0333 321 3021


The Spirit of Manchester Active Communities Fund

Macc, Spirit of Manchester & Eric Wirght Charitable Trust


New Round of Mini-grants

(Financed by the Eric Wright Charitable Trust)

Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups can apply for a mini-grant of up to £500 to increase the number of people getting involved in their communities to address needs anywhere in Manchester’s neighbourhoods. Grant holders must be able to complete their projects and have spent their grant by April 2019.

Macc administers the Fund on behalf of the Eric Wright Trust as part of our annual Spirit of Manchester programme, which celebrates the city’s VCSE sector.

How to apply
Around twelve mini-grants of up to £500 are available.

The online application form can be found here and the downloadable Word version is here. The deadline for completed funding applications is midday on Friday 25 January 2019.

All applications will receive an acknowledgment email. If you do not receive the email, it means that your application has not been received and will not be assessed for funding. If you have any problems submitting your form, contact Oliver Cranfield at Macc on 0161 834 9823 or via oliver@macc.org.uk.

For detail about how we will handle any information you submit, please click on the Personal data: your rights link at the foot of this page.

Who can apply?
Only voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations based in Manchester with a constitution, an organisational bank account and an annual turnover of less than £100,000 can apply for this funding.

We hope a wide variety of organisations in Manchester come forward representing a range of activity areas within the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

Please note successful applicants are required to provide a short report at the end of their mini-grant-funded projects.

What can the mini-grant be used for?
We want to fund activity that increases the number of people getting involved in their communities. Everyone should be able to have the chance to volunteer and be an active part of their community but sometimes organisations lack resources to be able to make their activity as accessible or as open as they would like. The Active Communities Fund supports groups to put in place whatever they feel would increase the number of people able to volunteer with them, e.g. publicity, open events or supporting the needs of people who may otherwise struggle to get involved in your activity. Here are some illustrations that might assist your ideas for developing a bid.

We would particularly like to fund projects that:

  • create additional volunteering opportunities, and / or
  • increase participation in active citizenship, and / or
  • create connections with other organisations (including businesses) to meet local needs

You will need to estimate how many people and hours volunteering this funding will generate. E.g. to deliver your proposed activity will require approximately x number of people volunteering for x number of hours.

IMPORTANT: the Active Communities Fund is unable to support:

  • activities outside the city of Manchester
  • contributions towards existing projects or fundraising appeals
  • ongoing running costs
  • the work of individuals
  • projects that promote a particular political or religious viewpoint

Key dates

Stage Date
Funding round open for bids W/c 10 December 2018
Deadline for completed applications Midday on Friday 25 January 2019
Applicants will learn the outcome of their submissions. Successful applicants will then undergo due diligence checks before mini-grants can be paid (see section further below) By Friday 8 February
Mini-grants to be paid (dependent on prompt compliance with due diligence checks) ASAP in early February
Projects need to have spent their funding no later than April
Deadline for end of project report Within 3 weeks after your project has finished


Important – due diligence checks of successful applicants

Please note that before mini-grants can be paid, due diligence checks will be carried out on successful applicants so that we can verify your organisation is active locally and financially solvent.

By Friday 8 February, applicants will be informed as to whether or not their bid has been successful. Successful organisations will then be asked to promptly provide the following information ASAP:

  • the organisation’s constitution / memorandum and articles of association
  • a bank statement in the name of the organisation and dated no earlier than December 2018
  • the names and home addresses of two Trustees

NB. Due diligence documentation will not need to be provided if your organisation has received a grant through Macc since January 2018.

Help with your application

We advise you to seek support to complete a mini-grants application. Either Macc’s Capacity Building Team or Active Communities Team can provide assistance through their usual referral processes.

The Capacity Building Team are able to advise on general aspects of project development and good bid writing. The Active Communities Team can offer more specialist support to applicants by discussing their ideas about volunteering, active citizenship and asset based community development, and by providing information on these areas.

Groups are free to request support on the 0333 321 3021 support line or via info@mcrcommunitycentral.org. Macc will manage requests subject to its capacity. Please get in touch sooner rather than later to have a better chance of getting support.

Macc's Capacity Building and Active Communities teams provide this support separately to the administration of this mini-grants programme and to the decisions made by the grants selection panel.

Good luck!