Applying for a community grant will soon be easier than ever


Friday, 15 July, 2022

Applying for a community grant will get easier as Woking Borough Council is joining forces with The Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS) to support the voluntary sector and vulnerable people from across the borough, subject to approval at Full Council on 21 July 2022.

CFS, based in Woking, are well-established, trusted experts in grant administration who currently manage over 80 funds, working closely with local businesses, Surrey County Council, and borough and district councils.

The new partnership will take effect for grants in 2023/24 where CFS will take overall responsibility in receiving and processing community grant applications on behalf of Woking Borough Council.

This collaborative approach will be more efficient in enabling community groups to apply for funding through one single expression of interest, without the need for multiple applications. It will also enable groups to access wider funds that are not restricted solely to the council’s grants scheme.

For 2022/23, the council has invested over £1.7m into the voluntary sector which includes financial support, accommodation, rate relief and officer support. The community grants scheme also contributed to 40% of this amount.

The council will continue to retain full control of the grants, setting annual budgets and the criteria to meet its strategic priorities. Additionally, it could also incentivise increased investment into the endowment of the Woking Community Fund by match-funding donations made by the private sector.

Woking Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for the Voluntary Sector, Cllr Will Forster, said: “The new administration on Woking Borough Council wants to support our amazing community and voluntary sector. We know that they are the backbone of our communities across Woking and the surrounding villages.

“By supporting our most vulnerable residents, we can help create healthier communities that are safe, thriving and sustainable for all.

“Partnering with the Community Foundation for Surrey is the most effective solution to ensure that deserving charities, voluntary groups and organisations have the best access to funds possible in order to support those in need.

“The system will be both timely and cost effective and I am proud that we are able to continuously adapt to meet the needs of beneficiaries to make it as easy as possible for groups to access funding that could make an everlasting impact on the lives of many.”

On top of the partnership with CFS, the council will directly commission some charities that provide an essential service to local people. By providing groups such as Citizen’s Advice Woking, Woking Community Transport, Woking Asian Business Forum, Woking People of Faith and the York Road Project with a service-level agreement, those charities will benefit from secure funding.

Find out more about the grants open to local groups and organisations

Watch Cllr Will Forster explain the new process for grant applications