Grants Awarded

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Discretionary Grant Criteria

Funding is available for projects benefitting Upper Nithsdale, which is defined as the parishes of Kirkconnel & Kelloholm and the Royal Burgh of Sanquhar & District respectively.

All applications will show how the event, project, activity or service contributes to our UNCT Priorities and Commitments as well as the locally set Priorities set out below.

Awards can support a wide range of costs and activities, including charitable, educational, community, environmental, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable development and general community amenity schemes or projects.

Within Upper Nithsdale area, the following have been identified as key priorities:

  • Services and projects which deliver activities that bring economic benefits to Upper Nithsdale for example events, local festivals, arts and galas, employability activities, social enterprises, tourism related projects.
  • Services and projects which deliver activities that demonstrate community benefits and build community capacity in Upper Nithsdale for example community managed services, community run facilities, community safety activities, civic pride and environmental projects, projects that identify community need.
  • Services and projects which demonstrate early intervention and address the needs of disadvantaged groups in Upper Nithsdale for example young people are more actively involved in decision making, our ageing population is active and engaged to influencing services in their own community, projects that promote fairness and respect across communities.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Applications will deliver a project or service in Upper Nithsdale, making a valuable contribution to UNCT priorities.
  2. The project must commence within 12 months of an award.
  3. Applicants must have a constitution (governing document or set of rules) and be set up on a not-for-private-profit basis. Groups do not need to be registered charities to apply.
  4. Applicants must be able to provide their latest set of accounts, signed by an independent third party.
  5. Applications for over £10,000 are required to submit a Business Plan and budget
  6. Groups seeking to undertake capital projects in respect of land or assets (e.g. village halls, community spaces) must either own the property or hold a lease.
  7. Multi-year awards, for a maximum of three years may be applied for. Applications for multi year awards can include an inflationary increase on the previous year.
  8. Individuals may request up to £250 for personal sponsorship relating to their talent or endeavour which reflects positively on Upper Nithsdale. Individual funding is available in the April and October funding rounds only.
  9. From 2017/18 there is a limit of five years of consecutive applications from the same organisation

In addition, UNCT will prioritise support for applications which meet the following:

  • Evidence that the project/activity enhances or is additional to normal service provision
  • Can demonstrate community consultation
  • Can clearly evidence within the application that they are actively working in partnership with other organisations

The following are not eligible for funding:

  1. The advancement of religion or party politics (including requests to support the core activities of religious or political groups)
  2. Activities understood to be the primary responsibility of statutory authorities
  3. Projects benefiting primarily residents outwith the Area of Benefit (determined by the Community Council boundaries)
  4. Activities contrary to the interests of the Arevon, the Upper Nithsdale Community Trust, Foundation Scotland, or likely to bring any of them into disrepute.
  5. Anti-renewable energy or anti-windfarm activities
  6. Retrospective funding (i.e. paying for costs incurred before a decision on an application to the fund for support can be made).
  7. The repayment of loans or payment of debts.
  8. Individuals and groups that are not constituted
  9. Groups without a representative membership structure i.e. groups that unduly restrict their membership and/or where the committee or board is not elected by, or otherwise accountable to, a wider group of people.
  10. Projects already considered by UNCT this financial year.
  11. Applications for fireworks or include Chinese lanterns and/or helium balloons.
  12. Applications for the sole benefit of any private asset where there is no wider community benefit.
  13. Applications which include costs for depreciation.
  14. Prizes or sponsorship money.
  15. Applications requesting funding to support activity/projects which as a result will raise funds to donate to others.

For further advice or information on available funding, or to discuss your project proposal informally, email

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