Connecting the Capital

What we want to achieve

City Bridge Trust’s mission is to help make London’s communities stronger, more resilient and thriving.  To achieve this, we believe that a healthy and vibrant and well-resourced voluntary sector, working with communities and across sectors, plays a vital role.

What we want to change

Under the Connecting the Capital funding programme we want to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Local communities have better, more sustainable, assets (financial, physical, environmental).
  • Civil society organisations are more effective and resilient.
  • Londoners experiencing inequality or disadvantage are better heard and represented leading to better decision-making.
  • Londoners experiencing inequality or disadvantage have greater well-being and independence through improved access to arts, sports and other community facilities and services.

What we will fund

Applications must be for one of the Trust’s Connecting the Capital priority areas, listed below. These priorities will be subject to review throughout the lifetime of Bridging Divides to make sure we best achieve our outcomes.

We welcome applications for up to five years of funding (apart from Voice and Leadership, which is currently subject to a maximum of two years), and core funding will be considered (please see our current policy on core cost funding here).

Open funding programmes

Infrastructure funding: capacity building and representation

We want to fund organisations providing support to other voluntary, social enterprise and community sector organisations. We want to support a civil society that is adaptable, resilient, collaborative, sustainable and driven by communities, with a focus on tackling deep seated structural inequalities to improve outcomes for Londoners.

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.

Based on grants made to date, we have awarded between £24,000 and £500,000 for work under this strand. The average award size has been £184,000. Please note that these figures are illustrative only, and that we can award more or less than these amounts depending on the applications we receive.

Please note: this funding strand is concerned with the work that infrastructure / second tier organisations do to support front line charities, social enterprises and community groups. Work which represents and/or supports a wider network to maximise their potential. We will announce plans for funding of community voice and leadership work soon.

For more information see Infrastructure funding: capacity building and representation.

Increasing the quality and scale of giving

We want to fund organisations which are uniquely focused on increasing the quality and scale of philanthropy (the giving of time, assets, skills and/or funding).

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. Our aim is to improve the voluntary and community sector’s sustainability, particularly around issues, places or communities which currently struggle to secure support.

We would need to be satisfied that our funding supported philanthropy for the benefit of the inhabitants of Greater London. To make an application, please visit our How to apply page.

Place-based giving schemes

Place-Based Giving Schemes (PBGSs) bring together people from different sectors (voluntary and community; public; private) to build stronger communities and leverage their community assets.  Applications should build on our work through London’s Giving and enable place-based giving schemes to develop and become more sustainable.

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.

Based on grants made to date, we have awarded between £100,000 and £327,000 for work under this strand. The average award size has been £299,000. Please note that these figures are illustrative only, and that we can award more or less than these amounts depending on the applications we receive.

To make an application, please visit our How to apply page.

Voice and leadership

We want to fund specialist organisations who work with under-represented or marginalised communities, and the organisations that support them, to strengthen voice and leadership.

Awards under this programme are currently for no more than £100,000 over two years.

To make an application, please visit our How to apply page.

Making London a greener city for all

Revenue funding

We want to support local (whether neighbourhood, borough, sub-regional, or pan-London) approaches to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change, designed for the specific needs of the area and community.

This could be (but is not limited to) work focused on protecting, managing, expanding, or enriching green spaces, tackling poor air quality, flood/drought mitigation, promoting biodiversity, adapting to climate change, or enabling access to growing spaces.

Strong applications will show environmental consideration throughout, for example a food growing project should be using peat free compost and avoid herbicides.

We welcome applications from environmental organisations, as well as community organisations in collaboration with environmental specialists. We particularly welcome partnership applications and proposals that bring different sectors together to find solutions to the climate crisis.

Applications must have a clear community benefit and show evidence of community engagement. We particularly welcome proposals for work that address the way London’s lower income and minoritized communities face disproportionate burdens from climate change.

We particularly welcome partnership applications and proposals that bring different sectors together to find solutions to the climate crisis.

As part of our commitment to tackling the root causes of climate change, we do not just fund services, but also other activities including influencing, raising voices, and ensuring representation where this has a London focus. You may be interested in our ‘Voice and Leadership’ funding (scroll up).

Infrastructure organisations are also welcome to apply under this programme, but if you want to support your network or members to improve their approach to climate change, please see our funding stream Infrastructure funding: capacity building and representation.

Where we can, we will look to support funded work by drawing on our own networks and assets. To make an application, please visit our How to apply page.

Eco-audits

Our Eco-audits help organisations to be more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Eco-audits are free and available to all eligible organisations including those applying for, or in receipt of, a Bridging Divides or Investing in Londoners grant.

Applications for Eco-audits will usually only be considered where the lease on the building has at least two years to run. Please follow this link for the Eco-audit application process.

Capital funding for building works identified through an Eco-audit to reduce carbon footprint, improve resource use, and enhance biodiversity

We can also support improvements that reduce the carbon footprint of your building (this could be your office, a community building or other charitable space). Works could include (but are not necessarily limited to) insulation, solar panels, heat pumps, on-site biodiversity schemes, and energy efficient lighting systems. We can consider capital funding of up to £150,000 towards greening improvements.

We can support work in buildings that benefit the wider community, but we cannot fund work in connection with space that is used solely for the promotion of religion, or where work which has already been completed.

Applications for capital funding for greening work must have an accompanying City Bridge Trust Eco-audit prepared in the last three years. Please attach this to your application.

Applications for capital work will usually only be considered where you either own your building or (if rented) the lease on the building has at least 10 years to run.

To make an application, please visit our How to apply page.

Access improvements to community buildings

Access Audits

We will consider funding Access Audits for buildings, design appraisals and disability awareness training up to a total value of £5,000.  The Access Audit must be carried out by an independent specialist, registered with the National Register of Access Consultants or through our partner, the Centre for Accessible Environments.

Applicants will need to attach a quotation from an access auditor.

Applications for Access Audits will usually only be considered where your organisation’s lease on the building has at least five years to run.  You cannot apply for additional capital funding unless an independent Access Audit has been carried out. We can only support work that benefits the wider community -please note that we cannot fund work in connection with the promotion of religion.

Based on grants made to date, we have awarded between £1,000 and £5,000 for work under this strand. The average award size has been £3,500. Access audit awards are capped at £5,000.

Click here for more information on Access Audits and to start an application.

Capital funding for access improvements to community buildings

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 considerations. We can consider capital funding of up to £150,000 towards access improvements.

We can support work that benefits the wider community, for example, making a church hall that is open to everyone more accessible for disabled people. Please note that we cannot fund work in connection with the promotion of religion, or building work which has already been completed.

Applications for capital funding must have an accompanying access audit or design appraisal prepared by a suitably qualified individual. Please attach this to your application.

Applications for capital costs will usually only be considered where the lease on the building has at least 10 years to run.  To apply for capital works you must be able to provide evidence that an access audit has been conducted.

Based on grants made to date, we have awarded between £20,000 and £100,000 for work under this strand. The average award size has been £82,000. Please note that this figure is illustrative only, and that we can award more or less than this amount depending on the applications we receive. Capital funding awards are capped at £150,000.

To make an application for capital funding, please visit our How to apply page.

Applications for funding

To learn more about making an application for Connecting the Capital funding, please visit our How to apply page.

Please note that Eco Audits and Access Audits have separate application processes.