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Frequently-asked questions

  1. Is our organisation eligible to apply for the PCF fund?
    PCF is available to strong and robust community anchor organisations seeking to deliver projects that have been identified by the community as helping it achieve its outcomes. It is essential that you check your eligibility before you complete an application form. To assist this we have developed a pre-application eligibility checklist which outlines the relevant criteria.
  2. I have formed a new organisation so can I apply for funding?
    If you are a newly formed organisation with no track record of delivery in the local community then you are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria for funding.
  3. If our organisation is not community controlled can we still get funding?
    If your organisation can demonstrate that local people or community representatives are involved in your decision making structures then you may still be eligible to apply for PCF funding. Please refer to the pre-application eligibility checklist.
  4. Would we be better applying through an RSL or through our own organisation?
    Your organisation may be able to meet the eligibility criteria in its own right.  As we encourage partnership working where practicable, joint working with an RSL may help strengthen your application.
  5. What sort of projects will PCF fund?
    PCF will support projects that promote social inclusion and/or tackle poverty, including the mitigation of welfare reform and preventative action.  Examples include extending the range of services delivered from local facilities, increasing the number of people taking up volunteering opportunities, healthy eating initiatives, reducing the number of workless households and improving financial capability for low-income households.
  6. Can PCF fund the upgrade of community centre facilities?
    PCF is primarily a revenue fund. We will consider requests for capital funding if a robust case is made. In particular, applications seeking funding for community centres should demonstrate how the funding will benefit the community, deliver services that tackle disadvantage and provide a lasting legacy for local people.
  7. Will PCF provide funds for tenancy support?
    PCF will not provide funding for tenancy support (e.g. befriending services, handyman services, assistance with furnishing a home, rent advice) or projects where tenancy sustainment is the main focus of the project.
  8. Will PCF cover employment costs, and if so, under what circumstances?
    PCF will assist with direct employment costs associated with the delivery of a funded project. If requesting PCF funding for staff costs please include details of each post as a separate cost category in Q18.
  9. Will PCF fund energy efficiency projects?
    If you can demonstrate that the project will fit the PCF priorities of Tackling Poverty and/or Promoting Social Inclusion for the benefit of the community then PCF might be a possibility. However, you should check whether your proposal might fit better with the priorities of the Climate Challenge Fund or the Communities & Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES) : Infrastructure & Innovation Fund or any other renewable energy funding scheme first.
  10. Will PCF provide funds for feasibility studies for community enterprise proposals?
    The fund will primarily support revenue costs to assist with delivery of services and/or projects that have been identified by the community as meeting a local need. We would expect the initial feasibility work for a project to have already been carried out before proceeding to application for PCF funding.
  11. What information do I need to provide in the application to confirm the project’s aim, key tasks/milestones, outputs and outcomes?
    The Help Notes provide some examples of the type of information that is required. The outputs should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). The outcomes should be longer term and relate to the positive change that the project aims to have on the community.
  12. What level of match funding does PCF require?
    There is no specific PCF intervention rate, however, PCF will not fully fund all of your project’s cash costs.  As projects and services should be delivered in partnership there must be some cash match funding. The application will therefore need to demonstrate that you have worked with partners to present a viable funding package.  Each proposal will be considered on the basis of the information provided in the application.
  13. What period will the grant award cover?
    We will provide funding for any period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 depending on the proposal. If your proposal is approved the PCF grant offer will confirm the annual grant allocation for the financial year 2015/2016 which ends on 31 March 2016 (not calendar year ending on 31 December). You will be expected to draw down the full annual grant allocation in the financial year, in accordance with the conditions detailed in the grant offer.  We cannot guarantee to carry forward any unclaimed grant for payment in a subsequent financial year.
  14. Is there a closing date for applications or will we consider bids for future years?
    We will accept applications for funding in the financial year 2015/2016 if received by Friday  31 October 2014.  This must be submitted with your completed pre-application eligibility checklist.  Future funding rounds will be announced at a later date.
  15. Do I need individual applications for a project that covers more than one geographic area?
    No, one application can cover multiple areas. However, PCF is a community-led fund, therefore, the application must clearly demonstrate community support from each of the areas identified. Evidence of disadvantage and partnership working within each area should also be provided.
  16. Can I submit an application for a project that was previously funded by PCF grant?
    PCF is available to enable projects or services to either become more self-sustaining or to deliver a lasting legacy for the local community.  It is not a long term source of funding.  If you are submitting a request for PCF continuation funding in 2015/2016 your application must (i) include details of the project evaluation work that you’ve undertaken to date,   (ii) provide robust evidence of the progress towards achieving the project outcomes in terms of ensuring the project’s lasting legacy and/or future sustainability, and (iii) explain why further PCF funding is required in 2015/2016.
  17. Am I able to send in the application electronically?
    We would prefer to receive a signed electronic copy of the application form – the form must be signed by an authorised signatory of the applicant organisation before being submitted. If your application is successful your organisation will need to provide us with a schedule of authorised signatories for PCF paperwork, including applications. Details of the information required will be provided with the offer of grant.
  18. Can I submit other supporting documents, such as feasibility studies and business plans, with the application?
    The completed application form should be clear and concise. All of the key information must be provided in the application form itself. Additional documents and hyperlinks should only be provided by exception where this is directly relevant to the application, as they will not normally be considered as part of the application process. The items of relevance in any supporting documents should be clearly referenced in the application form.
  19. What types of things are considered to be an ‘in-kind’ contribution?
    This will depend on the proposal. However, as the fund is available to enable strong and robust community anchor organisations to support delivery of projects and services for the long-term benefit of local communities, any in-kind contributions will need to clearly demonstrate added value to the project. In-kind contributions should not be included in the cost/funding tables at Q18 and Q20 of the Application Form. Instead, details of any relevant in-kind contributions should be provided at Q22.
  20. How do I complete the cost/funding breakdowns for Q18 and Q20?
    All of the project cost categories should be listed separately in Q18. The requested PCF contribution for each cost category should be itemised in the appropriate column, with the total cost for each category being recorded in the total project cost column. If requesting PCF funding for staff costs please include details of the post(s) as a separate cost category. The other categories should make it clear what the costs relate to. Any VAT should be included as part of the relevant cost – it should not be identified as a separate cost category. The total sources of funding figure (incl PCF) in Q20 should equal the total cost figure in Q18. Please remember that PCF is available to support the delivery of projects and/or services. It is not available to support costs such as staff recruitment, community engagement, feasibility studies and monitoring work.
  21. Is there anything else I need to do before submitting the application form?
    You should check that you have completed the application form in full and that all of the questions have been answered. You should refer to the Application Form Help Notes for assistance with this. Please remember that both the applicant and the project must meet all of the PCF eligibility criteria. The project must also demonstrate that it will support the aims and outcomes of the Regeneration Strategy ‘Achieving A Sustainable Future’. Please also remember to submit your Pre-Application Eligibility Checklist with the completed application form.
  22. I can’t access the application form from the website.
    If you are having difficulty accessing the Pre-Application Eligibility Checklist, Application Form, Guidance or Help Notes from our website please email us at pcf@scotland.gsi.gov.uk and we will email electronic copies of these documents to you.
  23. Will claims be paid in advance of need?
    No, PCF will be paid quarterly in arrears. If your application for funding is approved the claim form that must be used will be included in the grant offer. This must be completed and submitted with the relevant supporting documents, such as invoices or itemised receipts, before the grant is paid. We may be able to pay salary costs in advance, however, you would need to include details regarding why this is required in the application form (question 23) for us to consider as part of the appraisal.
  24. Will there be information sessions I can attend?
    We are providing organisations with advice regarding the application process as enquiries are received therefore we don’t currently have any plans to run information sessions. However, if this changes we will advertise these on our website. You can send us an email to pcf@scotland.gsi.gov.uk if you have any questions.
  25. When will I be contacted about my application once it’s been submitted?
    The deadline for receipt of all applications by us is 31 October 2014.  Once all applications have been reviewed after the closing date we will aim to provide all unsuccessful applicants with feedback by the end of January 2015.  If your application is incomplete or does not provide the requested information we will be unable to consider your proposal.