What we fund

City Bridge Trust receives many more applications than we are able to fund. We can only support those projects which most closely align with our mission and vision.

In response to Covid-19, City Bridge Trust temporarily closed some of our programmes to new applicants, while we focussed on supporting our current funded organisations and the collaborative London Community Response, delivering emergency funding in support of the sector.

Some funding programmes are now open to new applicants, while others remain temporarily closed. As of 25th November 2021, the following funding programmes are open.

Transition Funding

Transition Funding can provide interim funding for eligible organisations for up to two years, with a maximum grant of £50,000 per annum. Eligible organisations are those that would normally be able to apply for other, specific funding strands from City Bridge Trust, which are among those currently paused due to Covid-19.

Full information will be published on or before Monday 29th November 2021 on our Transition Funding page.

Infrastructure funding: capacity building and representation

We want to fund organisations which provide support to other voluntary, social enterprise and community sector organisations. We are particularly keen to support organisations working with and/or led by groups that have historically faced barriers in terms of receiving an equitable share of the funding, resources, and other support available. To find out more, visit our Infrastructure funding: capacity building and representation page.

Increasing the quality and scale of giving

We want to fund organisations whose primary objective is to increase the quality, scale and impact of the giving of time, assets, skills and/or funding, whether by individuals, businesses, independent trusts and foundations and/or statutory bodies. We want to focus our funding on projects developed by these organisations to support stronger, more open and inclusive links between donors (as described above) and the voluntary and community sector.

To find out more, see our Connecting the Capital page.

Place-based giving schemes

Place-based giving schemes bring together people from different sectors (voluntary and community; public; private) to build stronger communities and leverage their community assets. We expect successful applicants to be part of the London’s Giving network and their scheme to reflect the shared principles that underpin London’s Giving’s approach to place-based giving. To find out more, visit our Connecting the Capital page.


An Eco-audit assesses your current environmental performance, noting the good practices you already have in place and devising a detailed plan to improve your environmental performance. This can support organisational changes which minimise unwanted environmental damage, while also reducing costs.

Access improvements to community buildings

1) Access Audits

An Access Audit is the first step towards improving access to community buildings across London, making them more accessible and user-friendly for Deaf and disabled people, including people with sensory impairments, learning disabilities and mental health problems. The wider community can also benefit.

2) Capital funding for access improvements

We will consider access improvements that will make your community building more accessible and user-friendly for Deaf and disabled people, including people with sensory impairments, learning disabilities and mental health problems. We can consider capital funding of up to £100,000 towards access improvements. To find out more, visit our Connecting the Capital page and scroll down.


Support for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants

Support for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to access mainstream services and widen participation in the communities in which they live. We can provide funding for organisations which are working to tackle the barriers they face, and providing access to resources.

Such work can include mental and physical health support, provision of legal services, assistance with housing and educational needs, and much more.

To find out more, visit our Positive Transitions page.

Support and services for deaf and disabled people

Support and services for deaf and disabled people to increase choice and control in their lives. We want to fund work which removes or reduces the barriers preventing disabled people (including people who are experiencing long-term mental health difficulties and people with learning disabilities) from participating in society and living independently (this is often referred to as the social model of disability).

To find out more, visit our Positive Transitions page.

Tackling abuse, exploitation and hatred

We want all Londoners to live safe lives with dignity and respect. We therefore support work that prevents abuse, exploitation and hatred, as well as services that assist survivors. As well as organisations supporting the survivors of all types of abuse (including physical, sexual, emotional, economic coercion or neglect), we also fund organisations working with perpetrators.

To find out more, visit our Positive Transitions page.

Provision of advice and support to disadvantaged individuals

We want to fund advice and support for disadvantaged individuals in the following areas: benefits; debt & money; fuel poverty; employment problems; housing; or immigration status. To find out more, visit our Advice and Support page.

Food Poverty

We want to tackle issues related to hardship and crisis by funding the infrastructure needed to support the distribution of donated food. We are particularly keen to hear from organisations who work to ensure that clients receive culturally appropriate food. Please note that we are not able to directly fund the purchase of food for distribution. To find out more, visit our Advice and Support page.

Small Grants

Small Grants of up to £10,000 per year are available for a maximum of five years, for greening and growing projects which bring communities together and projects which enable disabled people and/or disadvantaged, older people to actively participate in wellbeing opportunities.

Continuation funding

Existing and eligible Bridging Divides or Investing in Londoners grant holders can apply for continuation funding, extending revenue funding up to a maximum of five years.

Stepping Stones

The Stepping Stones Fund is a grant-making, social investment readiness facility for charitable organisations in Greater London, delivered in partnership with UBS. The Fund aims to provide capacity building grants, and grants to pilot new ways of creating improved social outcomes.

Other City Bridge Trust funding programmes remain temporarily closed to new applications until further notice.

What we fund: guidelines

Our vision and mission

Our vision is for London to be a city where all individuals and communities can thrive.

Our mission is to and grow stronger, more resilient and thriving communities for a London that serves everyone.

It follows that we believe that we must live by our values which are:

  • Inclusion and representation
  • Care for the environment
  • Early action
  • Collaborative working with Londoners, communities and all sectors
  • Being adaptive, creative and purposeful.

Our assessment of your funding proposal will include an assessment of how your organisation lives these values and you should bear this in mind when drafting your proposal.

Our three key funding programmes are:

Each of these programmes is cross-cut by our two over-arching priorities of Reducing Inequalities and Enabling Voice & Representation.  You will need to demonstrate how your proposal sits within one of the funding programmes and how it will:

  • Reduce inequality (especially the additional prejudices that those experiencing inequality can face, such as people who are LGBTQI experiencing mental health issues being less able to access the right services and support).
  • Enable voice and representation for people who are disadvantaged.

We recognise that individuals and communities can face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and may self-identify differently in different contexts.   We particularly welcome applications that understand and tackle multiple causes and consequences of discrimination and offer appropriate, specialist responses.

Our intention is to learn from this strategy and the work we are funding.  We have appointed a learning partner Renaisi to work alongside us for the duration of the strategy, and where appropriate, we will adapt the strategy and funding programmes to reflect our learning and London’s changing needs.

Grants – big and small

  • We have no minimum or maximum revenue grant on our main Bridging Divides programmes.
  • Our Small Grants scheme scheme can provide up to £10,000 per year for up to five years, for smaller organisations with an annual income of less than £100,000.
  • A grant from the Trust cannot amount to more than 50% of an organisation’s turnover / income in any one year.
  • Requests for salary costs: it is the Trust’s usual practice to award salary costs at a level of no more than one full-time equivalent post.
  • Capital grants for access improvements will be for a maximum amount of £100,000 and will only be considered for improvements to existing community buildings (i.e. not new-build developments).

Track record

Usually, organisations are expected to have a demonstrable track record in the work they do, and be able to provide audited/examined accounts for at least one year which comply with the relevant regulatory body.

What type of grants do we give?

We give grants for either running (revenue) costs or capital costs (not both). Revenue grants can be for up to five years and applications for core funding are encouraged.

Grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded for disability access audits and disability equalities training or consultancy to help organisations obtain the best advice to develop their proposed projects. Organisations can also request a free eco-audit.

Grants will not usually be given to:

  • work where there is statutory responsibility to provide funding
  • organisations seeking funding to directly replace cuts by statutory bodies, except where that funding was explicitly time-limited and for a discretionary purpose
  • organisations seeking funding to top up on under-priced contracts
  • work where there is significant public funding available, including funding from sports governing bodies
  • residential care services or facilities
  • work in schools
  • work where employment is the primary outcome.

Organisations can usually only hold one grant at a time. Exceptions may include the following:

  • where one of the grants is an access audit or eco audit
  • an application is made under one of the Trust’s special one-off programmes
  • you are receiving or seeking funds through one of the Trust’s Strategic Initiatives.

If you are unsure, please contact us.

London Living Wage

City Bridge Trust is recognised as a Living Wage Funder. Any grant awarded by the Trust towards all or part of a post must be paid the Living Wage as minimum. We encourage all organisations we support to pay the London Living Wage as a minimum to all its staff.

Applying for core cost funding

Core cost funding can be considered in relation to those element(s) of an organisation’s work which meet our priorities. For example, a community centre which has five projects of which only one meets our criteria can be considered for core costs in relation or proportional to that project.

Core cost funding will be tapered over the number of years offered in order to encourage the organisation to think and plan for replacement funding. Core cost funding in Year 1 will be at a maximum of 10% of an organisation’s annual turnover (as defined by their latest examined/audited accounts) up to a maximum of £50,000. Examples of taper are:


Year 1Year 2 Year 3Year 4Year 5


Core cost funding still has to be shown and treated as a restricted grant within an organisation’s accounting. This is because the amount awarded will be related to elements of work/projects which meet our criteria and which must only benefit Londoners.


Policy on reserves

We do not apply rigid criteria on what constitutes a reasonable level of unrestricted reserves. Applicants must justify their level of free unrestricted reserves in relation to their stated reserves policy and their obligations as set out in accordance with guidance issued by the Charity Commission or other regulatory body.



Applications are accepted throughout the year. Our turnaround time is six to nine months.