Guide Community Buildings Fund

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2. Rules for the Community Buildings Fund

This fund is currently closed to new applications while we re-consider our corporate grants and funding process. We have a grants mailing list which will send out an email notification when it has reopened to new applications. To be added to our grants mailing list, please contact us at

The Community Building Fund - an introduction

Each year we allocate a sum of money to be given in grants for community buildings in villages. Always ensure you have the most up to date version of the guidance notes and application form before applying to us.

Who can apply?

  • This grants scheme is open to all multi-use community buildings within Parish Council areas covered by East Devon District Council. Community shops in Parish Council areas can also apply.
  • Community buildings and community shops that are within an area covered by a Town Council are not eligible to apply. So if your community building or community shop is in an area covered by Budleigh Salterton Town Council, Exmouth Town Council, Ottery St Mary Town Council, Axminster Town Council, Seaton Town Council, Honiton Town Council, Sidmouth Town Council you cannot apply.
  • Community buildings must be multi-use (minimum of three separate user groups), with open community access, and owned and / or managed by the community. Thinking about the main user group (if there is one), they must use the community building a maximum of 50% of the time it is in use. The remaining 50% of the time it must be used by a minimum of two other separate and distinct user groups from within the community.
  • This grants scheme is open to all multi-use community buildings within Parish Council areas covered by East Devon District Council. Community shops in Parish Council areas can also apply.

Extra criteria:

  • You must have permission from all the relevant bodies to carry out the project before you apply. For example, if the Parish Council owns the building then you must have their permission before you apply.
  • You can't apply if you have heard you have been successful for a Community Buildings Grant from us within the last 18 months.
  • You must have three written quotations for the works which you must submit with your application, or a good reason why three written quotes are not possible.  
  • Ensure that your match funding is in place before applying to us. This grants scheme operates as a final funder. Please be aware that other organisations and authorities may have different timescales for their grants schemes.
  • If planning permission is required for your project, it must be in place when you apply to us.
  • Applicants must approach their local parish council to see if they can help with any funding towards their project in order to be eligible. Councillors on the decision making panel do prefer to see a contribution from the parish council, however small, but applicants must at least have asked.
  • If the building is leasehold, you need to have a minimum of 28 years remaining on the lease when you apply.

How much can you apply for?

Grants are available of between £1,500 and £5,000, but we will only contribute up to third of total project costs. You would need to find a minimum of the other two thirds of your project costs from elsewhere. This means the total minimum costs for the whole project would need to be £4,500. Total project costs cannot exceed £750,000.

Match funding should make up third of the total project costs, this should include a contribution from your Parish Council.

We pay grants upon receipt of valid invoices and receipts. If the organisation paying for the project is VAT registered so is able to claim back VAT, you must only claim for the net amount (total amount minus VAT).  

What projects are eligible for a grant?

Grants are available for capital projects only (not to help with running costs, routine repair or maintenance).

Applications must be for one or more of the following:

  • the building itself and eligible projects inside the building.
  • structures permanently attached to the building that are often used in conjunction with the building, and increase the sustainability of the building itself and / or significantly increase the sustainability of the surrounding public open space.
  • car parks next to the building that are solely / mainly for the use of those accessing the building itself.

What we will fund

  • provide a new / replacement building
  • serious structural defects, for example, roof and walls
  • adaptation of a building for disabled access
  • modernising / improving outdated facilities such as kitchen refits and installing audio visual equipment
  • environmental / green projects for example, solar panels, ground source heating, wind turbines

What we won't fund

  • routine repairs and maintenance
  • running costs of the community building
  • single use buildings for example, sport club or church
  • new curtains or carpets
  • cosmetic re-decoration
  • ground works
  • removable items such as kitchen appliances, crockery, chairs and tables
  • community buildings outside of our boundary
  • community buildings in Town Council areas

When to apply?

This fund is currently closed to new applications, we are unsure when it will re-open to new applications but it is likely to be in the autumn 2023. If this temporary closure will cause significant issues to you due to the timescale of your project, please contact us to discuss: 

Please note we have a limited amount of money available, if all the funding is distributed to applications received by the first closing date there won't be a second closing date. 

How to apply?

  1. Read through all of the rules to ensure your application is eligible. Early contact with us will ensure feedback for your application.
  2. Fill in the application form using the guidance notes to complete the questions.
  3. Make sure to send in all the documents specified in the application form otherwise your application will be returned to you as incomplete.
  4. Submit your application before the deadline. Do not leave applying until the last minute.

How will we assess your application?

We may come back to you with queries on your application, if we do, you must respond by the given deadlines. Decisions on applications will be made by the Community Grants Panel. We'll usually let you know whether your application has been successful within 8 weeks of the closing deadline.