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Community Challenge Fund Applications are Open!


Sometimes it only takes a small amount of money to bring a good idea to life in your community.

The Community Challenge Fund is the simplest way to access money to make a real difference in your community.

You can bid for between £300 and £5,000 to fund a new, not for profit scheme, group, initiative or idea. This fund is available in Clacton, Harwich, Canvey, Harlow, Rural Braintree and parts of Colchester and Basildon.

You can only apply if you are :- 

  • Applying as an individual
  • Applying as a group (The applicant and other individuals they are working with) 
  • An un-constituted group (small scale voluntary groups who do not have any employees and who do not pay trustees or staff)
  • A Registered Charity, Community Interest Company (CIC) or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) (where this is a new proposal and not a part of your core business)

Perhaps you have been sitting on an idea for a while of how you can enhance your community and it has just lacked the necessary funding to get it started. If so, then this fund is for you. You may want to set up a food growing initiative in your local community to create a garden and social space, or perhaps you want to create an informal childcare club of likeminded parents in your local library.

This new fund is simple to apply for, so don’t worry if you have never applied for funding from a Council before.

The Community Challenge Fund forms part of Essex County Council’s commitment to reducing inequalities between different areas of our County, and Levelling Up Essex.

Examples of how the grant could be used include:

• training and equipment to share skills and create training opportunities,
• printing for a local event or newsletter,
• hosting and promoting an online magazine for young people,
• setting up a local community seed exchange,
• providing taxi or licensed hire vehicles to bring isolated residents together,
• setting up a clothes swap in a community hall.


For further information on the criteria, what areas are eligible and what the scheme will fund, please click the link below: 


Click here to view the criteria


For further information on the Community Challenge Fund and to make an application, please click the link below:


Click here to apply!