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Funding is available through Colne Community Builders to registered charities and other properly constituted not-for-profit groups that can make a measureable, positive and lasting impact in the communities where Colne has a presence.

With £20,000 on offer this year, we are keen to hear from organisations of any size. Unlike many other grant makers we do not restrict our funding to particular ‘themes’ such as disability, employment or the elderly, rather we want to encourage innovation and believe that local people know best what’s needed in their neighbourhood.

Sustainability is very important for us, so we want to work in partnership to make sure that you’re in a stronger position once our grant funding comes to an end. We’re particularly interested in proposals that engage volunteers, improve the quality of your service, help you reach more people, can attract matched funding from elsewhere or involve working with other groups.

Last year Colne Community Builders gave four grants to projects that helped an estimated 1,925 people. Our contributions secured additional support worth approximately £98,000, and once the grants came to an end, three out of four recipients reported being confident of their project’s survival beyond 12 months.

We awarded:

  • Colchester Foodbank, holistic training package for clients and volunteers £4,000
  • CIC Living Room, provide decluttering and home organisation £2,400
  • Hythe Community Centre, Older Person's Community Inclusion Project £4,500
  • YMCA, youth on Greenstead project  £4,000
  • Only Cowards Carry, schools training programme £2,500
  • Disability 4 Sport, pan-disability clubs £1,150
  • Nurture Dogs, establishing therapy farm £4,000

The Colne Communty Builders prospectus gives more detail about how the grants panel decides who and what to fund.
To apply for a grant, please visit Essex Community Foundation.


How Colne Community Builders helps

"We were so grateful to Colne for their start up grant, as well as the practical advice they gave us to help launch our pan disability sports club. We now have thriving U/12, U/16 and adult sessions as well as a big name patron in local Paralympian Zoe Newson!”

Abigail Saxon, Founder and Director, Disability4Sport 

“Colne’s approach to grant funding is highly refreshing. Instead of dictating the agenda they support the best sustainable ideas that come from local people themselves. Colchester Catalyst values its close working relationship with Colne Community Builders which helps get projects up and running with a mix of financial support, advice and access to contacts.”

Rodney Appleyard, Development Officer, Colchester Catalyst (funder) 

Case study

Parkston Welfare Park is a perfect example of the sort of project we look to back. It’s an initiative led by local people that enhances the quality of accessible public space and, most crucially, brings the community together to create life opportunities for people of all ages.

The idea was sparked when a group of residents became frustrated by vandalism at a neglected park. Convinced that they could do better they formed an association and persuaded the council to grant a long lease on peppercorn terms.

With vision, energy and resourcefulness they have since landscaped the park, installed new equipment and set up a broad range of activities including a craft workshop, football team and an angling club. Colne’s £4,000 contribution enabled them to construct wooden walkways next to a river, which were built with volunteer labour.

“We’re grateful that Colne understand the benefits that come when you support local people to take accountability and control. It builds communities and makes for happier, healthier neighbourhoods.”

Bill Davidson, Chair, Welfare Park Association