Our Community, Our Future Grant funding project

Our Community, Our Future logo

A grants fund is available for local groups and organisations that want to deliver projects to help make a stronger borough.

Through Blackburn with Darwen’s government-funded social integration programme, Our Community, Our Future grants are on offer, and groups can bid for as little or as much as they need to make their projects happen, from under £100 up to a maximum of £2,000.

We’re looking to fund projects that get people involved with their local ward and bring communities together. We’d like to support new projects, or ones ready to expand, that will make a lasting difference whether big or small. We particularly welcome innovative bids.

The aim of the funding is to:

  • help local organisations deliver projects that bring people together
  • building stronger, more resilient and more inclusive communities
  • benefit the environment, health or wellbeing

The integration area programme

Blackburn with Darwen is one of five integration areas along with Walsall, Bradford, Waltham Forest and Peterborough, working with the government to develop new ways of improving community integration. These local authorities were all deemed to have already demonstrated a grasp of the challenges they face and shown a desire to try new things.

We have involved a wide range of stakeholders, partners, community members and local leaders, through workshops and consultation events, to develop our area based integration programme and identify the four priorities of the Our Community, Our Future strategy:

  • To increase economic prosperity for all the borough’s communities as an essential prerequisite for social integration
  • To strengthen relationships between the borough’s diverse communities (focussed predominantly upon adults)
  • To build connections and strengthen relationships between young people who live in the borough’s diverse communities
  • To connect the borough’s disadvantaged communities to shared spaces – linking people and neighbourhoods to zones of employment, physical assets, community shared spaces and social action

Vision for Blackburn with Darwen

Our vision for the borough is for a strong, cohesive and prosperous community, where everyone is treated fairly, where people’s faith and cultures are understood and respected. To be a place where diversity is valued and embraced because of how it enriches our community, where people connect and form meaningful relationships and friendships that span every characteristic of society.

Funding availability

Funding is available to apply for from 1 August to 6 September 2019, and possibly again by October 2019 (subject to funding being available within your ward).

There is no lower limit, which means you can apply for the amount you need up to a maximum of £2000.

The projects must be completed and delivered by 31 March 2020.

Any funds not spent for the purpose allocated or within one financial year must be repaid.

Projects must benefit people living within Blackburn with Darwen.


Funding applications will be accepted from the following:

  • Voluntary organisations
  • Community organisations
  • Faith sectors
  • Schools or other education providers (must benefit the wider community)
  • Scout/guide groups (must benefit the wider community)
  • A combination of any of the above (however one partner will need to identify as the lead and budget holder)

But not from:

  • Individuals
  • Non-constituted groups
  • Statutory bodies
  • For-profit businesses
  • Privately owned businesses
  • Businesses that distribute dividends to individuals

Use of funding

The funding can pay for the costs associated with your project and must be listed clearly within the application form.

Some examples of your costs might be:

  • Training
  • Equipment and materials
  • Staff costs
  • Hire of premises
  • Capital as well as revenue expenditure

There are some aspects that the funding will not pay for. These include:

  • Statutory, legal or political activity
  • Alcohol
  • Building repairs or alterations ​unless it leads to an activity which can bring people together on a longer term basis
  • Contingency costs, loans or interest
  • Debts and debt service charges
  • Provisions for losses or potential future liabilities
  • Purchases of land or buildings
  • Currency exchange losses
  • Projects promoting political activities
  • Deficit or retrospective funding (funding for activities which have already taken place)

If you’re not sure whether your activity qualifies, please email any questions to integration@blackburn.gov.uk to get further advice before submitting your application.

You can discuss your application with your local ward councillor prior to submitting your application.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed and evaluated by the Social Integration Team and/or members from the Our Community, Our Future Partnership Board, including the Youth Forum.

All projects must demonstrate the following points:

  • Promotes integration, bringing communities together to enable people to live, socialise and learn together
  • Delivers a project that is either new, or builds on an existing project in some way (e.g. a new location, to reach a new audience across your ward);
  • Promotes stronger more resilient communities
  • Brings people together around a common cause or issue
  • Builds a sense of civic pride
  • Can be sustained once the funding ends or show how it can leave a lasting legacy that contributes to integration over the longer term
  • If the intention is for the project to continue after 31 March 2020, you must have a strategy for when the funding ends
  • Offers value for money
  • Can be delivered within the funding requested
  • Has clear milestones and targets
  • Has been developed/submitted by one or more community groups across your ward.

Successful applications

We’d love you to share your news with your community too - if you use social media, please tag the Our Community, Our Future Facebook page and use the hashtag #OurCommunityOurFuture on Twitter and Instagram. We’d also love for you to share with us stories, quotes, photographs and videos as you develop and deliver your project.

We will share news stories throughout the year as we fund new projects. We will also list the names of each successful group online.

50% of your grant will be paid within 30 days once we have received the signed funding agreement. A further 50% will be paid on completion of the project, subject to a satisfactory review being made part way through the project.

Support available

You are welcome to put forward your ideas and seek guidance by contacting the Social Integration team or your ward councillors, and also to meet up with other community groups / not for profit organisations within your ward to strengthen a joint bid, if applicable.

Funding is likely to be in high demand, therefore we may not be able to fund every application that we receive. If we cannot fund your entire project, we may be able to fund elements of it. Should this occur, we will come back to you to discuss amending your application.

If you have a question, get in touch with the Social Integration team – email integration@blackburn.gov.uk or call (01254) 304597.

Apply for Our Community, Our Future grants