Grants Policy & Procedure
 
A grant is any payment or gift made by the Council to an organisation for a specific purpose. The law requires that Section 137 grants must be “in the interests of or will directly benefit the area or its inhabitants, or of part of it, or of some of it” and “the direct benefit should be commensurate with expenditure.” Similar considerations will apply when considering applications for other grants. 
 
At the Parish Council meeting in January an amount will be set from which grants will be allocated during the following financial year. Once the Grants budget is exhausted, the Parish Council will only consider emergency requests for assistance, and generally only from organisations with which it has close links. 
 
Application Procedure 
Organisations requesting financial assistance will be requested to submit: 
A completed application form. 
Copies of their last year end accounts. 
If possible, the number, or percentage, of members that belong to the organisation and live within Upchurch Parish. 
Details of any restrictions placed on who can use/access their services. 
Confirmation (on the application form) that it agrees with the Parish Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy or give details of their own policy. 
 
Organisations will normally be expected to have clear written aims and objectives, a written constitution and a separate bank account.  For grant requests for projects costing over £1,000 the Parish Council will require that the organisation has robust tendering regulations, e.g. obtaining a minimum of three tenders. The Parish Council reserves the right to request proof of the tender process. Projects notified to the Parish Council in advance and included in the Parish Council’s budget documents will only have the funds released on completion of the work unless otherwise agreed.  Whilst Upchurch Parish Council would not normally consider applications for Capital Projects, any such applications will require a more substantial case with supporting evidence of the community benefit. 
 
Applications will not be considered from: 
Individuals. 
A political party. 
Private organisations operated as a business. 
“Upward funders” i.e. local groups where fund-raising is sent to a central HQ for redistribution. 
 
Assessment Procedure 
A grant request, once received in writing, will be considered at the next meeting of the Parish Council.  Each application will be assessed on its own merits. However, to ensure as fair a distribution as possible of available funds, the Council will take into account the amount and frequency of any previous awards. Due account may also be taken of the extent to which funding has been sought or secured from other sources or fund raising activities. (The Clerk can advise on alternative funding sources). Proposals for match funding will also be considered. 
 
Successful Applications 
Organisations receiving grants are required to advise their users/members that the grant or equipment had been received from Upchurch Parish Council. Where possible, the Parish Council will affix an appropriate label.  Where equipment is gifted to an organisation, the Parish Council requires that it be insured and maintained at the recipients’ expense.