First wave of small grants announced

Bristol 2015, the organisation established to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, has announced the first 23 organisations to benefit from its Small Grants Fund.

Photo: Imayla
The successful applicants have all received a share of nearly £150,000 of funding to support new and existing projects in Bristol and the wider region.

The Small Grants Fund is one part of an extensive grants programme worth £2 million – by far the largest ever offered by a European Green Capital – designed to support and inspire grassroots activity in every part of the city.

One of the grants has been awarded to Life Cycle UK, a charity that aims to change people’s lives through cycling. The funding received will support a year-long nature-themed cycle project aimed at getting the over-55s and individuals experiencing mental health issues into Bristol’s green spaces.

Ed Norton, Fundraising & Marketing Officer for Life Cycle UK, commented:

“It’s fantastic to have been awarded this funding. We’re so excited that Life Cycle is able to add another exciting green project to the wonderful range of activities taking place next year – we can’t wait to get started!

“This funding will allow us to run a vibrant, year-long programme of nature-themed cycle rides which will specifically target two groups: the over-55s and individuals experiencing mental health issues.

“Both these groups are currently both less likely to cycle and less likely to spend time in Bristol’s wealth of green spaces and nature hotspots, than the average Bristolian.

“Our project aims to help overcome this imbalance and turn any more people from these underrepresented groups into active, healthy green citizens.”

ife Cycle UK runs projects in the city to help make cycling as accessible as possible as many people as possible.
Photo: Life Cycle UK
Another successful applicant was Imayla, an organisation based in Stokes Croft that offers learning opportunities for young people and families, combining creative arts and environmental activities.

Fiona Castle, Imayla’s Programme Manager, said:

“Imayla is really pleased to have been successful in winning this funding.

“We’ve been creating opportunities to support the relationship between young people, families and nature for many years across the city so it feels great to have this opportunity to develop our ‘Vocalise’ project as part of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.

“I hope Bristol will use this as a real springboard to ensure green thinking is at the heart of creating a sustainable and desirable city for all.”

The African Voices Forum (AVF) has been awarded a small grant to reduce fuel poverty amongst African and African-Caribbean communities in Bristol. David Gbao, Secrety General of AVF commented:

“The BME community in Bristol live in poor housing which are not energy-efficient. In addition they average wage on those homes is just under £20k.

“A good proportion of their income goes to fuel due to the increasing annual costs of heating their homes – this is more than 10%. 

“We hope to train atleast 10-15 champions under each BME community and also reach the wider BME community through general workshops. Working with Bristol Energy Project we can also visit atleast 200-250 homes through the BME champions.”

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 Ltd, commented:

“We’re thrilled to have awarded grants to innovative and inspiring projects from all corners of Bristol. We believe the success of all three of the Bristol 2015 grants funds is testament to the incredible energy and enthusiasm of the sustainability sector within Bristol and should be celebrated.”

Due to the unprecedented level of interest in the Small Grants Fund and the large number of high quality applications received during the first round, Bristol 2015 has streamlined the process for awarding future funding into two rounds rather than four, with the aim of reducing the administrative burden on applicants.

The deadline for the second and final round of funding has been extended to 27 February 2015.

Ronnie Brown, Development Director for Quartet Community Foundation which administers the fund, commented: “The panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of the applications we received in this first round, and the diversity of the projects they represent.”

An independent panel of technical experts representing Bristol 2015’s core themes – nature, energy, resources, transport and food – reviewed the applications against a set of robust criteria which match the ambitions and outcomes for the European Green Capital year. 

The Small Grants Fund is one of three grant-funding programmes launched by Bristol 2015. 

The Neighbourhood Partnerships Fund, launched in June 2014, was specifically created to support projects at a neighbourhood level while the Strategic Grants Fund will provide grants of between £25,000 and £50,000 for not-for-profit organisations. 

The applicants of the Strategic Grants Fund will be notified as to whether they have been successful or not on 24 December 2014.

Small Grants winners announced today include:

Talking Money

African Voices Forum

Ambition Lawrence Weston

Easton Energy Group

Bristol Community FM

Trinity Community Arts

Bristol Friends of the Earth

Bristol Hospitality Network

Dame Emily Park Project

Edible Futures CIC

Friends of Hannah More


Bristol Naturalists Society

Lockleaze Voice

Friends of Badock’s Wood

Life Cycle UK


Ecomedia Collective CIC

Travelling Light Theatre Company

The Schumacher Institute


Victoria Park Action Group

Avonmouth Community Centre Association