Community grant scheme

Grants of £5,000- £20,000 are available to support work with:

  • parents, families or communities of young people in the age range 13-19

  • living in identified target wards with low HE participation in East Anglia

The community grant scheme is now closed to applications.

All projects funded through the community grant scheme must be completed by 30th November 2018. 


Resources for successful applicants

If you have any questions about the funding or application process,  please get in touch with us at

Contact us

How to apply

Applications will only be accepted through our online application system.

You can download a sample application form and information for applicants
to help you plan your application.


The community grant scheme is open to not-for-profit organisations. This includes, but is not limited to, museums, community groups, educational charities, arts groups and libraries. The scheme is intended for work outside of schools, unless working with a network of schools in a way essential to the programme’s success.

Projects must be working with audiences from neaco target wards within either Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. Applicants can only apply to one county in a given application round.

Your activity must take place between March and November 2018. All activity and returns of data and evaluation must be completed by Friday 30th November 2018.

Schools and sixth form colleges may apply for the schools grant scheme. Parent-teacher associations and other organisations working on behalf of a school, and organisations directly connected to a partner university (such as student unions) are not eligible for the Community Grant Scheme.

Organisations which have already received funding in an earlier application round, or as a partner or contractor funded by neaco are not eligible to apply.

Unless otherwise advised, unsuccessful applications should not be re-submitted in future application rounds without significant changes.

Selection criteria

All applications will be judged on the following criteria and should clearly demonstrate:

  • How you will target the parents, families or communities of young people in the age range 13-19 (years 9-14) in one or more neaco target wards

  • How you will reach this audience and embed the project in the local community
    You can use our postcode tool to check whether the people you work with live in target wards.

  • Your experience and understanding of the local community and barriers to progression to higher education. Applications from organisations already working in the local area, and collaborative applications bringing together organisations are particularly encouraged

  • Where practical, how you will collect data from participants so we can track and evaluate
    neaco will provide forms and templates to enable data collection and help ensure compliance with data protection legislation.

  • How your approach will contribute to increasing the number of students aged 13-19 from target wards progressing to Higher Education. This may include any course of prescribed HE, whatever the mode of study (HND, HNC, foundation degree, degree, higher apprenticeship)

  • What evidence you have to show that the proposed approach/type of activity is impactful, and an effective use of the funding, given what you understand of the success of the method of outreach and its suitability to the characteristics of the gaps areas and the communities therein

  • How your approach to outreach delivery is innovative, compared with existing activity for your target audience in the local area, and additional or complimentary to neaco’s own provision?

Restrictions on funding

Grants will not be awarded to:

  • cover the cost of hardware, apparatus or equipment such as cameras or computers etc, unless it is shown to be integral to the project, will be used beyond the project lifetime to support progression to HE and does not make up the majority of the project costs

  • programmes where supporting target students progression to HE is not the primary objective

  • fund large competition prizes

  • projects whose aim is to generate a financial surplus

  • projects where our funding does not significantly enhance the activity

  • fund an organisation's existing programme of activities. Funding may be used to expand or enhance an existing programme

  • on-going salary costs or recruitment to new roles. Funding may be used to cover the costs of existing staff time, as long as the funding does not make up the majority of the staff member's salary

Successful applicants will:

  • be paid in instalments, to an agreed schedule

  • complete a short feedback form (provided by neaco) ahead of payments, and at the end of the project

  • be required to sign a legal agreement with the University of Cambridge, as the lead institution for the neaco project

  • comply with our evaluation and data collection requirements, using forms and templates provided by neaco

  • acknowledge neaco in any press releases, and use our logo on any marketing materials produced, either in print or online

Finance, reporting and evaluation