Eligibility Guidelines for Applicants to Venator Community Fund

These eligibility guidelines outline the criteria that all applications for Venator’s Community Fund must adhere to. Before applying to Venator’s Community Fund, please read the guidelines below carefully.

For the purpose of these guidelines, the following terms will be used:

  • Community Fund: the fund from which the grants will be distributed
  • Grants: the total amount that will be awarded to each grantee
  • Group or organisation: covering terms for desired applicants – these being:
    • Sports clubs, Ofsted registered education providers, universities, not-for-profit and community groups, and social enterprises
  • Applicants: groups or organisations who have submitted an application for consideration
  • Project: a covering term for the proposed use of grants by applicants
  • Successful applicants: applicants who have been verified by Venator and are included in the public vote
  • Grantees: winning applicants who will be awarded the total amount of at least £250 for a project of their choosing
  • Committee: the nominated group of Venator associates responsible for reviewing all Community Fund applications

Read more

The group or organisation must be affiliated to a professional body, have an affiliation or registration number. The group or organisation will be asked to upload supporting evidence such as a letter of affiliation, a screen shot showing affiliation if registered online, an Ofsted report or similar, as proof of this.

The group or organisation must have a treasurer or financial administrator for funds to be made payable to via cheque. The group or organisation should correctly state the name and contact details of their treasurer on the application.

All proposed projects must benefit communities based in the North East of England, within the local authority boroughs of Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hambleton, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar & Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton and Sunderland.

Your project must be for new costs associated with stimulating teamwork or innovation in your group or organisation. Eligible projects can include:

  • Start-up costs for new projects
  • Extension and development of existing projects
  • Purchase of equipment and resources
  • Leverage: where the Community Fund would release funding from other sources
  • Conservation projects: where funding would help develop or maintain venues.
  • Group excursions

Projects that we cannot fund include:

  • Ongoing core costs related to a service or activity
  • Projects involving political or campaigning activities
  • Projects promoting religious beliefs
  • Anything that has already been bought or committed to
  • Deficit funding or the repayment of loans
  • Unspecified expenditure (funds will be for specific items within the budget on the application)
  • Projects not benefitting people based in the North East of England
  • Additional projects where a group or organisation has already submitted an application for a specific grant. In this instance, the first submitted project will be the only one verified for review (NOTE: a group/ organisation may submit projects to multiple grants within a year)
  • Activities which conflict or could conflict with the interests of Venator and its associated bodies
  • Activities which could damage the reputation of Venator; or which conflict with Venator policies

Applicants must apply online and provide clear and correct information that truthfully reflects their group or organisation and demonstrates exactly how they would propose to use the awarded grant.

Applications must be completed by the stated deadline. Information about the relevant deadlines can be found on this website.

Applications received by the deadline that are missing supporting information and/or without all of the questions answered are not considered complete. Incomplete applications may be deferred or withdrawn.

We cannot accept more than one application per group or organisation for a given grant. NOTE: you may submit an application to one or more grants within a year.

All the applications received are carefully assessed by Venator’s Community Fund Committee. The Committee will review the applicant’s details and assess the proposed project’s need, feasibility and impact. Venator reserves the right to approve or decline projects at its discretion.


  • The applicant should provide a compelling case around the need for this project
  • For equipment funding, it should be made clear why it is necessary, what it will satisfy, and why this particular brand and quantity is needed.


  • The applicant should present why they are well-placed to deliver the project (e.g. who will be managing the grant, how exactly the monies will be allocated)


  • The applicant should explain how the project will:
    • Stimulate teamwork, sports or innovative thinking around science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)

If an unsuccessful applicant wishes to appeal a decision of the Committee, it must submit a request for feedback on the decision to the Committee within 10 working days of receiving notification of the grant decision.

The Committee will respond to the request for feedback to explain why the application was unsuccessful. The applicant may then submit one letter of appeal to the committee in response to the feedback, outlining why they feel the decision should be reversed. The Committee will consider the letter of appeal carefully and may, at its sole discretion, decide to award the grant to the applicant, or to maintain its decision not to award the grant to the applicant. Once notified of the decision by the Committee, the applicant will have no further right of appeal, such decision of the Committee being final.

Full timescale details for applications to the Community Fund are detailed on the website. We advise groups and organisations to review these timescales before submitting their applications.

Grants will be paid via cheque. Cheques will be made payable by Gardiner Richardson on behalf of Venator. Cheques will be made payable to the payee named on your application and mailed via post to the Treasurer named on your application form, to the group address supplied on your application form.

All grantees must start projects within six months of the grant being awarded. If grantees do not start to use the grant within six months of the award, they may be asked to return it.

If equipment is being purchased, the grantee must retain it for a minimum of 12 months from the time of purchase.

Online Voting

Venator reserves the right to disqualify or reject votes if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred or if it considers there has been any attempt to rig the voting. This includes the deletion of votes made with the use of fake or ‘disposable’ email addresses.

Spending of grants

The Venator team will monitor the spending of grants – requiring evidence of how the grant is spent. If any evidence of misconduct comes to the attention of the Venator committee, Venator may demand repayment of (and the grantee shall pay forthwith) the grant in full with immediate effect.

Grantees shall allow Venator or Venator’s authorised representatives to have access to grantees’ premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of inspecting and taking copies of the grantees’ books and records related to the grant to ensure compliance with the terms of these guidelines.

Venator has the right to refuse the grant if a successful applicant is found to have submitted a fraudulent or untruthful application.

You can the view Government guidance of offenders act for misuse or non-spend of funds here.

Venator may choose to publicise and promote its Community Fund by sharing details of grantees’ projects, including the way in which the grant has been used and the benefits it has brought the grantees’ organisations. Accordingly, all grantees may be asked to take part in PR and marketing activities, including photography and videography. Grantees, in applying for the grant, agree that all intellectual property rights in promotional material generated by the PR and marketing activities will belong to Venator.

For the purpose of promoting the Community Fund, Venator may share details of the projects and the grantees’ activities across a range of media including local press channels, websites and social media. Upon submitting an application to the Community Fund, each applicant will be deemed to have granted to Venator a licence to use the intellectual property in material supplied by the grantee to Venator for the purpose of promoting the Community Fund, including but not limited to logos, trademarks and photographs.

Grantees shall provide reasonable assistance to Venator in obtaining any necessary consent from individual members of the grantees’ organisations to publicise the promotional materials and licensed intellectual property.

If you use a permanent venue to host your group activities, and the environment is appropriate, we may ask you to recognise our community support by displaying a plaque or banner. These are supplied at no cost to you.

Venator has the right to revisit, amend and update this policy from time to time without notice, provided all amendments are clearly shown and communicated.

To the extent permitted by law, under no circumstances will Venator be liable to grantees for any indirect or consequential loss or damage, for direct or indirect loss of profit, loss of business, or depletion of goodwill, or for costs, expenses or other claims for compensation whatsoever (howsoever caused including negligence) which arises out of or in connection with applications to and grants awarded from the Community Fund.

In any event, and to the extent permitted by law, Venator’s total liability in respect of all applications to and grants awarded from the Community Fund will not exceed the total value of the grant amount.