Community Initiative Fund

Community Initiative Fund 2021/22 closed for full applications...

The Community Initiatives Fund is designed to help individuals, groups and voluntary organisations boost their local community. The £350,000 fund offers two levels of grant:

  • £300,000 is for grants of up to £10,000 towards capital or revenue projects that benefit the wider community.
  • £50,000 is for micro-grants of up to £500 to help support grassroots groups, reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing and help communities better connect.
This fund excludes projects that deliver their work outside the administrative area of Essex County Council (Thurrock and Southend). The Community Initiative Fund is administered by the EALC on behalf of Essex County Council. Town & Parish Councils, community groups, social enterprises and individuals in the ECC area are all invited to apply.

Projects should have community backing and demonstrate a real community need. For instance, they could be to:

  • Create, buy or develop new community assets​
  • Enhance existing community assets
  • Enhance or develop initiatives that strengthen the local community, including cultural initiatives.

​When talking about the Community Initiative Fund, Chairman of the EALC Executive Committee, Cllr Peter Davey said:

"The Essex Association of Local Councils is proud to have been asked to administer the grant scheme on behalf of Essex County Council.  The Community Initiatives Fund provides vital funding for deserving organisations and their community projects, well-being initiatives and other important improvement schemes. The EALC has well-established links to many Essex organisations and is ideally positioned to triage applications, address the financial standing of applicants, create and administer the CIF funding panel and ensure funds are released in a timely manner to successful applicants.  As Chairman of the CIF funding panel, I am honoured to be part of this important initiative."


Meanwhile, Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Communities said

“Over the last year and more we have seen how creative and resilient our communities and local organisations are. Now, we are by their side as they recover and renew. The Community Initiatives Fund is there to help groups and communities to develop and realise their vision, whether that’s something like improving a community centre or play area, creating opportunities for people to come together, strengthening connections within the community, or increasing an organisation’s capacity to help more people.”

How to apply?
Please read through the guidance notes which contain details of all the grant funding schemes.
  • Email a completed pre-application checklist to our funding team at by Saturday 14th August 2021.
  • If your project passes the initial review you will be informed and asked to continue with the full application form.
  • The panel will then review your project based on the information given in your application form.
  • You will then be informed whether your application for funding has been successful or not. Not all applications are successful and sometimes, you may be given less funding than you applied for, or directed to alternative funding sources.

Please note that applications for a specific project which has previously been awarded a CIF grant within the past three years will be unable to now re-apply.


Essential documents  
If you have any questions regarding this fund or would like to be added to the distribution list, then please contact our funding team on 01371 879722 or email them at you would like to find out further details from Essex County Council, please click here.
The Essex Association wish to formally thank Essex County Council for the support provided to the EALC, Parish & Town Councils, villages and communities across Essex.