New funding available for North Somerset community groups


North Somerset Council has been allocated £2.5m from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to invest over the next three years in projects to improve the lives of local people and boost the local economy.

As part of the council’s delivery of UKSPF, it is today (Wednesday 22 February) launching the first round of a new community grants scheme. Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups, and town and parish councils in North Somerset are invited to apply for a proportion of this funding to deliver projects for the local community.

While a single organisation or group can bid for up to £10,000, up to £30,000 is available to fund projects jointly developed by more than one organisation or group.

Projects eligible for community grants must demonstrate positive impacts under one or more of the following themes:

  • Local arts, cultural heritage and creative activities.
  • Impactful volunteering and/or social action projects.
  • Capacity building and infrastructure support for local groups.
  • Community engagement schemes and local regeneration.
  • Development of feasibility studies.

A series of free bid-ready workshops are being run by Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) to support people who wish to apply for a grant.

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for placemaking and economy, said: “Securing this funding provides a welcome boost to prosperity across the whole of North Somerset. It gives us an excellent opportunity to work in partnership to invest in communities and place, and support local business, people and skills to create a pride in place and increase life chances for everyone.

“With the community grants scheme, we’re looking for ideas and proposals that will deliver tangible local impact. I urge all voluntary, community and social enterprise groups and organisations to apply for a grant. Go for it!”

For more information, to sign up to attend a workshop and to apply for a grant online before noon on Wednesday 29 March, visit

All grants awarded in this funding round are for revenue projects which must be completed, with all funding spent, by March 2024. Further community grant scheme funding rounds will be announced in the coming months.

The community grants form a part of the council’s overall UKSPF Investment Plan. To create its plan, the council consulted with a range of local and regional partners to identify priorities for North Somerset. This plan was approved by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) last month. In addition to the community grants programme, work will include:

  • Decarbonisation and carbon literacy activities.
  • Helping local organisations and businesses to use vacant properties to support the regeneration of our town centres.
  • Initiatives to support existing businesses and to create new ones.
  • Improvements to the digital infrastructure in North Somerset’s libraries to support digitally excluded residents.
  • Support to those recovering from addiction to develop employment skills.

For more information about the UKSPF programme in North Somerset, visit

The council is also awaiting confirmation that it has secured £450k from the Rural England Prosperity Fund to benefit the area’s rural communities and businesses.


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund replaces the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (Rural Fund), a top up to the UKSPF worth up to £110 million for 2023/24 and 2024/25. It is the domestic replacement for the European funded LEADER Programme used to support the development of rural economies. For more information, visit