Funders: Grants & Loans

Funders: Grants

UnLtd - the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs

They have more general packages of awards one for new ventures and another to help people with more developed ideas.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund sustains and transforms our heritage. The main grant is the Heritage Grant - for funds of between £50’000 and £5m. 10% of the projects cost must come from another source. The Townscape Heritage Initiative is for grants between £500,000 - £2m for grants that help communities to regenerate conservation. It encourages partnerships to carry out repairs and other works to a number of historic properties.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is an independent grant-making organisation that was established in 1999 to improve the quality of life in Britain’s coalfield communities. The aim of the Trust is to make coalfields sustainable, prosperous, viable and cohesive without support. The Trust operates a number of funding and capacity building programmes.

Waste Recycling Environmental Limited

WREN is a not-for-profit business that helps benefit the lives of people who live close to landfill sites by awarding a range of grants for environmental, heritage and community projects. It is registered to fund eligible projects under the Landfill Communities Fund.

 The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Support for registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. Average grant
£50,000 including core running costs and project costs.

 Community Facilities and Activities Programme (CFAP)

CFAP is a capital grant scheme operated by the Welsh Assembly Government. It is a popular and highly competitive scheme with a growing volume of enquiries and applications. The Programme is open to community and voluntary organisations and provides funding for the provision of facilities within communities, and for activities which engage local people and help promote the regeneration of communities. There are two bidding rounds a year in April and October. Each application is assessed
competitively to ensure that the available funds can help the most deserving projects across Wales. It is intended as a fund for organisations to draw upon to fill remaining gaps in finances after all other sources of support have been explored. The largest grant that can be awarded is for £300,000 and funding cannot be awarded over more than three financial years.
Officials deal with applications on a geographical basis.


Single Investment Fund

Financial support for businesses undertaking new projects in Wales is available
through the Single Investment Fund (SIF). Funding for capital investment projects must be over £5,000, but there's no lower limit for revenue support. In all cases, the amount of funding offered is the minimum needed and is generally less than 50 per cent of eligible costs. The SIF is an integral part of the support offered through Flexible Support for Business. SIF is flexible and can be tailored to the particular needs of your business. It can help businesses of all sizes and at any stage in their development with:

  • starting up, expanding and growing
  • modernising, restructuring
  • developing new products, processes or services
  • general and specialist advice, business support, strategic mentoring

The main qualifying criteria for SIF are:

  • the project you're seeking funding for must take place in Wales and must not have started
  • your business must operate beyond the local market, either nationally or
  • internationally
  • if your organisation is a social enterprise it must operate commercially
  • Applications for funding are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. They're
  • evaluated according to need and their anticipated benefit to the Welsh economy.
  • Sustainable Development Challenge Fund

The Sustainable Development Challenge Fund (run by WAG) is intended to support organisations, communities and businesses develop innovative new approaches to sustainable development in Wales. Projects that will be eligible for funding will need

  • Promote sustainable development in Wales, and help achieve the WAG’s
  • vision for a sustainable Wales (as set out in One Wales: One Planet)
  • Be innovative and new, demonstrating cutting edge thinking;
  • Demonstrate how they will integrate economic, social and environmental
  • issues and promote long-term sustainable solutions;
  • Be clear on how they will support the long-term wellbeing of people and
  • communities in Wales.

Grants are for up to a maximum of £10,000 during 2010-11 to help develop projects.
Energy Saving Trust Funding Sources


(1) Community Scale Renewable Energy Generation Programme (CSREG)

The CSREG programme aims to promote sustainable business growth and new
business opportunities by enabling the establishment or further development of social
enterprises based on community scale renewable energy installations such as wind,
biomass and hydro. Further details and an expression of interest form can be found

Three streams of support and funding will be available to social enterprises:

Technical Development Officers - will help community groups and social enterprises
develop projects and access the funding streams. They will provide the initial advice
and support on the type of projects eligible for support and ongoing support to take
the projects through to completion.

Preparatory Stage Grants - Grant funding is available up-front costs such as
feasibility studies, environmental surveys, planning applications and community
engagement activities. Approximately 135 small grants of up to £3,000 will be
available to help communities to undertake these activities, followed by 35 grants of
up to £20,000 to help them develop their projects further.

Capital Grants - Grant funding of up to £300,000 is available towards the capital
costs of a project.


(2) Green Communities Funding Database

The Green Communities Funding Database provides details of funding for
environmental projects in the community.


(3) Feed in Tariff (FIT)

From the 1st April 2010, individuals, households, communities and businesses and local authorities will be able to apply for the Feed in Tariff (FIT) to provide a per-unit support payment (p/kWh) for electricity generation for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation including:

  • Wind
  • Solar photovoltaics (PV)
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biomass and biomass combined heat and power (CHP)
  • non-renewable micro-CHP.

FITs will be available for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation of up to a maximum limit of 5 megawatts (MW). Generators of FIT will be able to receive a fixed payment from an electricity supplier for every unit of energy or kilowatt hour (kWh) generated.
Generators also have the opportunity of opting out of the export tariff and sell their electricity on the open market. For on-site use of electricity, small-scale generators will be incentivised, where possible, to use the electricity they have generated in their houses or at their business premises. Further information on FIT is available on the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust websites.
Sustainable Funding Cymru

Sustainable Funding Cymru is the home of the Wales Funding Portal, a new onestop shop for funding advice and opportunities. The Funding Portal provides access to a searchable database of UK funding opportunities, advice and support on raising funds and tips on how to diversify funding. The website provides:

Practical advice and guidance to organisations that want to develop an
entrepreneurial outlook to funding in order to achieve long-term financial

Guidance on the various funding sources available to the third sector in
Wales and the approaches and skills required to identify, access and manage these sources.
Details of relevant training courses, case studies of organisations already
working towards sustainability and sources of further help


GRANTnet is a straightforward, free-to-use service, designed to help groups and
small businesses to find suitable funding. The website is presented in the format of a step-by-step questionnaire, providing information from a database of more than 4,000 grants, loans and other initiatives.

Funders: Loans

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI)

CDFI are independent organisations, which provide financial services with two aims to generate social and financial returns. CDFIs supply capital and business support to individuals and organisations in disadvantaged communities or under served markets. They provide loans of last resort to small and medium sized enterprises that have a proposal, which is considered viable but where they have been unable to obtain a bank loan. Loan terms vary between each CDFI organisation accordingly to the needs of the communities they serve. Loans can be for as little as £500 or as much as £50,000.


BIGinvest is a large loan fund set up by The Big Issue. It works with social
enterprises and the income-generating activities of registered charities. Financing is
available for commercial property renovation or purchase, equipment purchase,
growth or acquisition and working capital.

Community foundations

Community foundations are charities located across the UK dedicated to
strengthening local communities, creating opportunities and tackling issues of
disadvantage and exclusion. Community foundations target grants that make a
genuine difference to the lives of local people. They manage funds donated by
individuals and organisations, building endowment and acting as the vital link
between donors and local needs, connecting people with causes, and enabling
clients to achieve far more than they could ever by themselves. Community
foundations provide professional and personalised philanthropic advice and grant
portfolio development for each client.

Charity Bank

We can lend to any organisation that is either a registered or exempt charity, as well
as to community associations, voluntary organisations, community businesses, social
enterprises or social landlords as long as the purpose of the loan is charitable. We
also lend to ‘for profit’ companies if the loan is for exclusively charitable purposes.


Co-operative & Community Finance

Co-operative & Community Finance provides sympathetic loan finance to help people
take control of their economic lives and create social benefit. They exclusively serve
the co-operative and social enterprise sector, and over 36 years have supported
hundreds of businesses ranging from small community-run enterprises to large
award-winning organisations.


Triodos Bank

Triodos is known as an ethical bank. It offers a comprehensive range of banking services for social businesses, charities and groups along with a variety of savings accounts for individuals.Triodos offers a personal account, business and charity banking and investment banking.


Co-Op Bank

Co-Op bank offers various banking services to the third sector. It has a Community directplus account for community organisations, charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Their New Start Loan Fund provides small loans for new cooperative enterprises.


Unity Trust Bank

A specialist bank for voluntary, membership and credit union organisations, as well as the trade unions involved in setting it up, with the help of Co-op Bank. It offers various loans to the Third Sector including:

Community Asset Transfer Loan that offers between £100,000 and £6 million on either a leasehold or freehold property
Investment Property Loans

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

RBS has a specialist team working with the not-for-profit sector providing tailored borrowing solutions.

Bank of Scotland

The Bank of Scotland has a specialist team working with the not-for-profit sector providing flexible lending facilities.

Barclays Bank

They have substantial experience and expertise in the UK charity sector. As well as their banking experience they can also offer access to a variety of specialists areas including:

  • Investment management
  • Pension risk management
  • Employee benefit solutions
  • Asset finance

Finance Wales

Finance Wales makes commercial investments in Wales-based businesses with the potential to grow. They invest in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises and creative commercial projects.

Reliance bank

Established in 1890 Reliance Bank Limited is built upon caring foundations. A thriving business, Reliance Bank Limited is growing. It is trusted by many private customers, as well as charities, and businesses. Reliance Bank is big on customer care and puts people first. They care about their customers and the issues that matter to them. They believe in ethical banking and investments are made within strict parameters.
Ecology Building Society

Established in 1981 the Ecology is one of the fastest growing building societies in the country. It promotes the concept of sustainability through mortgage lending and a range of ethical savings accounts to support this. All mortgage applications are judged against the Ecology's unique lending criteria. The starting point is to assess the environmental impact of the project in terms of energy use, pollution and saving resources. Overall this allows the society to engage in activities that promote, encourage or support the following objectives:

  • the saving of non-renewable energy or other scarce resources
  • the growth of a sustainable housing stock
  • the development of building practices, ways of living or uses of land having, in each case, a low ecological impact

The environmental benefit of each potential loan underpins our lending decisions. The societies lending programme includes funding sustainable lifestyles and economic activity such as:

  • small scale ecological industries or businesses such as recycling, organic, farms, local shops
  • co-operative living
  • sustainable forestry and nature reserves

Ecology building society lend throughout the UK, on urban and rural property. Often they lend on properties turned down by other lenders. The society try to be flexible and will lend funds "up front" on the unimproved value of a derelict building, releasing further funds as the building work goes along and the value increases.