Community Chest Grants

What is Community Chest

The Community Chest is grant funding available to voluntary and community sector groups, charities and public sector bodies wishing to further improve quality of life in South Cambridgeshire. They are small grants of up to £1,000 for one-off costs relating to a project or activity. 

Grant applications are discussed at the Grants Advisory Committee.

Apply online for a Community Chest Grant

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  • Be a non-profit group or organisation based in South Cambridgeshire or benefiting South Cambridgeshire residents OR a public sector body with a demonstrable community focus (individuals and businesses are not eligible)
  • Be a Parish Council (PC) or Parish Meeting (PM) with fewer than 160 registered electors* 
  • Have a written constitution or mission statement
  • Have an elected committee or representative steering group
  • Be able to provide an up to date copy of their accounts and any relevant protection policies 

*Please note: The Committee reserves the right to supersede this clause should the PC or PM show good cause, for example:
a) The PC or PM have multiple settlements and the application pertains to any one of these which satisfies the 160 elector threshold or
b) Registered electors are within 10% of the threshold

If your organisation does not have a written constitution, mission statement and/or relevant protection policies please contact Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service for advice in meeting these requirements.  Please call 01223 464696 or email

What must the project deliver?

The community activity or project must:

  • Help us deliver one or more of the following aims:
  1. Promote healthy and active communities
  2. Enable inclusive communities
  3. Develop skills
  4. Enhance the natural environment
  • Meet local need and leave a legacy for the community
  • Ensure equality of access

What can be funded?

The community activity or project should be one of the following:

  • Improvements to community buildings and spaces (i.e. village halls/pavilions/play areas etc)
  • Repairs to Historic Buildings/Monuments/Memorials
  • Equipment/Capital Purchase
  • Materials
  • ‘Start-up’ costs (may include training of staff/volunteers, hall hire and other revenue costs

What cannot be funded?

  • On-going revenue costs or overheads (e.g. salaries, rent, advertising, promotional materials)
  • Projects that replace funding by other public sector bodies, including parish councils (e.g. youth services, highways)
  • Costs associated with preparing/printing Parish Plans
  • Costs associated with Neighbourhood Watch schemes
  • Costs associated with Community Speedwatch schemes or other traffic initiatives
  • Costs associated with purchasing defibrillators
  • Items that would only benefit ‘individuals’ and not the group (e.g. sports kits)
  • Projects that have previously received Community Chest funding in the same financial year

How much can be applied for? 

The maximum award is £1,000 in any single financial year (April-March) and can be for 100% of the project’s costs unless the initiative is on parish council land, in which case a 50% contribution from the parish council is expected. 

If there is high demand for funding it may mean that the Council is only able to make a contribution to your project.  The Council reserves the right to prioritise based on funding available, size of electorate, parish precept, indices of deprivation, number and type of applications received at any given time, priorities for the financial year and value for money.  Eligibility does not guarantee grant funding. 

When can groups apply?

The Community Chest opens in April and October each year, with 50% of the annual budget released at each point.  Groups can apply at any time during the financial year until the funding is fully allocated for that period.

Preferred Green Options

Applications to the Community Chest to renovate or purchase items that include an internal combustion engine (including accessories) will not normally be considered.
For such an application to be considered evidence must be provided to demonstrate why an electric variant is not being considered. Such evidence should include market research demonstrating that a similar electrically powered variant is not within price range, or that due to technical differences such a unit would not be fit for purpose.

What supporting documentation is required?

  • A copy of your organisation’s constitution or mission statement
  • A copy of your latest accounts (audited if available)
  • A quote for the community activity or project
  • A copy of your Safeguarding policy
  • A recent bank statement of the account that you would like the grant paid in to

 In addition, the following will be required if relevant to the project:

  • Appropriate protection policies: children, young people, vulnerable adults
  • Public Rights of Way consent from landowner
  • Any other relevant material that would support your application

Finally, the more relevant information you can give the more likely your application is to succeed in a timely manner.  We cannot give a full list of the information required because all projects are different, but for example if you are applying for funds to improve the fixings of a venue we would need to know who owns the venue and why they are not investing in it, if you are running an event we would need to know the location and the audience.  Help us to say yes to you.

How will the grant be paid?

If successful, the applicant will receive the grant payment once we have received acknowledgement of the grant offer and acceptance of the terms and conditions.

What are the conditions of funding?

Groups that are awarded a grant will be expected to comply with the following conditions as a minimum:

  • Funding must only be used for the agreed purpose and spent within 12-months of the award being made (unless otherwise agreed in writing)
  • Any publicity must acknowledge the award provided
  • Unused grant must be returned to South Cambridgeshire District Council
  • An end of project evaluation must be submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council within 3-months of project completion.  Details about this are available on the SCDC website.

Any award will not be means tested but applicants will be expected to have sought other means of local funding, especially from the parish council who may have funds available through planning developments (S106) or through its precept (S137).


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