Capacity grants

Please note that this fund is now closed there will be no further rounds of funding available.

Our Education and Children’s Services has launched a new grants scheme called the capacity grants, to support sports and cultural projects in Aberdeenshire.

A total of £364,000 is available between April 2017 and March 2019, through the new capacity grants scheme, this is available through four different types of fund. £182,000 will be available in year two (April 2018 to March 2019).

Please be aware that if you apply for a capacity grant on or after the 25th May, you are required to complete the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy notice, rather than the fair processing notice. If you are working on your application and have printed off or saved documents please ensure that you return the correct document with your application.

Funding streams

To maximise the reach and use of these funds, four funding streams have been created:

Excel fund

This fund aims to support individuals or groups to develop skills, or take part at national or international sport and cultural events such as dance competitions, sports events and training.

Find more information about the excel fund and how to apply.

Connecting communities fund

This fund focuses on the delivery of key priorities for Aberdeenshire Council, see below, and is available for non-fixed infrastructure as well as programmes.

To qualify for this funding projects must achieve one of the following aims:

  • Reduce childhood obesity and inactivity
  • Support intergenerational work and supporting our older citizens
  • Celebrate Doric, traditional music and North East culture

Find more information about the connecting communities fund and how to apply. 

Creative economy (place) fund

This fund focuses on the delivery of key priorities for our Place Partnership with Creative Scotland linked to the distinct cultural heritage of different localities (traditional music, literature, Doric language, story-telling). It is intended to provide opportunities for the creative and local communities to develop artistic activity which will reinvigorate, unearth and promote the distinctive stories of the area.

Find more information about the creative economy (place) fund and how to apply.

Assist fund

This fund will support community organisations that deliver key culture, and sport priorities for the council that are seen as having a long term future but are facing short-term financial challenges.

This would essentially be to assist organisations which through no fault of their own, are facing a financial challenge for example where a major item fails which means they are unable to provide their normal service and as a result it may lead to the organisation ceasing to exist.

Find more information about the assist fund and how to apply.

Who can apply

The funding is open to all Aberdeenshire individuals, organisations, constituted groups, partnerships and charities who are not for profit wishing to undertake a community project.

You can apply for more than one grant per year, however terms and conditions apply so please check the details for each individual fund. 

Not all categories are eligible for every type of grant, please see the detailed information on the specific type of grant you wish to apply for.

What will the funding support

The funding aims to: 

  • reduce childhood obesity and inactivity
  • pilot new initiatives to widen access to services for under-represented groups or which have the potential to create new services or networks
  • support innovation such as new events or performances
  • support projects which will enable volunteers to develop their skills to develop and sustain services
  • support revenue costs directly linked to the project (staffing costs, rental, utilities etc.) although these costs should not exceed the period of the project duration
  • provide match funding where other sources of external funding are available
  • support projects which provide services or provision within the Aberdeenshire Council area


Regardless of the fund you are applying for, you must be able to demonstrate that your project contributes to at least one of the nine key strategies (pdf 222KB)

You will also need to comply with the following conditions: 

  • your group should not have more savings than the amount of money you are applying for without explaining to us what the money is for; we are unlikely to fund a project that brings in as much or more income than the cost of the project
  • the total cost of the project can exceed the amount of grant available, however, we will only award the amounts available per scheme; we only contribute towards items detailed in the application and do not make general contributions towards projects
  • when the amount of grant from us does not fund the cost of the whole project, we will only award funding for projects, where the organisation can evidence that they have a guaranteed offer(s) of funding to the full amount of the project in place, prior to commencement of the project
  • you can match fund your project from your own, private, trust, lottery, EU funds or services in-kind
  • a mid-term review must be submitted, this will be at the mid-point of your project
  • on completion of the project we will ask recipients to complete an evaluation of the work completed, this is to help both you and us to understand the benefits that have resulted from the project
  • we should be credited with having provided funding on any promotional materials such as signs; this can be done by displaying an Aberdeenshire Council logo, which we will provide
  • we would like to promote our partnership working in the press and on social media; successful applicants must be willing to participate in promotional activity and publicity material if appropriate
  • funding must be used within the financial year to which it is allocated
  • all activities which the funding supports must be completed within the financial year to which it is allocated
  • offers of grants will be time-limited and subject to withdrawal if the offer period is exceeded; this will be made clear in the award letter 

Organisations are responsible and must comply with any relevant legislation, national guidance, or codes of practices which are relevant to their project. Examples of this may include PVG checks, food hygiene, Health and Safety legislation, or using qualified instructors where required, this list is not exhaustive, but indicates the type of compliance we refer to. If compliance is not met funding will be withdrawn. 

If groups are hosting a public event, applicants will be expected make arrangements for necessary public liability, permissions, Health and Safety assessments, insurances. This list is not exhaustive, you will need to ensure that you meet all legal requirements based on the type of event.

If groups or individuals apply for more than one capacity grant within a year, they must submit an evaluation of the first project before we will consider awarding further funds.

There are maximum funding limits for each type of grant. If you apply to more than one type, you can only get the maximum amount of the higher limit. To check what limit you can apply for, please contact our business development team.


The funding will not support: 

  • loan or endowment payments
  • second hand vehicles and second hand equipment (unless valued or certified by an independent or qualified assessor)
  • alcohol or an alcohol licence
  • projects or activities that have already taken place and are either underway or already complete prior to receiving a letter of award for the funding
  • upgrade or refurbishment of premises
  • activities which do not further the priorities outlined in the key strategies
  • fundraising expenses
  • meals and subsistence costs
  • general entertainment costs
  • curricular based school activity aimed at school pupils
  • clerks wages and administration costs
  • political or religious activities
  • recoverable VAT
  • items of personal effect (eg team clothing)
  • organisations which discriminate unfairly against any of the nine protected equality characteristics
  • purchase or maintenance of Christmas lights
  • activities or projects linked to or related to one which we have already provided funding from another part of the Aberdeenshire council budget
  • services that are part of Aberdeenshire Council

Application process

We will check your application form and additional documents to see if it is complete. If your application is not complete, we will have to send the form back to you. An incomplete form is the most common cause of delay.

Our panel of officers will assess your application and we may contact you to get more information. Consideration will be given to how your group is set up, how well your application fits our aims, and the funding that you have asked for. These costs should be realistic and give value for money, and we expect you to contribute something towards your project. This could be monetary funds, or it could be something in kind such as time, materials, transport or use of premises. 

If your application is successful, we will send you a letter detailing the amount you have been awarded, plus any specific conditions of grant if applicable. You will be required to sign a grant agreement with Aberdeenshire Council. You must spend the grant within the financial year in which it is allocated, and complete an end of project monitoring report.  

If your application is not successful, we will write to you telling you the main reasons why.

Grant agreement

If your application is successful, you will be required to sign a grant agreement.

The detailed terms and conditions which apply to the grant you are being offered are set out in both the grant agreement and within the general and specific conditions shown on this webpage. Please note that grant agreement represents a legally binding agreement between the grant recipient and Aberdeenshire Council and you may wish to seek independent legal advice on its terms prior to signing.

Funding will be paid to you on receipt of the signed grant agreement (pdf 192KB), this should be submitted in order to process payment.

Contact details

If you require further information, guidance or assistance with this, please contact:

Business development team
Education and children’s services
Aberdeenshire Council
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
Telephone: 01224 472840

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