • Costs which are not clearly linked to the project
  • Costs that are poor value for money, or procured outside of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s procurement guidelines (services or items under £1,500 require 2 – 3 written quotes)
  • Costs that are already covered by other funding or income sources
  • Costs related to private or unfunded pensions
  • Amounts for gifts and donations
  • Reclaimable VAT
  • Alcohol
  • Prizes and trophies 
  • Funding towards uniforms
  • Equipment costs unless they have an on-going use throughout the project and are essential and necessary to complete the project

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.  Match funding is not a pre-requisite for the submission of applications. 

Broad Assessment Criteria

In order to deliver the Good Relations Fund aims and principles, applicants will need to demonstrate how their project aims to address one of the ‘Together Building a United Community’ key priorities.

  • TBUC 1: Our Children and Young People

           Shared Aim: to continue to improve attitudes amongst our young people and to build a community where they can play a full and active role in building good relations.

  • TBUC 2: Our Shared Community

           Shared Aim: to create a community where division does not restrict the life opportunities of individuals and where all areas are open and accessible to everyone.

  • TBUC 3: Our Safe Community

           Shared Aim: to create a community where everyone feels safe in moving around and where life choices are not inhibited by fears around safety.

  • TBUC 4:  Our Cultural Expression

          Shared Aim: to create a community which promotes mutual respect and understanding, is strengthened by its diversity, and where cultural expression is celebrated and embraced.

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. 

The Assessment Process

Section 1 & 2: Organisation eligibility and governance

Applications received shall initially go through an eligibility and good governance check, based on the information provided in Part 1 & 2 of the application form.

Each section will be marked as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ based on your answers and supporting documentation/evidence.   All sections must be rated ‘pass’ for an application to move on to the next phase of assessment. 

Section 3: About the programme

Section 3 will be assessed drawing on the evidence you provide in relation to each of the questions asked. Each question will be given a score out of 5 as follows:

0  No evidence presented
1  Very little, weak or irrelevant evidence presented
2  Some evidence presented but lacks in either conviction or relevance
3   Clear, relevant answers with limited evidence
4   Clear, convincing answers with strong evidence
5   Strong, clear and relevant convincing evidence from a variety of sources

(Proportionate to scale)

Each question will be weighted to reflect its importance. This means the score is multiplied by the weighting number to give a weighted score.

Section 4: How will you deliver

Section 4 will be assessed drawing down on the evidence provided in relation to each question asked.  Each question will be given a score out of 5 as above.

Section 5: How much money do you need

Please detail all programme expenditure.  Each question will be given a score out of 5 as above.

Section 6: Outcomes

Section 6 will be assessed drawing down on the evidence provided in relation to each question asked.  Each question will be given a score out of 5 as above.

Section 7: Details and Declarations

Ensure all documentation is attached and signed by two members of the organisation.


All eligible applications that have scored over 50% and provided all necessary documentation and declarations will enter the allocation process. If the total funds requested exceed those available the moderation team may select to fund the strongest projects by raising the bar on the total weighted score (e.g. to 55% or 60%); or to reduce the sum offered to each applicant by the percentage of the shortfall (e.g. if there is a 3% gap between funds requested and funds available, all grants offered will be 3% less that the grant requested); or they may combine both approaches to give a balanced grant portfolio.


Scoring system overview

SECTION 1 & 2:  ABOUT YOUR ORGANISATION                                            
All sections must pass to move to Section 3  Pass / Fail

SECTION 3, 4, 5 & 6

Max weighted score                

Pass mark to move to next section
Programme Details 30 15
Capacity to deliver 20 10
Funding requested 15 8
Outcomes  35 18
Total score 100













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;
  • As a condition of the awarding of a grant contact details may be included on committee reports which will be accessible to the public e.g. your group name;
  • 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.
  • Request the 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