The Heart of Wales Line Development Company has decided to set up a one-off grant fund in order to support communities along the line.
Before Coronavirus arrived, we would have been using the funding to develop partnership projects in local communities, however this year it isn’t safe or practical to do so. Instead, we would like to use our resources to directly fund organisations who need support at this challenging time, and in this way develop positive, new relationships with the communities along the line.
There are many funding streams that have been made available recently in response to Coronavirus and organisations should apply to these where possible, if their project relates specifically to that. For more information about these funding streams visit the local County Voluntary Council (CVC) organisations websites (links below) or local council pages where lot of information about funding grants and support is available.
This new fund is designed to support the resilience and sustainability of organisations which may have been directly or indirectly impacted by the pandemic. Maybe fundraising has had to stop and other usual income streams have disappeared or maybe costs have gone up because more volunteers are being mobilized. The main criteria is that groups can demonstrate how the funding will help sustain the organisation in the future and keep services going. There does not necessarily need to be a direct link to the pandemic. The group will also need to state what the money will be used for and how this benefits the local community.
It will need to be spent by February 2021 so it cannot be put aside for a rainy day.
What is the Heart of Wales Line Development Company?
The company is a not for profit organisation that supports and promotes this scenic line and the towns and villages it serves. We hold the lease on Llandovery Station where a successful volunteer-led café is operated and we manage, via a Steering Group, the Heart of Wales Line Walking Trail, an award-winning 141- mile volunteer-led venture. The company is mainly funded by grants from train operators, principally Transport for Wales, and we are the designated ‘Community Rail Partnership’ (CRP) for the line. As well as promoting and supporting the line, the CRP is tasked with working in communities along the line on social and economic projects and it works to make sure the railway is safe and accessible to all. It is not the same as HOWLTA, the Travellers Association which is a separate ‘rail user’ body.
More information can be found here www.heart-of-wales.co.uk
How much is in the grant fund?
The grant fund is £10,000. We have provided £5,000 and Transport for Wales Rail Services has generously agreed to match fund this through their Community Grant Fund. Each organisation can apply for a maximum of £500 each.
Who is eligible?
Any community organisation, charity, CIC or group that has a bank account and is based within 10km/6miles of a Heart of Wales Line Station can apply. If the organisation is not based within the given radius but can show how the grant funding will support a community that is, then this is acceptable. Individuals, businesses and statutory bodies cannot apply and neither can national charities unless it is a local branch. Religious organisations can apply as long as the funding is not used to promote a particular faith or belief system.
Applicants do not have to be registered charities but they must be a constituted group with a bank account. In exceptional circumstances, groups can apply through a sponsoring organisation if they do
not have a bank account but they must be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to deliver in their own right.
How can the grant be used?
The grant criteria is deliberately non-specific so that a wide range of activities can be considered. As long as the group can demonstrate the impact on the community and how the funding will help sustain them or their activity, then their application will be considered.
The grant can be used to deliver projects that are either Coronavirus related or not, it could be for youth work, mental health services, art projects, support for the elderly, counselling, domestic violence, BAME projects, education, disability support, local empowerment, these are just a few examples. The grant does not have to be for project costs, it can be used for running costs including staff, bills, rent or maintenance as long as it can be demonstrated that these costs cannot be met by other means and that it will help the organisation remain active and sustainable.
How will the grant be assessed?
Since there is a finite amount of money, applications will be assessed by a panel using a scoring system after the deadline, and if there are more suitable applications than funding available then applications with the higher scores will be prioritised. There is also an aspiration to spread the fund fairly along the line so this will be part of the consideration. Unsuccessful applicants will be given feedback and may be supported in other ways if appropriate. If applications do not exceed the fund there will be a second bidding opportunity. Organisations should not apply for more than is needed so that the funds can be made available for as many groups as possible. A properly costed application will increase the likelihood of success.
The panel will be made up of some Board members as well as voluntary sector representatives from all four counties and the process will be administered by PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary
For the best possible chance of success, make sure you cover the following
- Within 10km /6 miles of a Heart of Wales Line station or proof of benefitting a community that is
- Right type of organisation
- Have a bank account or similar
- Have demonstrated positive impact on the community
- Have demonstrated how the grant will help sustain the organization or an activity
- Have shown that costs cannot be met by other means
- The bid is well- costed
- Have shown a track record of delivery
- Have enclosed all the documents requested
- Have answered all the questions as required
- Have signed correctly and agree with all the declarations
July 10th 2020
Launch of Fund
August 21st 2020
Deadline for Applications
Groups notified of outcome
February 26th 2021
Project end date
March 19th 2021
Evaluation and evidence provided
April 16th 202
Impact report produced
Where are the Heart of Wales line stations?
From north to south they are Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Broome, Hopton Heath, Bucknell, Knighton, Knucklas, Llangynllo, Llanbister Rd, Dolau, Pen-y-Bont, Llandrindod Wells, Builth Rd, Cilmeri, Garth, Llangammarch Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells, Sugar Loaf, Cynghordy, Llandovery, Llanwrda, Llangadog, Llandeilo, Ffairfach, Llandybie, Ammanford, Pantyffynnon, Pontarddulais, Llangennech, Bynea, Llanelli, Gowerton and Swansea.
Groups from other locations within a 6m/10k radius of the station can also apply for funding.
Match funding is not a requirement of the grant and organisations will be able to combine the grant with other funding in order to deliver a project or achieve an outcome. If this is the case then monitoring and impact needs to show this and only a proportion can be claimed (no double counting).
What sort of monitoring is needed?
If you are successful in getting a grant a few monitoring requirements will be requested. For example, you will need to provide evidence of spend and be able to describe the impact of the grant including numbers of people impacted and any feedback you’ve received. Photos will be welcomed as long as you have gained permission from any individuals in them.
The Heart of Wales Line Development Company will want to publicise the positive impact of the fund so grant recipients will be asked for consent for the information provided to be utilized for local publicity, on the website and on social media. The partners listed at the bottom of the form may wish to do the same. If there are legitimate reason not to publicise the use of the grant, it will be considered.
Is there any help available to make the application?
All groups can go to their local CVC (see introduction) in order to get support with filling in applications. Questions about the fund itself can be asked by contacting funding(at)devco.org.uk
This fund has been made possible with the support of the following organisations@
- Heart Of Wales Line
- Carmartnenshire Association of Voluntary Services
- Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations
- Swansea Council for Voluntary Service
- Shropshire RCC
- Transport For Wales