Community grant and resource information

New resource offer for community groups

Social value resources that support a thriving Voluntary and Community Sector 

The council expects organisations who bid for big contracts to also pledge social value resources. These resources are to help improve the borough’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing. 

If a company wins a contract, they must provide the resources they pledged.

Some of these resources are set aside for local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations. 

What resources are on offer?

The resources for VCS groups and the nominal value we give to them are: 

Support from staff (Value) 

  • Executive Officer mentoring time (£450 for one day)

This gives strategic support for business development, marketing and promotion, and financial forecasting. 

  • Managers mentoring time (£300 for one day)

This gives support for bid writing, marketing and promotion, outreach, administration, and data collection. 

  • Junior officer time (£168 for one day)

This is for bid writing, marketing and promotion, outreach, administration, and data collection. 

  • ICT support (£330 for half a day)

For an update and repair service. 

Equipment in good working order (Value) 

  • Desktops (£450)
  • Laptop and mouse (£250)
  • Printers (£250)
  • Projectors (£350)
  • Whiteboards (£150)
  • Software (£150) 

Training (Value) 

  • First Aid course: Access for one VCS staff member or volunteer (£400)
  • Health and Safety course: Access for one VCS staff member or volunteer (£400) 

Annual Subscriptions (Value) 

  • Locality: Community subscription (£300)
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (£118)
  • Social Value UK: Community Subscription (£150) 

We have a limited number of each resource to give out. If a request is not available when you apply, there’s a waiting list. 

When new contracts are awarded, the resources will be available again. 

There will also be more resources as Covid-19 restrictions ease. This includes work and meeting space.  

What resources can community groups apply for? 

A VCS can apply for resources up to a total value of £2,000

Who can access the resources? 

To be considered, groups must: 

  • be a Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) not-for-profit organisation as set out on page 9 in the Voluntary and Community Sector Strategy
  • be providing project activities that mainly benefit Tower Hamlets residents
  • be providing activities that support the Council’s priorities as set out in our Strategic Plan.
  • have a base in Tower Hamlets for activities
  • have a formal governing document such as a Constitution or Memorandum and Articles.
  • have a bank or building society account in the organisation’s name
  • have had an income of less than £100,000 in the previous financial year

 We cannot accept requests from groups that are: 

  • a debtor to Tower Hamlets Council
  • using Tower Hamlets Council buildings without a property agreement in place 

How can community groups access the resources? 

If you apply, you’ll be asked to confirm the group is fully eligible. If not, you can’t submit a request. 

We accept applications at any time and have no set closing date. 

Feedback and support are available if you have questions. 

What happens after a community group applies? 

We aim to process applications within 4 weeks. Resources are given to eligible groups on a first come first served basis. 

Resources may not be available straight away. If it is not available when you apply, there is a waiting list. When new contracts are awarded, the resources will be available again. 

We tell applicants when requested resources have been allocated to a company. 

The company and our contract manager will contact you to process the resource.   

What happens when you receive the resource?

The resource is yours to use. 

You need to email us to confirm as soon as you receive a resource. 

Please email again within 3 months to tell us how it has:

  • been used
  • benefitted local people
  • benefitted your organisation’s work 

This lets us identify and report on outcomes. 

How do you apply?

Please apply online.

(If you do not have an account, please use the 'New applicant?' link.)

Who do you contact for further enquiries or support? 

Please contact

LBTH Small Grants Fund

The LBTH Small Grants Fund is designed to support voluntary and community sector activity across Tower Hamlets that will make a positive difference to the lives of local residents.

Small grants of between £200 and £5,000 are available for projects running for up to 12-months.

Larger grants of £20,000 are available through the community cohesion theme. 

There are seven themes and organisations must apply under one of the following

  • Theme 1: Innovation
  • Theme 2: Preventions
  • Theme 3: Neighbourhood Action
  • Theme 4: Community Cohesion
  • Theme 5: Partnership
  • Theme 6: Access and Participation
  • Theme 7: Loneliness
  • Theme 8: Covid-19 Test and Trace Outreach and Engagement

This programme is being administered by the East End Community Foundation.

Emergency Grant Funding

The council has grant funding support available to local Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations, based in Tower Hamlets, who are facing a significant loss of council funding. This fund evolved from the emergency element of the former Contingency Fund.

Organisations can apply for a one-off grant of up to £10,000.

In order to be considered for funding, organisations must:

  • Be a voluntary/community sector/not-for-profit organisation
  • Have a formal legal structure together with an appropriate governing document
  • Have been in receipt of Council funding in the past year (including match funded projects but excluding in-kind support).
  • Have a bank or building society account in the organisation’s name
  • Be able to demonstrate financial viability
  • Be in danger of closing or unable to continue to provide core funded services at a ‘reasonable level or standard’
  • Have already taken/or be in the process of implementing reasonable measures to address the emergency
  • Have a formal reserves policy
  • Not be a debtor to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • If based in or using Tower Hamlets Council buildings have an appropriate property arrangement in place.
  • Have a base within Tower Hamlets or a demonstrable track record of successful service delivery within the borough
  • Provide project activities that mainly benefit Tower Hamlets residents
  • Provide evidence that their project/organisation is consistent with Council priorities as detailed in the Strategic/Community Plan

Applicants must clearly demonstrate the need for the funding and the fact that they are facing an unforeseen emergency. As a guide, the following information gives an indication of circumstances the council considers to be an emergency. For clarification, this does not mean that applications will automatically be supported or rejected based purely on the purpose for which the funding will be used.

The following are likely to be considered favourably for funding:

  • Building repairs (for essential emergency work)
  • Health and safety equipment/improvement (which directly affects service delivery)
  • DDA Improvements
  • Redundancy costs arising because of council action or inaction
  • Staff salaries/wages (to cover unforeseen medium/long term absences)
  • Winding-up costs


Requests for Emergency Funding support will be assessed to establish the extent to which applications meet the scheme’s criteria.

To apply for Emergency funding please complete and return the application form. There is no submission deadline. Applications will be considered on a rolling-programme basis.

Completed applications should be returned to  Receipt of your application will be acknowledged and we will keep you updated on its progress. You will be contacted if any further information is required.

Tower Hamlets Innovation Fund (match funding through crowdfunding)

The council is keen to encourage and support innovation in the sector and acknowledged that this would require some funding to enable the sector to pilot new initiatives and approaches to service delivery and support.

The creation of an Innovation Fund is expected to support the sector "test and learn" new ways of working, new initiatives and new delivery models that if successful could be scaled up and commissioned more formally.

As a result organisations that are crowdfunding through the Our Tower Hamlets page of the Spacehive portal will have an opportunity to pitch for up to £10,000 (or a maximum of 50 per cent of an organisations crowdfunding target) in match funding for their projects.

Further details can be found on the Space Hive Tower Hamlets and the Innovation Fund pages with more information available in the innovation fund fact sheet.

Council funded voluntary and community organisations

Visit the Tower Hamlets Grants website for a list of organisations funded by the council.

Grants Determination (Cabinet) Sub-committee / Grants Scrutiny Sub-Committee

Decisions on grants are made by the council’s Grants determination (Cabinet) Sub-committee which is chaired by the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

The council also has a Grants Scrutiny Sub-Committee which acts as a critical friend to the Grants Determination (Cabinet) Sub-committee.

Agendas and minutes for both committees

Standard terms and conditions of grant

The council formally approves project grants to Voluntary and Community Sector organisations by way of a grant offer letter.

They set out various essential provisions and requirements relating to projects including details of the outputs and outcomes being targeted and the scheduled draw-down of the awarded grant.

Project grants are awarded subject to satisfactory performance and as such, significant under performance could result in the awarded grant being reduced or withdrawn.

Organisations are advised that in addition to the clauses set out within their grant offer letter, grants are also subject to the council’s standard terms and conditions of grant which are available to be downloaded via the following link: standard terms and conditions of grant.

It is essential that funded organisations are fully aware of and understand the council’s standard terms and conditions of grant.

Further information

Information and support to voluntary and community sector organisations can also be obtained from the Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Service. Further information can be found at the TH CVS website. 

Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Services (THCVS)

THCVS is an independent membership organisation for voluntary, community faith and social enterprise organisations in Tower Hamlets. They provide:

  • Information and resources for voluntary and community organisations, including funding information
  • Training courses for volunteers, trustees and staff
  • Networking, representation and information sharing through a range of networks and forums
  • Strategic representation and policy work
  • Events and conferences
  • Regular e-bulletins – sign up.

Membership of THCVS is free and is open to organisations working in Tower Hamlets.  If you need help or information you can reach them directly on 020 8980 8427, email or follow them on Twitter @THCVS.