Big Lottery Fund - Youth Capacity Fund

Status:  Open to applications

Application Deadline: 19 November 2018


Grants are available to develop the capacity of small, local, frontline grassroots organisations based in Birmingham, Bradford, or Barking & Dagenham so they can better support disadvantaged young people who are not in education, employment or training.


Maximum Turnover: £ 250,000
Fund Value: £ 1,200,000
Maximum Value: £ 50,000

Value Notes

The total budget for the fund is £1.2 million.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available.

Extended Description

The new £1.2 million Youth Capacity Fund is provided with funding from dormant bank accounts and administered and managed by the Big Lottery Fund.

The funding is intended to support grassroots community groups based in Birmingham, Bradford, and Barking & Dagenham. These three areas were selected based on levels of youth unemployment and racial disparity rates.

There is particular interest in groups working with young people from within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.

The grants will enable organisations to improve their capacity to work with young people and build partnerships across their local area.

The Government announced early in 2018 that £90 million from dormant bank and building society accounts will be allocated to an ambitious youth initiative. A new organisation will be established to distribute this funding to help young people facing barriers to work to reach their full potential, with a focus on data from the Race Disparity Audit. The Youth Capacity Fund has been drawn from the £90 million to provide funding to small groups while the new organisation is setting up.

Latest Information

The deadline for initial applications is 19 November 2018 (12noon).                            

Key Criteria

Local voluntary or grassroots community groups based in the local authority areas of Birmingham, Bradford or Barking & Dagenham can apply.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a not-for-profit organisation or community group.
  • Have a turnover of less than £250,000 or
  • Employ less than three members of staff (full time or the equivalent part time/sessional hours).
  • Be already engaged with young people who are not in education, employment or training or identified as at risk of becoming so.

Partnerships of organisations can also be funded so long as the application is made by a partner who meets the eligibility criteria.

There is particular interest in:

  • Unconstituted groups who would consider developing their legal structure as part of the grant support.
  • Small BAME led community groups.
  • Groups and organisations that have not been funded by Big Lottery Fund before.
  • Volunteer-led groups who are looking to develop their team to include paid staff.
  • Informal partnerships working at a grassroots level.
  • Groups who would like to build their capacity to develop activity which addresses regional and racial disparities in youth employment.
  • Groups and activities that are based in wards with the highest youth unemployment and/or levels of disadvantage.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is intended to support organisations to:

  • Build their own capacity to deliver more for young people in the future, for example, improving fundraising capacity, organisational and staff development, business development work or youth voice development.
  • Develop partnerships across organisations, to help support grassroots organisations collaborate with other local organisations, including public bodies and businesses who can achieve wider impact together.

The funding can be used for organisational development, salaries, training and partnership development.


The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Individuals.
  • Profit making organisations.
  • Housing associations
  • Public bodies.
  • Religious or political activities.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Debts.
  • Research costs.

Application Procedure

Guidelines and the online form can be found on the Big Lottery Fund website.

There is a two-stage application process. The first step is to fill in the initial online form. Once this has been received, a local funding officer from the Big Lottery Fund will contact the applicant to discuss the proposal. Those who are successful at this stage will be invited to complete a full application form which can take between two to six weeks to complete.

Contact the Big Lottery Fund for further information.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
Big Lottery Fund 
1 Plough Place 
0345 4 10 20 30