Small revenue and project grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 are available for projects that benefit local communities in areas in which Co-op food stores and funeral homes have a presence in the UK and the Isle of Man. Projects should enable people play a part in their community’s future and/or help to protect the planet.

o Application deadlineSUNDAY 7th JULY 2024 at midnight (the programme opened to applications on Monday 10th June 2024).
o FunderThe Co-operative Community Investment Foundation (founded 2002. Charity number 1093028. Total value of all grants awarded during the year ended 31 December 2022: £4,238,997 (2021: £2,847,090; 2020: £2,311,172)).
o Who can apply: registered charities, voluntary groups, Scout, Guide or Woodcraft folk groups., registered community amateur sports clubs (CASCs), churches or chapels that are ‘excepted’ charities, co-operative societies, Credit Unions, Community Benefit Societies, Community Interest Companies (CICs), and any other organisation that can prove they are not run for profit. Please note that projects must be in communities in which Co-op food stores or Funeral Homes are located.
o Key words: Climate Change, Reducing Waste, Protecting Nature, Young People, Older People, Mental Wellbeing, Isle of Man, United Kingdom.

The Co-op Local Community Fund provides small revenue and project grants for projects that benefit local communities centred around Co-op food stores and funeral homes across the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.

In 2024, a total of £5 million is available in Co-op communities across the UK. £6,000 will be shared between 3 local causes in each community. Successful groups will receive a minimum of £1,000 to support their projects. Priority will be given to organisations with an income of under £1 million a year. Grants, which can be used to cover project costs or salaries, are – as in previous years – expected to be for between £1,000 and £3,000 (i.e. grants of £3,000, £2,000 and £1,000 per Co-op community).

Applications should relate to the Community Fund’s 2024’s themes of:

1. Planet – projects that help to protect the planet by:
o Tackling climate change.
o Reducing waste and resource use, 
o Protecting nature.

2.  People – projects that enable people to play a part in their community’s future by:
o Supporting young people to fulfil their potential.
o Helping older people feel connected, 
o Improving people’s mental wellbeing

A Co-op store locator can be accessed at this LINK, while you can find Co-op Funeral Care locations HERE (Co-op Funeral Homes is the UK’s largest funeral service provider, with over 1,000 outlets nationally).

Please note that, although the deadline for applications is Sunday 7th July 2024 and successful applicants will be announced in October 2024, the public voting process takes 12 months, with funding only released in November 2025.

This means that successful applicants will be part of the Local Community Fund for 12 months from Sunday 20th October 2024 to Saturday 18th October 2025 while public voting takes place. Selected local causes will receive funds in November 2025. The level of funding will depend on the number of votes each selected project receives. Applicants should therefore align their project proposal with this timescale.

Projects should:

o Benefit a local community in which the Co-op has a presence.
o Meet the Co-op’s values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.
o Not have religious or political aims (although religious groups can apply).
o Take place in the UK or Isle of Man, 
o Take place or will still be running after November 2025.

Funding is not available for:

o Donations to other organisations.
 Funding that will be given to other people or organisations.
o Only pay for salaries or other running costs of an organisation.
o Projects that are the responsibility of a local authority.
o Projects that could harm the reputation of Co-op.
o Projects that promote any political activities or causes.
o Projects that promote any religious beliefs. (Consideration will be given to projects led by religious organisations that are for the benefit of the whole community.), 
o Projects that support individuals or overseas projects.

The application process is as follows:

1. Applicants should create an account on the Co-op website.
2. Applications must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 7th July 2024.

3. The Co-op will then shortlist up to 3 projects to support in each community over the next giving period. This is usually for the next 12 months.
4. Applicants will find out if they’ve been shortlisted by October 2024. Shortlisted projects will be part of the Local Community Fund from Sunday 20th October 2024 to Saturday 18th October 2025.
5. Selected projects will be displayed in store and online in order that Co-op members can vote for which project they want to support.
7. Applicants will receive funding in November 2025.

Further information, guidance and details about how to apply is available on the Co-op website.

Contact details for the Fund are:

The Local Community Team
Co-operative Group
New Century House
M4 8BA
Tel: 0800 023 4708