The Community Initiatives Fund is available to voluntary organisations, community groups and Town and Parish Councils for projects which strengthen communities and make Essex a great place to live and work.

The £300,000 fund is for grants of up to £10,000 towards capital or revenue projects that benefit the wider community.​

This fund excludes projects that deliver their work outside the administrative area of Essex County Council (Thurrock and Southend). The Community Initiatives Fund is administered by the EALC on behalf of Essex County Council.

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

  • Development of community, social and recreational facilities such as village, church, scout halls and community shops (including general stores or pubs in some circumstances). In the instance of a capital project for a religious building, note that funding cannot be used for equipment used for religious purposes, but could be used to improve or refurbish a kitchen for example.
  • Community transport initiatives including minibuses (no single use or single group transport)
  • Development of environmental facilities, for example nature walks, wildlife reserves
  • Land acquisition for community benefit
  • Small capital costs required to deliver activities and services, such as IT equipment for digital skills training programme, furniture for a dementia café etc.

The deadline for full applications to the main CIF round this year is 18 August 2023.

Application Form 2023/24

Guidance Notes 2023/24