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Frequently asked questions

What can the Green Shoots Fund pay for?

The funding can pay for projects which aim to:

  1. Increase the adaptability and resilience for Warwickshire to the effects of climate change.
  2. Reduce impacts on the environment, particularly regarding climate change.
  3. Ensure funded projects benefit the wider Warwickshire community.

Example project areas:

  • Energy: reduce consumption, use of renewable forms of energy
  • Waste minimisation: reducing waste, re-using resources, recycling resources (e.g. composting bins)
  • Biodiversity: such as the creation of pocket parks, tree planting, adaptation and living with the future impacts of climate change
  • Sustainable transport: encouraging cycling

How do we apply for Green Shoots Fund grant funding?

Full details on how and where to apply, please refer to the guidance document.

What is the deadline for Green Shoots Fund funding applications?

The first funding round runs 2 February 2021 – 17 May 2021. Where funds are available, we anticipate a further round to be open for applications in the Autumn of 2021.

How do we know if our organisation is eligible for Green Shoots Fund grant funding?

To be eligible to apply for Green Shoots Fund grant funding your organisation will need to meet certain criteria, please refer to the guidance document.

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, subject to the financial constraints detailed below.

What is the minimum and maximum financial limit for Green Shoots Fund grant applications? Can an eligible organisation submit Green Shoots Fund applications for multiple projects?

The maximum Green Shoots Fund grant awarded to any one organisation is £25,000 across individual and multiple project submissions. There is no minimum funding level. Special rules are in place where applications are made jointly.

How do we know if our project is eligible for Green Shoots funding?

Full details on the eligibility criteria are can be found within the guidance document.

If applying with another organisation(s), do we both/all need to complete and sign the one application?

In the case of joint applications, only the lead organisation needs to complete and sign an application.

Do we need to know how much the project is expected to cost?

Yes, a projection for the cost of any project along with an overview of actions, outputs, outcomes and success measures, will be required to support and validate any Green Shoots Fund grant awarded. A breakdown of any additional funding or in-kind contributions is also required.

Do we need to provide evidence of costs at application stage?

Applicants should submit a breakdown of costs, and where required, evidence of cost. At least 1 quotation should be provided for each element of goods, labour and services over £10,000. Where possible, evidence of costs or quotations for lesser amounts will be useful and will strengthen your application.

For more information regarding evidencing, please refer to the guidance document. 

Do we need to provide a timetable?

Yes. All applicants are required to declare when the project will start and finish. In addition, those with a project less than £5,000 are required to provide an overview of key stages. For applications of greater than £5,000, a detailed project plan is required. The requirements of each are detailed in the application forms.

Are grant recipients required to monitor the progress of their project objectives?

Yes, the amount of monitoring required will vary depending on the length, type, and cost of your project. for more information about reporting, monitoring and evaluation, please refer to the guidance document.

Can the Green Shoots Fund grant be used for Capital and Revenue budgets, including staffing costs?

The Green Shoots Fund grant funding cannot be used to cover internal staffing costs. The funding may be used to cover consultancy, externally sourced labour, and capital. You will need to provide evidence of external costs such as invoices.

Can an application use a third party to manage the delivery of a project?

Yes, external project management costs can be funded.

If I’m successful in receiving a grant, how and when will this grant be paid?

Upon being notified of a successful application you will need to complete a grant acceptance form that includes a section for submitting the details of the bank account into which the funding will be paid. Grants may be given in stages, either at point of award or at project milestones. You will be informed of staged payment details upon award. The application form gives you the opportunity to indicate if an upfront amount is required to start the project.

Is there a deadline by which Green Shoots Fund funding must be spent?

We will notify you of the deadlines for spending funds upon award. The deadlines will vary, and we will take into consideration the type of project and length of project when making this decision.

What if any Green Shoots Fund grant awarded does not cover the anticipated project costs? Can we apply for more?

In the event of an overspend, the amount of overspend shall be met by the recipient from its own funds unless the council, at its absolute discretion, agrees to increase the grant by an amount equal to the overspend.

Can we also apply for funding elsewhere?

Yes, any match funding or additional grants must be declared on the application form.

Is there support available with an application?

Yes, WCC can answer any specific questions and queries at [email protected].

How will we know if an application is successful?

You will receive an automatic acknowledgement of your application – please also check your spam. This is your copy of the application form so please remember to save it. We will endeavour to inform all applicants of the outcome of their application within approximately 10 weeks of the closing of the funding round.

Can an unsuccessful application be resubmitted?

Yes, an unsuccessful application can be resubmitted but there is no guarantee it will be funded in any future round.

How can my organisation get help with promoting the project once it is completed?

Email us at [email protected] and we will be able to publish information about the project on our website and through social media and support with other promotional activity. The grant recipient will be required to abide by our branding guidelines and to display our logo on all promotional materials and communications relating to the Project. The grant recipient will also allow us to promote the scheme as it sees fit and use the activity or project to promote Warwickshire's continued progress towards tackling the impacts of Climate Change.

The Recipient shall, wherever reasonably possible, acknowledge the support of the Council in any publicity referring to the Project. However, any publicity referring to the Council, including press releases and use of the Council's logo, must be approved by the Council. To seek approval for any publicity this shall be sent to [email protected]. The Recipient shall seek to include the Project (or activities or groups arising from the Project) in the Warwickshire Directory on the Council’s website and keep the listing up to date in accordance with the Warwickshire Directory management arrangements. The administrator for the Warwickshire Directory can be contacted at [email protected]

If applying for the full £25,000 as a ‘Lead Applicant’ on a joint application, does this mean no further applications can be made by this applicant as the maximum grant allowance has been reached?

For joint applications, the amount of the bid requested will be apportioned equally between all the applicants named on the application. Being a lead applicant would not prevent further applications being made, providing, across all applications submitted (either individually or jointly) the total amount does not exceed £25,000 e.g. a joint application for £25,000 between 10x organisations would be apportioned at £2,500 per named organisation – leaving £22,500 available for all named applicants, including the lead applicant, for any further applications to be made.

Can the Green Shoots Fund be used to cover VAT?

The Green Shoots Fund will only allow for ‘Irrecoverable VAT’ to be included in applications, providing the applicant has made it clear why they have deemed this to be irrecoverable from HMRC. Where VAT can be reclaimed by the applicant, this should not be included on any application.

How will Warwickshire County Council score the responses i.e. how are the requirements weighted?

Based on the criteria the council has put forward - that will be used to take account of the applications the funder wishes to take forward.

If a group of us is in a partnership and one is applying, can that applicant hire another partner to do the work as an eligible cost?

This is a community fund and the council expects community members to do a lot of the work involved in a project, but if expertise/infrastructure is needed to carry out a project then that is accepted. In terms of partners, it might be that a partner such as a business required to carry out the project may benefit from the allocation of work. To be clear, businesses cannot apply but could be a partner if necessary to undertake the project.

For a small bid - under £2,000 how long would it take to be considered?

We will make an offer to successful applicants around ten weeks after the closing date. For small grants they will try to make an offer in less time if possible.

If the fund can be used for feasibility of several small projects where detailed costs are not yet known but will be determined as part of the feasibility work that’s undertaken?

There is a risk with feasibility funding that the projects won’t go ahead. Not seeking to fund feasibility.

Would a GP surgery be eligible to apply?

Looking to support not for profit community organisations, so surgery would have to fall into that bracket or be working with a group that meets the eligibility as a lead for the project

Could you clarify the rules on total funding across a parish? If several bids go in from one village that are not connected are they all aggregated to assess total cost is under £25,000?

The funder wouldn’t aggregate the separate applications together. However, if a parish council is overseeing a number of applications from small unconstituted groups, the £25,000 application limit would apply to the parish (if applying groups are constituted then this doesn’t apply).

A group works with the local authority on a site that is owned by the local authority. Is the group able to apply for funding separately and match with any funds that the local authority may have? The work needing to be done includes tree and shrub planting and this can only be realistically undertaken between November and March. Will the funder recognise this?

The funder encourages applications where the applicant is looking to match fund, whether it’s with their local council or another source. Happy for the Green Shoots fund to be used as a seed fund/launch pad. If there are limitations as to when the applicant can spend the money (such as between November and March, for example), that needs to be clear in the application and the funder will try to support that.

A Parish Council planning to replace all street lights that aren’t LED in the parish have secured an 80% loan for most of the cost. Can they apply to this fund for some or all of the remaining 20%? They won’t have completed their ITT by the closing date, so will an estimated cost plus or minus 5% be acceptable?

Yes, but the limit of £25,000 still stands.

What's the chance that all the money will be allocated in this round/will there be a second round? Three weeks isn’t long to get a bid together.

Difficult to know at this stage whether all the money will be allocated in this round, the council haven’t received a lot of applications to date but are expecting a last minute rush. Groups are reminded there is a significant amount of money to spend and are urged to send applications in. Also advised that there can be a dialogue with the applicant if the application doesn’t quite suit in this first phase, so that the application may be resubmitted in any future phase of funding.

From when will the actual funding be awarded to successful projects?

Ten weeks after the deadline of 17th May.

If we apply for funding during this round of funding can we make another bid when the next round is opened up for a different project?

Yes.

Is there a priority order in the criteria against which applications will be assessed?

See presentation. The funder has not set a specific order of priority criteria but want to look at a range of projects that offer best value and will look to fund as appropriate.

Is a social enterprise eligible to apply where any profits are routed to community benefit?

Funder will look at what the benefit is to the community. Encouraged to apply if eligible.

Can a group apply for a smaller grant in the first round and then, if need be, apply for a larger amount for the same project (but to cover different expenses)?

Technically that could be allowed, but the fund is not for feasibility. So for example, a three stage project with distinct phases and not requesting funding for feasibility would be considered.

Is the £25,000 application limit per application window/application date or for all future applications?

Per application window

What involvement do you expect from the county Councillor in the project as per "how have you involved your county councillor”?

The funder would encourage your county, district and/or borough councillor to be a good advocate for your project and to invest in it if possible. Adds weight to your application to have their support.

Is there a date for the second round of funding?

There is currently no news on a second round. The funder would need to be clear on the commitment made to the first round before they could announce another.

Can the fund be used to support a plan for an organisation's venue to become carbon neutral?

Warwickshire County Council expects applications for improvements to community buildings and these are within the criteria, bearing in mind the £25,000 limit.

If a project is accepted/approved and the implementation is not until later in the year, will the funds be held over till then?

Yes, funds will be held until the work commences. Applicants should be clear in their application that an award cannot be spent until a particular time and that will be taken into account by the funder.

If we are unsuccessful, will we get any feedback to improve future applications?

Yes

Can you upload links to other documents on the electronic application form?

These links/documents need to be sent separately by email to the Green Shoots email address

Any advice on what makes a strong application?

What you’re trying to achieve and what the benefit is in a climate change context should be absolutely clear from your application. The funder is looking for things that can be done quickly and can make a difference in your local community, adding to the quality of life. Although it’s not necessarily about scale, the funder hopes to see lots of people benefitting from projects. Including evidence of community support for the project in your application is encouraged.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?

If you still have a question or would like to discuss anything further, please email [email protected].