Is your project eligible for funding?

As a co-operative, supporting our communities is a key element of our ethos and an essential part of this is our Community Dividend Fund.

The fund allows us to make a difference, by developing and improving the communities which we serve by donating grants ranging from £100 to £3,000.

It is an ideal way for the Society to use 1% of its trading surplus to give back to the communities it serves by providing vital support to local good causes, charities and organisations.

Now, more than ever, our Community Dividend Fund will allow us to make a difference. Following a revamp of the fund, we now ask all applicants to ensure their projects align with one or more of the below areas:

  • Access to food – improving access to food in a way that encourages healthy, balanced choices to be made
  • Health and wellbeing - projects that directly or indirectly promote physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Inclusion projects - directly or indirectly support greater inclusion of vulnerable, excluded, or hard to reach groups
  • Environment – inside and outside spaces that support increased sustainability e.g. energy saving projects, sustainable travel, biodiversity and food security

Central Co-op are committed to supporting diverse projects that represent the whole of our communities in line with our co-operative values of equity and equality.

Before you start filling in your application, there is some essential criteria to check, to ensure your project is eligible for consideration:

  • The applicant must be a full member of Central England Co-operative*
  • Beneficiaries must be communities in which Central England Co-operative trades
  • Applicants must be able to clearly explain the benefit to the community in relation to the four key areas listed above in bold
  • Grants available range from £100 to £3,000. The average grant is £2,000
  • The project must be consistent with Co-operative Values and Principles**
  • Applications to pay for or part fund vehicles, salaries, rent, transport and bills, one off costs – including training, events and trips, fund large scale projects *** or for the benefit of one individual, running costs – including salaries, rent, transport and bills will not be considered.
  • Local good causes, community groups, charities and social enterprises, including Community Interest Companies (CIC), are eligible to apply. Applicants need to be a not for private profit organisation to be considered.
  • Full Members with an active spend record in retail or funeral in the last 12 months will be prioritised
  • Reapplication – successful applicants can reapply after 48 months

*Criteria includes being a member for a minimum of six months.

**Our values can be found at

***We will consider funding a defined part of a larger project, such as the refurbishment of premises, if the project will be completed within the Society’s financial year and there is distinct clarity on what part of the project or item the Society would be funding

Before you begin filling in the application form, please be aware we will require the following information:

  • Your details
  • Organisation details and what it does
  • Organisation type
  • The amount of funding you are applying for and what it will be spent on
  • Which one or more of the four criteria listed above does your application meet and how any funding will support your work in this area or areas
  • Your organisation will need a bank account

To help you tackle the application form, you can now save the form at any time and return to it at a later date.

If you have any questions about an application please contact us prior to applying and we'll be happy to help.