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Community Initiatives Fund

1 August 2018

The Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) is a small grants scheme designed to fund community projects that: 

  • create, procure or develop new community assets
  • enhance existing community assets
  • enhance or develop initiatives that strengthen a community.

There are three parts to the fund:

  • CIF (subject to a maximum application of £20,000 for any one project)
  • CIF Response (subject to a maximum application of £15,000 for any one project).
  • The Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme (applications of up to £400 to enable local communities to provide a public Wi-Fi service via their community hubs).

Community Initiatives Fund 

This is for capital funding only and eligible areas of expenditure could include, but are not limited to:

  • community, social and recreational facilities
  • village halls (including church halls)
  • community shops (including general stores and pubs in some circumstances)
  • community transport initiatives (not for a single-use group)
  • land purchases
  • playground equipment
  • environmental works
  • any related feasibility, design and planning work.

Communities Initiatives Fund Response

This fund is subject to a maximum application of £15,000 for any one project. Eligible projects for this funding are as described for the CIF. The difference is that applications for CIF Response funding will only be considered where the need is evidenced clearly by the applicant that funding is required for:

  • projects that are time-critical (proof would be needed)
  • projects where match-funding is time-limited

This fund will not be used to support the on-going running costs of established organisations.

How to apply

Full details of the fund, including the qualifying criteria and eligibility, can be found in the guidance notes which should be read before submitting an application.

To apply, the application form should be completed and emailed to

CIF timetable 2018/19

  • receipt of completed application forms: Friday 26 October 2018
  • judging panels’ decisions: throughout November/December 2018

CIF Response timetable 2018/19

  • Final receipt of completed application forms: Friday 22 February 2019

To apply, the application form should be completed and emailed to

Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme

The Community Wi-Fi Scheme, run by Superfast Essex and supported by CIF, is now open for applications. 

Local communities can apply for up to £400 to enable the local provision of a superfast public Wi-Fi service via their chosen community hub.

Please read the leaflet and the guidance notes before completing the application form. Information is also available on the Superfast Essex website. Email your completed application form to no later than Friday 22 February 2019.

All funding is subject to availability.

Celebrating 10 years investment into your local communities


“Over the past 10 years, CIF has made a huge contribution to help strengthen and sustain community life throughout Essex. In the rural areas, I know it has helped numerous charities, voluntary groups and parish councils to upgrade and modernise key facilities such as village halls, playing fields and play areas.


"It has also supported the creation of new groups and activities which have improved the quality of life for people of all ages. Essex County Council deserves great credit for creating and maintaining this vitally important fund.”

Nick Shuttleworth, Executive Director, Rural Community Council of Essex