The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is running a competitive process to fund VCSE organisations nationally and regionally to provide support to BN(O)s across the UK.
Year 1 and Year 2 of the VCSE Grant Schemes
We have previously funded organisations to provide a range of support for Hong Kong BN(O)s which has included access to mental health services, help for people to find jobs and start their own businesses, and to meet people in their local communities, as well as a hate crime reporting service for BN(O)s and all other East and Southeast Asian communities in the UK who experience or witness racism or any other forms of hate.
As government announces a third year of support to help Hong Kongers settle into life in the UK we are inviting bids for National and Regional VCSE projects.
The total funding for the National VCSE Grant is up to £1.2 million. The funding for individual projects will range from £150,000 to £300,000 and is for UK wide support.
The total funding for the Regional VCSE Grant is up to £1.4 million across the 9 regions in England. The funding for individual projects will range from £20,000 to £40,000.
Whilst the £2.6 million grant funding competition is underway, the department is providing 3 additional months of funding for the 5 National VCSE organisations so that they can continue to provide UK wide support to BN(O)s. See further detail about these projects.
are running 2 online webinars about the VCSE Grant Scheme competition for 2023/2024. This will provide an opportunity for organisations interested in applying to hear more about the grant schemes and the application process.
You only need to attend one and they are on 9 or 16 March: Please register your interest in attending an event via the Eventbrite link.
The deadline to apply for the VCSE Grant Scheme competition (2023/2024) will be 31 March 2023.
Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme: Q&A about the VCSE Competition 23/24
What is the application process for the schemes?
What is the application process for the schemes?
Applicants for the national and regional grant scheme should submit an application via the digital form.
Applicants should follow the process outlined in the relevant prospectus for each scheme which includes guidance about how to complete the application form.
We will not accept applications or further supporting information via email.
What is the deadline for the schemes?
The deadline to apply for the National and Regional grant schemes is 23:59 on 31 March 2023.
Can my organisation still apply if it was provided with funding in year 1 and year 2 of the Programme?
Yes, you can still apply for year 3 funding. The competition is open to any organisation that meets the eligibility criteria set out in the prospectus.
Can my organisation apply if it was unsuccessful in previous competitions for funding?
Yes, the competition is open to any organisation that meets the eligibility criteria set out in the prospectus.
Can my organisation apply for both the DLUHC national/regional grants, and also apply for Welcome Hub or other grant funded projects to support Hong Kong BN(O)s?
Organisations may wish to apply for other grants. You need to be aware that grant recipients cannot apply for or obtain duplicate funding in respect of any part of the Funded Activities that have been paid for by the grant. This will form part of the grant agreement with the department.
Can my organisation send in supplementary information or documents to support our application?
No. Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider any supplementary information. This is to ensure we run a fair and transparent process for all organisations. We will score applications based on information provided in the application form.
Further information about this is provided in part 5 of the prospectus: guidance for completing the application form.
Which type of organisations can apply for the funding?
A list of eligible organisations is provided within the prospectus.
Does my organisation need to provide 2 years of financial accounts in order to apply for the grant?
The only group that must provide 2 years of financial accounts is a community group. This is due to community groups not having to register the formation of the group and will enable the government to carry out the financial and due diligence checks we are required to perform.
How are you going to ensure that the grants are given to organisations that are safe spaces for BN(O) status holders?
DLUHC is fully aware of the potential sensitivities with regards to Hong Kong and will undertake robust due diligence procedures before awarding funding to any organisation through the Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme. This includes assessing the appropriateness and suitability of potential grant recipients, and their ability to deliver the support required.
Do organisations have to comply with UK GDPR and/or data protection legislation?
All organisations must comply with all data protection requirements. Organisations will be asked to confirm their compliance as part of the application process. Compliance with UK GDPR and/or data protection legislation are also a core part of all grant funding agreements offered by DLUHC.
How many organisations will be successful through the grant schemes?
National VCSE Grant: we anticipate providing funding to around 5 organisations, although this will depend on the total number that are successful and the amount they bid for, considered against the total funding within the national funding pot. The scoring process is outlined in more detail in part 4 of the prospectus.
Regional VCSE Grant: each English region is granted an allocation of funding, weighted based on the regional population of BN(O)s. The numbers of successful organisations will depend on how much applicants bid for, and the number of successful applications we receive per region. The scoring process is outlined in more detail in part 4 of the prospectus.
How are you intending to monitor and evaluate reach of the schemes?
Monitoring: each project will be expected to provide bi-monthly reports to DLUHC. The reporting forms will be provided by DLUHC and will ask for organisations to provide both qualitative and quantitative updates on their project progress.
Evaluation: each funded project will be expected to complete an evaluation at the end of the delivery period. DLUHC will provide a template for each project to complete. Successful organisations will also be asked to produce a statement of grant usage and grants above £20,000 will need to submit an independent accountant report upon completion of the grant period.
Can I use the grant funding to support the requirement to submit an independent accountant report for grants over £20,000?
Yes, you can use grant funding to support this process at reasonable market rates.
Will funding be available beyond March 2023?
The funding for all the grant schemes is available to 31 March 2024. Any future funding for the programme will be subject to the Government’s Spending Review process.
Can this funding be used to support individuals with English language needs?
Organisations can support individuals with English language needs to complement the funding that DLUHC provides to local authorities for the provision of English language support.
What is the difference between the regional and national VCSE grant scheme?
The National Scheme is open to VCSE organisations or consortiums with UK wide reach and must provide an offer to BN(O)s in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Funding range: £150,000 – £300,000.
The regional scheme is open to VCSE organisations in England only. The aim is to provide community support to BN(O) status holders in regions across England. Funding range: £20,000 – £40,000.
Can an organisation apply for the regional and national schemes?
Those organisations applying for the National VCSE Grant Scheme are eligible to apply for the Regional VCSE Grant Scheme but must present a distinct offer as part of this scheme, and vice versa.
Whilst organisations can apply for both schemes, we want to encourage organisations with local knowledge and networks to apply for the regional scheme and will be assessing on this basis. It is more likely that a larger organisation with UK-wide reach will be better placed to apply for the national scheme.
A separate application form will need to be completed per application.
Can an organisation apply for regional grants in more than one region?
Yes, however a distinct offer must be provided for each region, highlighting links to the regional priorities outlined by the Welcome Hub for that area (and set out in the prospectus).
Will you be running any promotional events so that organisations interested in bidding can find out more about the schemes?
Yes, DLUHC is planning to run events on 9 and 16 March to talk about the schemes in more detail and the application process.
We encourage those organisations that want to apply for the funding to attend these events.
You can apply to attend these events at: GOV.UK
Why are you providing additional funding to the national organisations?
Whilst the funding competition is underway, we are providing three additional months of support for the 5 national (UK-wide) organisations to continue their support for BN(O)s (subject to grant funding agreements).
Further detail about these organisations is provided on GOV.UK.
How will regional support be provided to BN(O)s whilst the competition is underway?
The government is continuing to fund the 12 Welcome Hubs across the UK to provide regional support to BN(O)s. Contact details for each Hub can be found on GOV.UK
BN(O)s can continue to access the Welcome Pack on gov.uk and English language and destitution support as needed via the Local Authorities. The 5 national organisations will be continuing to provide UK wide support to BN(O)s (subject to agreeing grant funding agreements).
Can I include education resources for schools as part of my grant bid?
Whilst we welcome support that helps BN(O) families to access advice about schools and education, we are not currently accepting bids for education resources for use by teachers within the classroom.
However, we would expect that bids could cover some of the following:
- providing advice about the school system in the UK,
- sessions for parents or pupils about school life,
- preparing children for going to school,
- ensuring that information is accessible.