Community grants

VCS Infrastructure and Capacity Building Grants

The council is now inviting applications from VCS organisations for grants to support projects which focus on building the capacity of local voluntary and community sector organisations. Capacity building could mean programmes of support (for example training and other workforce development activity, volunteer recruitment and support, organisational advice or consultancy) delivered by local infrastructure organisations or support to individual organisations for projects to help them to develop their own capacity. 

In this programme the council is seeking to support activities which have a borough wide impact delivered by organisations with a strong track record of developing the capacity of smaller VCS organisations and community groups. The council is also seeking to support activities which bring VCS organisations together through partnerships, networking and other activities both to share resources and strengthen the collective voice of the sector.

The total budget for this theme is £260,000 per annum. Grants will be awarded initially from 1 October 2019 for two years with an extension of up to 18 months.

The closing date for applications is 17 May, 2019.

Find out more and apply.

Ageing Well Small Grants fund 2019/20

The Health, Adults and Community Services Directorate of Tower Hamlets Council is inviting applications for this year’s Ageing Well Small Grants fund. This grant fund is aimed at groups and organisations that provide social activities for the benefit of older people (55+) who reside in the borough. By providing financial support to these groups we hope to contribute to a reduction in social isolation and loneliness amongst our older residents. The grant may be used as a contribution towards rent, running costs, small equipment or social activities.

To apply, please either use the online form or complete and return a hard copy application form. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday 3 May 2019.  Further information, including eligibility criteria and application guidance, can be found using the links below:

Application covering letter
Application form
Application guidance

If you have any queries about this grant fund, please contact:

Jamie Bird – Strategic Commissioning Officer, Ageing Well Team
0207 364 2304

Emergency Grant Funding

The council has grant funding support available to local Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations, based in Tower Hamlets, who are experiencing an unforeseen emergency which is placing either the organisation or a London Borough of Tower Hamlets funded project at risk.

Organisations are able to apply for a one-off Emergency Funding Grant of up to £20,000.

As part of the application requirements organisations will need to provide the following:

  • reasons behind the need for emergency funding
  • details of actions that have already been taken to address the issue and why they have been insufficient
  • details of any planned actions in addition to the request to the council and
  • detailed information relating to the organisation’s financial position

Requests for Emergency Funding support will be assessed to establish the extent to which applications meet the scheme’s criteria which include being currently funded by the council, demonstrating that the organisation provides a service that is of strategic importance to the borough; and, that it has already taken/or is in the process of implementing reasonable measures to address their 'emergency' situation.

To apply for Emergency funding please complete and return the application form. View the criteria for Emergency Funding and FAQs. 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 factsheet.

Tower Hamlets Mainstream Grants (MSG) 2015-2018 (applications closed)

The council’s Mainstream Grants Programme has been the main funding source for third sector organisations within the borough for many years. The programme in its current form has been in operation since 2009 delivering over two rolling cycles: 2009 to 2012 and 2012 to 2015.

The 2015/18 programme is running from 1 September 2015 to the end of August 2018. You can see what organisations were awarded funding through the 2015-18 MSG programme.

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. grant offer letters 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:

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.