Merton’s Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund and Community Climate Action Fund are now closed. 

The Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund is for projects to address demands placed on neighbourhoods by new development such as housing. It is funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy.

The Community Climate Action Fund is to support community-led projects that help reduce carbon emissions or build resilience to the impacts of climate change. We are running one bidding round for the Community Climate Action Fund each year from 2023 to 2025, with around £166,000 of funding available in each round.

Bidding round 2023

The table below sets out the indicative timetable for the 2023 bidding round.

Both funds opened on 27  September 2023. The bidding window was open for 5 weeks and closed on 1 November 2023.



Communications and outreach to generate local interest

Late July to November - Complete

Applications were open

5 weeks in autumn 2023 (27 September – 1 November 2023) - Complete

Application review 

November 2023 – January 2024

Cabinet sign-off on allocations

February 2024

Due diligence

From March 2024 (can take up to 4 months)

For grants to organisations due diligence will include assessments under the Subsidy Control Act 2022.

Grant agreements and programming with successful bidders

From March 2024 (can take up to 6 months)

Award and payment of grants

From March 2024 once (and only if) due diligence is successfully completed and the grant agreement is signed.  The grant agreement will include payment schedules that will specify project milestones when grant payments will be made.

  • Total funding available:
    • Investing in Neighbourhoods: £750,000
    • Community Climate Action Fund: £166,000

Examples of previous successful bids

Bramcote parade before and after

Bramcote Parade, Mitcham

£105,000 for shopfront refurbishments (top: before, bottom: after)
Uptown Youth

Uptown Youth

£30,000 funding for youth services for 2021/22 academic year

Colliers Wood Rec

£67,000 for improvements to support older children play area provision
Abbey Rec signage

Abbey Recreation Ground and Merton Green Walks

£40,000 for works including new signage, planting, habitat creation, benches
Hartfield Walk

Hartfield Walk, Wimbledon

£125,000 for livening up the public realm

Morden Baptist Church

£7,000 for an open-to-all community garden (from an allocation of £300,000 for improvements in Morden Town Centre)
Deen City Farm

Deen City Farm

£36,616 for various improvements including pathway enhancements
Energy Matters

Energy Matters

Energy Matters - £63,000 for the development and delivery of energy education materials in Merton Schools

These are examples of projects we have funded through the Investing in Neighbourhoods fund (previously the Neighbourhood Fund) since it was launched in 2018. For more information about previous bidding rounds, see Spending the Community Infrastructure Levy.

This is the first round of the Community Climate Action Fund, so we don’t have any examples of previous successful bids.

Who could apply

The Investing in Neighbourhoods fund was open to organisations who can bid for grant funding and any local resident with an idea that can be delivered by the council.

The Community Climate Action Fund was open to organisations who can bid for grant funding and any local resident with an idea that can be delivered by an identified delivery partner; this delivery partner cannot be the council.

How to apply

The following sections set out the requirements and criteria that were given to bidders for both the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund and the Community Climate Action Fund. The same bidding form applies to both funds.

Click each step to view details.


We look for proposals that would directly result in fantastic outcomes for our neighbourhoods and would address demands that development projects such as new housing schemes place on them.

We look for bids that:

  • have the support of the organisation that the bidder represents,
  • have the approval of all parties with a legal interest in the land, asset or service that is the subject of the bid, and
  • do not conflict with statutory, regulatory or policy requirements of the council or other relevant regulatory bodies.

We are unlikely to support bids that:

  • only support projects, programmes, features or assets unaffected by development and which would have little or no benefit to development,
  • would only support private interests,
  • have little or no public benefit, or
  • where the bidder has any legal or other disputes with the council.

If your project has previously received council funding, we will only consider your application where the bidder can: 

  • demonstrate the value of the project;
  • demonstrate that other funding streams have been pursued (see our match funding suggestions at the bottom of this page) 
  • secure funding from non-council sources in addition to the contribution requested from the council – the amount of council funding required for relevant existing projects will need to decrease over time; and
  • demonstrate a long-term funding plan for the project without council funding.

For new projects, we strongly recommend that you also look at match funding options.

You must get an email or letter of support (endorsement) from at least one Merton councillor. Where the project is specific to one or a small number of wards, councillors for those wards will need to endorse it. You can use our website to find your ward and councillors or view a list of all councillors. To avoid conflicts of interest, members of the Cabinet are unable to provide letters of support. You will need to send a copy of your bid documentation to the councillors that you are asking to endorse your bid before they can provide their endorsement.

For the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund, members of the public interested in the council delivering a project they have in mind can submit a bid when we are open for bidding but are advised to first contact their Merton ward councillor who can get in contact with the delivery service to take their ideas forward, as appropriate. Councillors will be advised as to whether or not the project is supported in principle and if so whether the project can be delivered within the funding timeframes or whether it could be considered for a funding bid in future years.

To be eligible for the Community Climate Action Fund, bidders will need to have an identified delivery partner which cannot be the council; these could operate at any scale (local or national). Please note, if you select option b (Merton council deliver) under Question 14 of the bidding form, your proposal will only be considered for the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund and will not be considered for the Community Climate Action Fund.

Assessment criteria

All bids to the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund and the Community Climate Action Fund will be assessed against the following criteria.

  1. Bids must clearly (in terms of demonstrable outcomes) address the demands that development (such as new homes, shops and offices) place on the borough and the public the council represents.
  2. The proposal must comprise an appropriate use of the funds; be consistent with government rules and London Borough of Merton Council Plan 2023-26 – “Building a Better Merton Together” delivering the council’s main ambition of rebuilding pride in Merton, supported by three strategic objectives namely:
    • Nurturing civic pride
    • Building a sustainable future
    • Creating a borough of sport.
  3. The proposal must be an appropriate use of the funds and should not have any unacceptable financial implications (either capital or ongoing revenue funding) on the council or any other body.
  4. Estimated cost of the proposal should aim to be over £20,000.
  5. The proposal should be deliverable and capable of being started within the year ahead.
  6. Proposals should be endorsed by at least one Merton ward councillor who is not a member of the Cabinet.
  7. Proposals will be assessed as to how they meet neighbourhood priorities. We will be looking for proposals that align with one or more of the priorities favoured by the neighbourhood where the proposal would be located (or neighbourhood that would benefit most from the proposal) as demonstrated by the results of the Neighbourhood CIL public consultation (Nov 2016-Jan 2017).

In order to be considered for the Community Climate Action Fund, bidders must also demonstrate that the proposal:

  1. is grassroots-generated and community-led; the project will need to be delivered by residents, community groups, and/ or their delivery partners, and cannot be delivered by the council.
  2. helps reduce carbon emissions or adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change as set out in the United Nations’ definition of Climate Adaptation..
  3. aligns with one or more of the four themes of Merton’s Climate Strategy and Action Plan (Buildings and Energy, Green Economy, Transport, or Greening Merton).

Each bid will be assessed by considering how it performs against the above criteria overall, with the assessment recorded and used to inform the prioritisation process.

If there is high demand for the funding and not all proposals can be funded, officers will prioritise the following projects for both funds:  

  • Projects which add most value to the Merton community
  • Projects which demonstrate how the bidder has considered alternative funding sources and that the market is currently failing to provide a solution to this challenge.
  • Projects that engage audiences which haven’t connected with the council before or hardly reached audiences.

In addition to the above general priorities, officers will prioritise the following for the Community Climate Action Fund:  

To complete the application form, you’ll need to have the following information to hand.

  • About the project you would like us to fund:
    • Name of the project (up to 75 characters long)
    • Short description of the project (up to 500 characters)
    • Bid amount
    • Total cost of the project
    • An itemised list of the project costs, including how much of each item would be funded by us and how much would be funded from other sources. The total of the itemised costs must be no more than the total cost of the project.
    • Details of any potential and secured funding from other sources
    • Estimated project start and end dates
    • Estimated dates when funding will be required (this may be split into stages with different dates)
    • Ongoing maintenance costs or burdens
    • Details of any additional permissions, consents or approvals that would be needed to proceed (up to 500 characters). You can submit your application before getting these agreements, but we may withhold payments until these agreements have been secured.
    • Names of councillors that have endorsed the project by sending you an email or letter of support.
    • A list using short bullet points of what specifically the project will deliver and the outcomes for Merton neighbourhoods (up to 500 characters)
  • If another organisation would be responsible for delivering the project:
    • Name of delivery organisation
    • Details of a contact person at the delivery organisation
    • Details of the director or trustee of the organisation that has authorised this bid
    • Your relationship to the organisation
    • The organisation’s company number or charity number
    • for Community Amateur Sports Clubs, up to date information provided to HM Revenue and Customs for the club’s registration including authorised officials and responsible persons.
    • If you are applying on behalf of an Organisation who would be delivering the proposal, details of your relationship to the organisation, your contact at the Organisation and the director/ trustee of the Organisation that has authorised the bid (e.g. if you are a resident or a community group that has developed a project proposal and you have identified a delivery partner who has authorised the bid).
  • If the project has already received council funding:
    • evidence that other funding streams have been pursued
    • evidence of secured funding from non-council sources in addition to the contribution requested from the council – the amount of council funding required for relevant existing projects will need to decrease over time
    • a long-term funding plan for the project without council funding.
  • For the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund, if Merton Council would be responsible for delivering the project:
    • Name of the council officer and department that would be responsible for delivering the project
    • Level of authorisation secured by the council for the project. (Ask the council officer responsible for delivery of the project for this information, maximum 100 characters.)
    • Location of project
    • Your address
  • Note: you can still apply if you don’t know which organisation would deliver the project as long as the delivery partner has been confirmed by the time the council is assessing the projects (see “What happens next” below).

If you have any questions, please email

You will email this to us after you have submitted your bid. This may include:

  • authorisations, support letters, costs, funding and programming information
  • a document – such as a project plan or business case – that explains how your project would address our assessment criteria on the Investing in Neighbourhoods & Community Climate Action Funds page
  • emails or letters of support from Merton councillors
  • maps, plans or other images to show what you propose to do and where
  • copies of quotes, estimates or other material from suppliers and contractors (existing or potential) that will help us to establish whether approving your bid would help the council achieve best value for its investment
  • any other information that you would have included on the form if you had more space

You may find it helpful to prepare a copy of your answers in a separate document, such as Microsoft Word, and save this for your records.

If you are applying on behalf of an organisation, you must ensure you have the authority to do so before submitting your application.

The application form will be available here when we are next open for bidding.

Please email your accompanying information, as detailed in step 4 above, to


  • attach the PDF copy of the bid (if you applied online, a PDF was emailed to you after you submitted your application)
  • in your message state the following about the application:
    • reference number
    • the date it was submitted
    • who submitted it (if not you then explain who you are and that you have the authority to submit bidding information on behalf of the bidder)

What happens next

Stage 1 - Bid assessments (month 1 to 3 after application deadline)

Please ensure we can contact you using the contact details you provided, as we may ask you for further information at this stage. We may also ask you whether a reduction in funding could still support delivery of outcomes within a two-year timeframe.

Stage 2 - Formal decision (month 3 to 4)

Council officers will write a summary assessment of bids and recommendations for the Cabinet. The Cabinet will decide which projects to fund and the grant amounts awarded.

We will let you know when we are due to make a decision, and send you a link to the Cabinet report.

If the council's Scrutiny Committee decides to "call in" the Cabinet's decision, this may delay the decision being confirmed.

After the decision is confirmed, we will email you to tell you whether your bid was successful.

Stage 3 - Grant agreements and delivery (month 4 onwards)

If an external organisation is to deliver a project, we will need to secure a grant agreement with them. This may take up to 6 months.

If the council is to deliver a project through the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund, timescales will depend on internal programming and finance protocols and priorities.

Even if your project's bid was unsuccessful, the council may choose to deliver it in the future. The Cabinet report may note that this is possible for your project. If this was the case, the council department will contact you if and when it delivers your proposal.

Match Funding and Project Support

We have produced a non-exhaustive list of match funding opportunities that bidders to council grant funds are encouraged to consider applying for.

This is to demonstrate that other funding streams have been explored or secured, particularly where projects have received council funding in the past. It is encouraged for all other bidders, but not necessary.

Funding options

Funding directory


Future bidding rounds

We intend to run two more bidding rounds for the Community Climate Action Fund in 2024 and 2025.

We aim to seek new bids for the Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund on an annual basis subject to sufficient funding being available from Community Infrastructure Levy receipts. This page will be updated with dates for the next bidding round as income accumulates.

Contact us

futureMerton team
Telephone: 020 8545 3197