Lewes Town Council Community Grants

Lewes Town Council Community Grants Scheme - Funding up to £2000

Lewes Town Council recognises the immense value of voluntary and community activity in the town and its contribution to the wellbeing of us all.

The aim of our grants scheme is to support and strengthen the many networks and community groups that promote a vibrant and active community in Lewes.

We have a budget of £70,000 this year for grants to organisations that benefit the town and its residents.

There are 3 levels of grants: you can apply for up to £1,000, up to £2,000, or up to £5,000.

Our grants are intended to help maintain a vibrant community in the town, with particular emphasis on groups who support the council’s priorities, which include but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening communities
  • Trees and biodiversity; wildlife and the environment; open spaces
  • Support for equality, diversity and inclusion, and specifically disadvantaged and under-represented groups and food banks
  • Sustainable transport and related infrastructure
  • Openness: engagement; consultation; partnership
Who we can fund

Grants will only be made to charitable, voluntary and other not-for-profit organisations.

We define not-for-profit organisations as those:

  • Whose governing body (board or management committee) is entirely voluntary
  • Whose members do not receive any financial benefit
  • Whose income and assets are used for exclusively charitable purposes (and any remaining assets are transferred to a charitable organisation)
  • That do not pay any dividend or distribute any surplus to shareholders or members
  • Your organisation does not have to be a charity but it does need to have:
  • ·Its own bank account, with at least two cheque signatories (who are not related to each other)
  • A constitution or set of governing rules
  • Accounts or records of expenditure
  • Relevant policies (such as equal opportunities, child protection, vulnerable adults, health and safety etc)

We can’t accept applications from individuals.

We can accept applications from social enterprises, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and Companies Limited by Guarantee carrying out charitable activities. However, these organisations must have:

  • Demonstrable public benefit and clear protection against private benefit
  • The majority of the directors must be unrelated and not paid either as directors or for delivering the activities of the organisation (if some are related there must be at least three who are not) and none should be registered as Persons with Significant Control
  • A majority of non-executive directors approving the salaries and benefits of any paid directors, which should be reasonable and proportionate to the work they do and the financial position of the organisation
  • An asset lock body (in the case of CICs) with objectives that are charitable and similar to the CIC

Commercial enterprises will not be eligible for grants in any circumstances.

Requests for grants in association with national appeals will be rejected unless a specific connection with the town of Lewes can be demonstrated.

You should be able to demonstrate that your work is of benefit to the town of Lewes and its residents. While organisations located outside of Lewes will be eligible (if beneficiaries are based in Lewes), priority will be given to organisations located in Lewes.

What we can fund

We can fund the following :

  • Capital costs – funding for equipment, furnishings, premises or other items that cost substantial amounts and will last for several years.
  • Revenue costs – costs incurred in the day-to-day running of the organisation and its projects. These include items such as stationery, rent, heat and lighting, phone bills and materials.
  • Project costs – costs that are clearly and directly incurred as a result of a project. For example, the salaries of project staff, their travel and subsistence, project materials, and all other costs easily identifiable as part of the project.
  • Various costs – your application might include all of the above
What we can't fund
  • Activities which don’t benefit Lewes residents
  • Organisations that discriminate unlawfully under the provisions set out by the Equalities Act 2010
  • Organisations where the service provided is used as a vehicle or means to promote religious beliefs
  • Political activities
  • Grants which will be used to make awards to a third party
  • Organisations who have not returned monitoring from previous grant awards
  • Retrospective funding for activities or projects that have already taken place
How much you should apply for

We offer three levels of grants:

  • Up to £1,000
  • Up to £2,000
  • Up to £5,000

We want to fund as many organisations in the town as possible, so please be realistic about the amount of money you need. We get a lot of applications, and don’t always have enough money to fund them all.

As a general rule, we only fund around 4 applications a year for the larger amount of up to £5,000 and we generally favour smaller applications.

How to apply

Grant applications should be submitted using our online application form, just press the apply now button above to access the form.

We can also provide paper forms – please ring the Town Hall if you need these.

If you need support to access the online form please contact info@lewes-tc.gov.uk or phone 01273 471469.


We have three deadlines a year. This year the deadlines are:

  • 31 July 2024
  • 31 October 2024
  • 28 February 2025

Applications will be accepted until midnight on these deadlines.

You can only apply for one grant every financial year (5 April 2024 to 6 April 2025) but if you apply and are not successful you’re welcome to reapply in the next round.

Once you’ve sent us your online form, you’ll get an acknowledgment by email.

If you don’t get an email from us, please check your spam folder first, and if you still can’t find it, call us at the Town Hall.

Once we receive applications, we’ll make a decision within 8 weeks and then let you know.

Supporting documents

You’ll need to send us some documents to support your application. Please attach these to the online form. We won’t be able to consider your application without them.

We need the following documents:

  • A signed copy of your latest annual accounts or record of expenditure
  • A copy of a bank statement from the last three months
  • A signed copy of your constitution or set of rules (if you are a CIC, please also supply your CIC 34 report)
  • Your equal opportunities policy, covering both the Equalities Act 2010 and the nine protected characteristics (If you need support in developing a policy like this, please see the ‘Other sources of funding and support’ tab)
  • Other policies relevant to your work such as child protection or vulnerable adult protection policy, health and safety policy, environmental or sustainability policy

If you’re applying for a grant to purchase equipment, please send copies of written estimates or catalogue pages.

Other funding sources and support

Other grants are available, for example through:

East Sussex County Council have a monthly newsletter with up-to-date news on funding sources – you can subscribe by visiting their website.

You can also search for sources of funding on the East Sussex 4 Community website or Lewes District Council’s website.

If you’re new to applying for funding or if you need help setting up an organisation, you can get further advice from 3VA who offer a wide range of information, support and training for voluntary sector organisations.

They can help with funding applications and give guidance on what you need to include when putting together your funding submission. They can also point you towards other grant funds.

When you’ve finished your project you will need to complete an online form within 12 months with some details about how the project went. This information is really useful to us for planning our future grants budget, and it’s a condition of any future funding for your group.

We’ll send you a link to the monitoring form when you get your grant. You dont need to submit detailed evidence of expenditure, although please do keep records of these as we may ask for this as part of our evaluation.

Previous grants awarded 

Grants awarded in 2022 to 2023
Grants awarded in 2021 to 2022
Grants awarded in 2020 to 2021
Grants awarded in 2019 to 2020
Grants awarded in 2018 to 2019
Grants awarded in 2016 to 2017
Grants awarded in 2017 to 2018