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Mayor's Community Grants Programme

What is the Mayor’s Community Grants Programme?

The council’s vision is to support and invest in a thriving and diverse voluntary and community sector to help it improve outcomes for residents.

The Mayor’s Community Grants Programme will provide £3.5 million of funding for voluntary and community sector each year.

The funding is for 3 1/2 years. The projects we fund will start on 1 November 2023 and finish on Wednesday 31 March 2027.

The programme is open to applications from Monday 24 April 2023. The deadline for making applications is midday Monday 5 June 2023.

What projects will we fund?

The new grants programme will support the delivery of the council’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026 and consists of five themes:

  • Tackling the cost-of-living
  • Accelerating education
  • Culture, jobs, business, and skills
  • Investing in public services
  • Empower communities and fight crime

The prospectus provides more information about the five themes including:

  • Funding schemes and priorities
  • Key outcomes and criteria

How much can organisations apply for?

There is a maximum of £40,000 per annum for each project. Organisations can apply for up to five projects.

For the cost-of-living theme, we welcome consortium bids. For consortium bids, there is no maximum award within the budget assigned for the theme, but there is a £40,000 limit for individual projects.

Your organisation should apply for the funds it needs to be able to deliver its projects well. You should also be mindful of the budget available for each theme, the scope of the schemes and its priorities.

The council is seeking to achieve the greatest impact for local people from a limited budget. In some cases, we may offer an amount lower than the funding applied for.

Where this happens, we will discuss and agree the level of service you can achieve with the amount of funding offered.

Which organisations are eligible?

The new grants programme is for projects and initiatives that will benefit Tower Hamlets residents. 

Funding is available to:

  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations
  • not-for-profit companies
  • community interest companies
  • faith-based groups, where the funded activity is open for all and does not promote any particular faith.

Funding is available to eligible organisations who

  • are registered in the borough
  • based in the borough
  • have a track record of delivering in the borough of at least two years.

Funding is not available for

  • individuals
  • sole traders
  • profit-making companies
  • political organisations
  • religious activities.

What is the application process?

The new grants programme is open for applications on the 24 April 2023 and closes on 5 June 2023.
All bids must be submitted using online forms via the council’s online portal, Blackbaud Grant Making (BBGM).

The council cannot accept submissions by email, by post or by hand. To apply, please complete the following forms:

Organisations only need to submit one Organisation information form and a separate Project form for each project you are applying for.

Please read the guidance on how to complete the application forms.

Within the project form, you will need to create a budget using a budget template form.

What additional information and support is available for interested organisations?


The council has produced a prospectus that provides essential information on:

  • Eligibility
  • How much funding is available
  • How much organisations can apply for
  • Training and support for application process
  • Timeline for applications
  • Bidding process
  • Organisation assessment
  • Project assessment
  • Information about the schemes, including priorities, outcomes and example activities.

Training support

Support for applying is available through our partner Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Service. They are providing:

  • training
  • 1-1 support
  • drop-in sessions

You can find out more details about this support and how to sign up by visiting the THCVS website.

Information events

The council has been holding a series of information events to provide guidance to local voluntary and community sector organisations. Download the slides from the presentation shared at these events.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have produced a list of answers to the Frequently Asked Questions that we have received. We will update them throughout the application and assessment period.

What are the key timelines?

The bidding period for the new grants programme will last for six weeks. Applications will be open from 24 April 2023 and the deadline for submitting bids is 12noon on 5 June 2023. 

Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

The timetable for Mayor’s Community Grants Programme is outlined in the following table.


24 April 2023

Applications open

5 June 2023

Closing date for applications

June-July 2023

Assessment of applications

August 2023

Chief Executives decision on awards

September 2023

Applicants receive notification of application outcomes

September 2023

Development of grant funding agreements with successful applicants

November 2023

New projects start

Additional information

The council is sharing more information events on the programme. The session will take place on Wednesday 31 May 2023 from 10am to 12noon.

Find out more about the additional sessions


Get in touch

If you have a question or need support, then please get in touch with the council’s Voluntary & Community Sector Team by emailing vcs@towerhamlets.gov.uk.