External funding

Information about the main external funding sources and help organisations apply to them and the implications of Brexit for Suffolk.

The External Funding service helps organisations apply for funding from:

Funding can include:

  • grants
  • awards
  • loans
  • corporate donations

External funding, isn't normally awarded to individuals, but instead is awarded to:

  • charities
  • community groups
  • social enterprises
  • not-for-profit businesses
  • (sometimes) statutory organisations such as town, parish or local authorities

In addition to the standard donations or ways of charity giving, crowdfunding has gained prominence which can support the fundraising efforts of groups, individuals or businesses.

Funding is determined by a number of factors but mainly: who you are, what you want to do and location.  

The team works with and liaises with officers from Community Action Suffolk, Borough/District Council officers and the Suffolk Community Foundation.

Our main aim is to support organisations (mainly not for profits) by raising awareness of external funding opportunities, encouraging and supporting project development to meet fund objectives. 

This means initial ideas, proposals and submissions are the responsibility of the applying organisation with SCC officers supporting as a critical friend or mentor to the applicant. This approach ensures ownership and accountability. In summary, you are the expert.

The Implications of Brexit for Suffolk

The precise nature of the new relationship between the UK and the EU will now have to be decided in the course of what may be a protracted negotiation. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty succinctly sets out the process for leaving countries.

A two-year period of negotiation within which to agree terms with a weighted majority of the remaining EU states. To trigger Article 50, the UK has to give notice to the European Council. Negotiations will then begin in relation to the agreement for the country’s withdrawal from the EU and a framework for its future relationship with it.

Existing EU/UK treaties will cease to apply to the UK from the date of entry into force of its withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification was given. Extending the talks beyond two years requires a unanimous vote from the remaining member states.

At present, it appears that the UK is seeking informal negotiations with the EU prior to formally triggering Article 50. France and Germany do not favour informal negotiations.

The Local Government Association Chair Lord Porter has called for assurances from government that Local Authorities will still receive the £5.3bn in EU regeneration funding they have been allocated up to 2020. This was needed to create jobs, build infrastructure projects and boost growth.

What does this mean for EU funding and Suffolk?

Due to the timescales involved with negotiating an exit agreement, the UK will still benefit from and contribute to the EU budget. This will include our continued eligibility to apply to the European funding programmes and will continue until the UK officially begins its exit process.

All contract and grant agreements are legally binding documents between project partners and the managing authority. This means that despite our decision to leave the EU, these agreements will continue to require the European Commission to finance all UK partners should they apply for, and be successful with securing EU funding.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding our immediate future European funding is still a viable option for emerging project ideas across Suffolk whilst we negotiate our exit. Project ideas should continue to be worked up and submitted for consideration.

In the medium term Suffolk County Council will be looking at alternative sources of funding for projects so that the transition from the European funding to a UK funding is as smooth as possible. This approach will provide more certainty as to future funding for Suffolk.

The then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clarke, confirmed to the LGA that Local Councils will have a seat at the table with regard to the Brexit negotiations, and that the LGA chairman Lord Porter has been asked to put together a team of councillors representing all parties and all parts of the country to "to make good use of this seat at the table".

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