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Community Leadership Fund

The Community Leadership Fund is open for applications until 31 December 2024. Please read the guidance on this page for further information.

The Community Leadership Fund enables city councillors to support schemes, projects and activities that will have a positive impact within their wards.

We have allocated each of our 60 councillors £3,000 to spend each financial year on community projects within their ward.

Organisations or community groups seeking support under the scheme should contact their local city councillor(s) explaining:

  • The nature of the expenditure
  • The amount sought
  • What other funding may be available
  • How it will benefit the community

It is for the local city councillor to recommend which projects the scheme should support.

Costs should be in line with the principles as set out below. To provide additional flexibility, city councillors can:

  • Pool funds with other city councillors to support a joint project
  • Carry forward any balance not yet spent at the end of the financial year to the next financial year. However, we will not allow balances to exceed £10,000. Where there is a change of councillor, any remaining balances will stay within the ward and transfer to the incoming councillor.

Expenditure principles

The following principles set out guidance for councillors to follow when considering using the Community Leadership Fund to support projects, schemes and activities:

  • They should help fulfil the city priorities as shown in the Corporate Strategy
  • They should improve the economic, social or environmental conditions of an area or otherwise have a clear benefit to the local community
  • The scheme can be used to fund revenue and capital expenditure
  • Capital Projects for equipment and one-off costs are encouraged. However, any ongoing revenue costs associated with, or arising from, a project must be able to be contained within existing budgets or be met by the relevant body (e.g. parish or town council or community / voluntary group budgets). Written confirmation of this will be required before the scheme can be approved.
  • We cannot retrospectively fund projects for works that have already been carried out. Grants are awarded for works to be carried out in the future.

Examples of Community Leadership Fund projects

The following are some examples of the sort of projects that would qualify:

  • One-off project, equipment or other costs
  • Improving open spaces
  • Improving accessibility to community facilities or open spaces - e.g. providing signs, the creation of ramps for disabled access, the provision of automatic door openers, improvements to footpaths or the installation of benches
  • Investing in community buildings - e.g. the provision of a new heating system, kitchen, shed or storage facility
  • The refurbishment or replacement of playground equipment, play areas, skateboard facilities
  • Projects linked to environmental sustainability - e.g. community composting schemes, allotments, trees and wildflower planting, vegetable plots etc
  • Improving road safety
  • The installation of art to improve public space establishing a sense of place and local identity
  • Contributions to celebration events that will provide ongoing benefits to the community or have a follow up plan of community engagement
  • Start-up costs for a new group or organisation

What the Community Leadership Fund should not be used for

The Community Leadership Fund should not be used for:

  • Ongoing revenue or maintenance costs
  • Insurance, planning etc. application costs, solicitors or other fees
  • Donations to individuals
  • Donations to commercial bodies or events
  • Direct staffing costs
  • Premises rental (unless these form an element of the start-up costs for a new group / organisation)
  • Party political activities


The purpose of the Community Leadership Fund (CLF) is to enable city councillors to support community projects that will have a positive impact and a contribution to meeting our city priorities.

To submit a request you must reach agreement of one or more councillors, if contributing to the same project. You must ensure you provide the councillors with the following information so they are able to submit an internal electronic form:

  • Name(s) of the councillor(s)
  • The total amount requested
  • Each councillor’s contribution amount (if more than one) as they may not wish / be able to contribute equal shares
  • Associated bank evidence in a format given on the form in each email

In the description, please summarise what the funding is for, e.g. "Fridge Freezer and Dishwasher for community events at XXX Social Club", or "Contribute towards improving accessibility and purchase appropriate garden tools for all ages and disabilities at XXX Community Garden".

Please be mindful that following receipt of each CLF request, this process has a number of checks and approvals. Therefore, it would be helpful if you could ensure you have sought advice from officers in advance of submission where required and spread submitting your requests throughout the financial year, and not submit them all near the deadline date as this may cause delay in payment to your chosen projects within financial year end 2024/25.

How to apply for funding

The Community Leadership Fund scheme is now open. It will close on 31 December 2024. Please follow the steps below when applying:

  • Ensure councillors have the relevant information to enable them to submit the internal electronic form. We will only accept forms received via this route. However, a paper version of the form is included on this page as a guide.
  • Ensure that relevant bank evidence is provided and matches that added to the form. Without this, payment will be delayed.
  • If you have any queries in relation to the scheme, please email
  • Please ensure you respond promptly to any communication from our procurement department.

Example application form - for guidance only - please do not submit

Reasons for rejecting requests

We will return and not process:

  • Requests that have not been submitted on the current form
  • Forms that do not give all the mandatory information requested
  • Appropriate banking evidence is not submitted with the form
  • Funding requests that do not comply within the expenditure principles
  • Forms received after the deadline- these will be postponed to the following year

Breakdown of Community Leadership Fund spend