Grants and advice for rural communities

The Project staff have extensive experience of assisting local people, groups and organisations in obtaining funding for a wide variety of projects. The sources below will hopefully be helpful to you, but please contact the Project team if you would like some assistance. We've split the sources into sections to make it easier for you to find what you need:

 Heritage Funding

Heritage Lottery Fund 

The Heritage Lottery Fund 'Awards for All' are open to communities to fund applications for sport, art, community, environment, heritage, education or health related activities.  

The Heritage Lottery Fund also offer a range of other grant programmes, awarding grants upwards of £3000. Visit the Heritage Lottery website for more information. 

 Woodlands and Tree Planting

The Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission's English Woodland Grant Scheme has been established to provide grants for the managment and development of woodland in England, including increasing public access. 

The Tree Council

The Tree Council's Tree Futures offers help for tree planting through two grants programmes, the ‘Trees for Schools' and ‘Community Trees' funds.

 Involving the Community

Tesco and Groundwork East "Bags of Help" programme and community support grants

Veolia Trust and WREN Community Action Fund - grants for community programmes, based on proximity to landfill sites. Applications for funding and grants up to £75,000 are available for projects supporting a range of community facilities, including outdoor spaces, play and recreation spaces and biodiversity sites. The funding is ongoing with quarterly deadlines.

The Conservation Volunteers

The Conservation Volunteers help hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim local green places. Their Community Network supports several thousand new and ongoing local groups, and they also work directly with local environmental groups to create sustained environmental change in a safe, enjoyable and effective way. 

St Edmundsbury Rural Initiatives Grant Scheme

St Edmundsbury Rural Initiatives Grant Scheme awards capital grants from £250 to £10,000 towards community projects.  For further information contact Economic Development Services, St Edmundsbury Borough Council on 01284 757109 or at

Rural Community Council of Essex

The Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) is an independent charity providing local communities with the skills, resources and expertise neccessary to achieve a thriving and sustainable future. The Essex Rural Fund has been established by RCCE specifically support community groups and charities working in rural areas of the county. 

The East of England Co-Operative

The Co-operative Community Fund provides funding for local projects across the UK, making a big difference to local communities. To be successful, a group must carry out positive work in the community. You can apply for funding online.

The Waterways Trust

The Waterways Trust can offer help for projects on canals and rivers. Grants are usually up to £1,000. There are three schemes available, WildlifeThamesand Green Fund.

 Conservation of the Built Environment

The Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund provides advice, information and financial assistance in the form of grants and low interest working capital loans for projects which promote the conservation of historic buildings in the UK. 

The Pilgrim Trust

The Pilgrim Trust has two programme areas, one of which is 'preservation and scholorship'. This focuses on preserving the unique and rich heritage of the UK, including conserving historial buildings or monuments. There are two available funding schemes, the Main Grant Fund and the Small Grant Fund. 

 Grants for Schools

Learning Through Landscapes

Learning through Landscapes is the National School Grounds Charity. They work with schools, early year’s settings, organisations and individuals across the country to help them improve and develop their grounds.

Eco schools

Eco schools are a great way to make sustainable development a part of the life and ethos of your school. Designed to fit it the curriculum, it's an award scheme that gets everyone in the school community involved in making the school environment better.


Local Environment Trusts (Landfill Tax Credits)

Local environment trusts administer and make grants available to communities where the work carried out is in the respective area and within 10 miles of a landfill site. There are trusts in Suffolk, Essex and Colchester.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund organisation distributes half the money for good causes from the National Lottery to a wide variety of projects. Visit the Big Lottery Fund website for more information. 


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