Hampshire County Council Community Challenge Fund

The purpose of the Community Challenge Fund is to support groups and organisations in rural Hampshire and small market towns. It has five main priorities: 

  • Community resilience. Projects which help communities address and resolve local challenges themselves, such as supporting elderly and vulnerable people, or responding to floods, storms or snow. 
  • Rural transport. Projects which support people to access transport such as bus, minibus, volunteer drivers etc, and make better use of local resources. 
  • Self help. Supporting the volunteer spirit in rural communities. Supporting community groups, religious organisations and other self-help groups. 
  • Communications. Helping communities to take full advantage of broadband and mobile communications. 
  • Economic development. Supporting rural enterprises such as village markets, shops and pubs. 

When to apply

The Community Challenge Fund is open year round, until available funds are exhausted. 

Grant criteria and eligibility

HCC will fund organisations which meet all of the following criteria. It is a competitive process, so grants will be approved by County Councillors on their merits. 

  • Projects or activities that deliver measurable results against one or more of the five priorities. 
  • The project or activity is in rural Hampshire, a small market town, or directly benefits rural communities. 
  • The organisation must have match funding from other sources, including district, borough, town or parish council funding. A small element of this match funding can be ‘in kind' through volunteer time. 
  • The organisation must be able to demonstrate that without the support from Hampshire County Council the activity/event would not be able to proceed at all or to the extent outlined in the application. 
  • Organisations with significant funds in place or higher levels of reserves must demonstrate why funding from Hampshire County Council is needed. 
  • The organisation has a clear management structure within its constitution or suitable governance/terms of reference. 
  • You will need to provide a project plan with your application. 
  • If the project is successful, it is expected that you will have a plan to continue the activity after the end of the funding period. 

All successful applicants will be required to provide appropriate reporting and/or monitoring for their service, projects and/or activities. 

Funding criteria

The Community Challenge Fund will normally fund up to a maximum of £5,000. Funding may be released after project completion and once the short evaluation form has been returned. 

What we can't fund

  • Projects that receive funding from other Hampshire County Council sources (except for County Councillor grants). 
  • Individuals
  • Profit making events/activities 
  • Projects or activities solely within the unitary authority areas of Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council. 
  • Non-constituted organisations (though grants via parish councils may be possible instead).
  • Projects that have already been carried out.