Investing in Communities Fund round two: final funding guidance

Investing in Communities Fund 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026: guidance note for applicants.

Application questions

The full application will be available to view and complete when the fund officially opens on 31 May 2022. However to enable you to begin preparing your proposal we have provided a summary of the key questions below. You should note that your application will need to demonstrate how the project will seek to meet/address all four areas for action and the fund’s outcomes.

You should note that some questions will include maximum word or character limits for your answers so please be clear, specific, relevant and concise. Whilst the maximum word limits are indicated below where applicable, you should note that the final application form might work to character limits instead.

If you are unable to answer a question in the application form please clearly explain why. However, please bear in mind that if the application is materially incomplete – meaning that a significant amount of the application contains little or no information in answer to the questions – then we will be unable to progress the application to assessment stage.

Applicant information

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • information confirming that your organisation meets the criteria for eligible applicant organisations as detailed in the guidance
  • the applicant organisation’s full name, registered office address and its main contact person for the application
  • a short description of your organisation and its current role in the communities in which it operates (300 word limit)
  • details of the client groups your organisation specifically works with

Project proposal - summary information

We will ask you to provide key information about your project proposal, including:

  • project title
  • the local authority area(s) and community(ies) in which the project activity(ies) will take place
  • the thematic descriptors that best describe your proposed project activity(ies) (for example: learning/skills development, income maximisation/financial capability, improving health and wellbeing, child poverty, food insecurity)

You will then be asked to answer the following questions:

What do you want to do?

What you plan to do/how will it be delivered, who the activity is aimed at and who will deliver it? (500 word limit)

Why do you want to do it?

Why the project is needed and how the community has been involved in identifying the need and how the impacts of Covid have informed the design of the project. (400 word limit)

What difference will the project make?

How will it contribute to the aims and objectives of the fund relating to reducing poverty, inequality and disadvantage; what will its lasting benefit be and how you will consider sustaining the project after the ICF funding period? (500 word limit)

How will the proposal contribute towards positive climate action?

Tell us the ways in which your project or your organisation can support positive climate action and how your project will support a just transition to Net Zero.  Tell us about any climate benefits the project may have, such as: are you aware of or have you considered if/how you could reduce the carbon impact of the project? How could/will the project encourage positive behaviour change and/or increase understanding of climate change within your community? (400 word limit)

How will local people be involved?

How will you involve local people in the design, development and delivery of the project, including consideration of diversity and equalities? (400 word limit)

Who will you work with to deliver the proposal?

What groups/organisations within the community and/or in the public sector do you have a working relationship with, what ways are you working with them and what type of partnership arrangement(s) do you have with them and why is this important to ensure delivery of this proposal? How you intend to maintain and strengthen these partnerships to improve accessibility to and overall provision of the project for the people in your community? (400 word limit)

How will the project complement wider place plans for your community?

How does the project complement and add value to current local service provision and how it contributes/compliments wider plans in your community? (300 word limit)

How will the project support community resilience and sustainability?

How the project will identify and build on the strengths of people, local assets and resources within your community? (300 word limit)

Project proposal - costs and duration

This section of the application will capture the total annual project cost and duration of the project by financial year (i.e. 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26; (this being the 1st April in one year to the 31st March in the following year). You will have to fully complete a project budget template providing a detailed breakdown of the cost categories and amounts you are seeking from ICF.

You will be asked to explain the ways the project budget represents best value in supporting delivery of the project outcomes (for example, tendering processes, shared resources, consideration of best value and evidence that all the requested ICF funding is necessary).

If you are requesting more than the £350k maximum you will also be asked to provide a clear justification for this.

Key project activities and outcomes

You will be asked to complete a table listing the key activities and outcomes that your project will deliver each financial year of your requested ICF grant funding period. Your project outcomes must demonstrate the ways in which they will contribute towards each of the four areas of action for the fund and associated outcomes as detailed in the ICF Round 2 Guidance Note:

  • tackling poverty and inequality, including child poverty
  • developing and sustaining place based approaches
  • community-led regeneration
  • ensuring a just transition to net zero

Help note

Outcomes are:

  • the reason why the project is necessary, the change it will deliver and the positive impact it will achieve
  • produced as a result of the project activities (e.g. improved life chances for 350 young people by enabling them to secure permanent employment and a sustainable household income). Just completing the project activities does not guarantee that the outcomes are also achieved

Activities are:

  • directly produced by the project (e.g. delivered 10 skills development training courses to support 500 unemployed young people living in poverty)
  • the delivery actions that aim to achieve the project outcomes

Should your application be successful please remember that you will be required to demonstrate measurable progress towards achieving/completing the activities and outcomes as part of our project monitoring progress update reports (details of which will be provided in the ICF offer of grant for successful applications).

Fair work framework criteria

The Fair Work Framework Criteria is part of Scottish Government’s commitment for Scotland to be a fair and equal society. You will be asked how your organisation will commit to the Fair Work Framework Criteria over the period of the ICF funding.

Application declaration statement

This page must be signed by an authorised signatory within the lead applicant organisation who has the relevant level of authority to submit the application on the organisation’s behalf.



Back to top