Hampshire County Council Grants

Community Challenge Fund

The purpose of the Community Challenge Fund is to support groups and organisations in rural Hampshire and small market towns. It has five main priorities:

Community resilience. Projects which help communities address and resolve local challenges themselves, for example supporting elderly and vulnerable people and responding to severe weather. Extra funding is available to support community-led flood alleviation schemes.

Rural transport. Projects which support people to access transport such as bus, minibus, volunteer drivers etc, and make better use of local resources.

Self help. Supporting the volunteer spirit in rural communities including community groups and other self-help groups.

Communications. Helping communities to take full advantage of broadband and mobile communications.

Economic development. Supporting rural enterprises, for example smaller scale projects not eligible under the Rural Retailers and Community Enterprises Grant Scheme.

When to apply

This grant scheme is currently closed to new applications. It is expected to re-open by the end of June 2017.

Grant criteria and eligibility

We will fund organisations which meet all of the following criteria. It is a competitive process, so grants will be approved by County Councillors on their merits.

  • Projects or activities that deliver measurable results against one or more of the five priorities.

  • The project or activity is in rural Hampshire, a small market town, or directly benefits rural communities.

  • The organisation must have match funding from other sources, including district, borough, town or parish council funding. A small element of this match funding can be ‘in kind’ through volunteer time.

  • The organisation must be able to demonstrate that without the support from Hampshire County Council the activity/event would not be able to proceed at all or to the extent outlined in the application.

  • Organisations with significant funds in place or higher levels of reserves must demonstrate why funding from Hampshire County Council is needed.

  • The organisation has a clear management structure within its constitution or suitable governance/terms of reference.

  • You will need to provide a project plan with your application.

  • If the project is successful, it is expected that you will have a plan to continue the activity after the end of the funding period.

  • Applications for community-led flood alleviation schemes must also: demonstrate the benefit to people and property, without any increase in risk elsewhere; have support from the local community and Parish/Town Council; have the necessary consents from the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council.

All successful applicants will be required to provide appropriate reporting and/or monitoring for their service, projects and/or activities.

Successful applicants be required to acknowledge the support of Hampshire County Council in all publicity and media coverage relating to the project, and in the organisation’s next annual audited statement of accounts.

Organisations will need to have appropriate policies, procedures and insurance in place.

Funding criteria

Applications can be made for over £1,000 up to a maximum of £5,000. Larger grants, typically up to £10,000, are available to support applications for community-led flood alleviation schemes. Awards may be for £1,000 or less if this is felt to be appropriate. Organisations seeking funding of £500 or less are recommended to look at County Councillor Grants.

Financial eligibility

Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year’s running costs. In cases where reserves held exceed this level, a reduced level of funding may be agreed. All charitable organisations are expected to have an agreed reserves policy that addresses their financial risk.

What we can't fund

  • Projects that receive funding from other Hampshire County Council sources (except for County Councillor grants).

  • Individuals

  • Profit making events/activities

  • Projects or activities solely within the unitary authority areas of Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council.

  • Non-constituted organisations (though grants via parish councils may be possible instead).

  • Projects that have already been carried out.

  • General/core running costs of an organisation

Apply now Application guidance notes and online form



CCBS Grants
Hampshire County Council
Room 0.15
Castle Avenue
SO23 8UL

Telephone 01962 845390

Email ccbsgrants@hants.gov.uk

Example projects

  • Abbotts Ann Green Action helped households identify heat-loss hot-spots in their homes and provided advice on how to reduce this.

  • Stockbridge Parish Council held free IT help sessions at the weekly Country Market to give residents greater confidence to use the internet.

  • Chilbolton Parish Council improved drainage from the village towards the River Test, to help prevent future flooding.

  • The Five Bells pub had been closed for a number of years, Nether Wallop Parish Council with local residents re-established it as a ‘community pub’.