Top Ten Tips for Applicants
1. Start planning early
If your project is successful you will need to be very organised in order to be able to claim the money. It is much easier if you understand from the start what you will need to do later. You can then budget in the costs to your project. Don’t try to change your project in order to match the funding stream – there will be more appropriate sources of funding out there.
2. Talk to other similar projects in your area
You may get some good ideas from other projects, and your project is likely to be stronger if you can collaborate with others.
3. Check the website and guidance notes when completing your form
There is lots of help and information available for you to save you time and make your life easier. The guidance notes explain a lot about what we are looking for in your application and even give some examples of how to fill in the form. Take time to read them several times to avoid simple mistakes being made.
4. When writing your application, assume that the reader knows nothing about your organisation or your project
Explain clearly who you are and what you intend to do. It is fine to use acronyms if you explain them the first time you use them. Try to see your project from the LEADER panel’s point of view. What will make them want to fund it? The funding is discretionary, so make full use of the application form to explain what is different and exciting about your project.
5. Make sure you explain exactly what you want the money for
Explain very clearly what you want the money for and how you have arrived at these costs to make sure the decision makers understand your project properly
6. Include the right skills and expertise in your project team
It won’t help if you try to “make do” – you need to ensure that you have the right skills to carry out your project effectively. That gives your project the best chance of success, and any professional skills you reasonably need to buy in can also be added to the project costs.
7. Every section of the application form will be considered when making the final decision
For example, evidence of need helps to show why you need to carry out the project at all. The options appraisal helps show how you came to the conclusion that the project proposal is the best way to meet these needs. The risk assessment demonstrates that you have really thought the project through and are realistic about what could go wrong and how you would deal with it.
8. It may help to provide additional information with your form
If you have them, your environmental and equal opportunities policies will help show that you take our cross cutting themes seriously. You may want to include letters of support. Capital projects will be expected to provide architect’s plans.
9. Grants are paid in arrears, so make sure you can cover cashflow
You will have to pay the invoices in relation to your project before you can claim the money back, so make sure you have a way of paying them in the first place.
10. Your project sponsor is there to help you –
Rima.firstname.lastname@example.org or 015242 51002