We are now closed for bids for funding from Merton's Investing in Neighbourhoods Fund (previously called the Neighbourhood Fund). This fund is for projects to address demands placed on neighbourhoods by new development such as housing. It is funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Bidding round 2022
- Applications open from 3 October 2022
- Deadline for bids: Friday 4 November 2022, 5pm
- Total funding available: £750,000
These are examples of projects we have funded since the fund was launched in 2018. For more information about previous bidding rounds, see Spending the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Who can apply
This fund is open to organisations who can bid for grant funding and any local resident with an idea that can be delivered by the council.
How to apply
The deadline to submit your bid passed on Friday 4 November 2022 at 5pm
Click each step to view details.
Step 1 – Read the requirements and assessment criteria
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, or
- have little or no public benefit.
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.
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.
Bids are assessed against the following criteria.
- Spending Neighbourhood CIL must accord with the CIL Regulations and government guidance on CIL. To demonstrate compliance with criterion A, 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.
- The proposal must comprise an appropriate use of use of the funds; be consistent with government rules and Merton Council’s overarching priority/aim of rebuilding pride in Merton, supported by three guiding principles namely:
- Nurturing civic pride
- Building a sustainable future
- Creating a borough of sport.
- The proposal must be an appropriate use of 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.
- Estimated cost of the proposal should aim to be over £20,000.
- The proposal should be deliverable and capable of being started within the year ahead.
- Proposals should be endorsed by at least one Merton ward councillor who is not a member of the Cabinet.
- 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).
Each bid is assessed by considering how it performs against the above criteria overall, with the assessment recorded and used to inform the prioritisation process.
Step 2 – Check what information you’ll need to provide
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 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
- 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
- Details of your business or employer if you are acting as an agent for the delivery organisation
- Note: you can still apply if you don’t know which organisation would deliver the project
Step 3 – Ask questions
Step 4 – Gather information to accompany your bid
You will email this to us after you have submitted your bid (see step 7). 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 Fund 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
Step 5 – Satisfy yourself that the bid will meet our requirements
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.
Step 6 – Fill in the form
If you are applying on behalf of an organisation, you must ensure you have the authority to do so before submitting your application.
- You don’t have to complete your application in one sitting: you can save your work at any time and return to it later.
- To send us your application, click Submit at the end of the form
If you prefer, you can download a Word or PDF version of the form.
Step 7 – Submit accompanying information
Please email your accompanying information, as detailed in step 4 above, to NeighbourhoodFund@merton.gov.uk.
The deadline to send us this information is Friday 4 November 2022, 5pm.
- 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, 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.
Future bidding rounds
We aim to seek new bids 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.
Telephone: 020 8545 3197