Taking action on environmental issues in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

  • Grant Range: Under £2,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme
  • Apply Online

The Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF)

The Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) exists to help people to deliver projects that tackle environmental issues in their local area.

LEAF covers the geographical area of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. It is supported by a collaboration of funders which currently includes the Community Foundation, the Shears Foundation and a private donor. The fund provides an opportunity for the partners involved to work together to support environmental projects and share learning with grant makers and voluntary and community groups.

What will LEAF support?

Projects should have very clear environmental focus but should also show how they have a positive impact on the quality of life of communities, particularly in areas of severe environmental and economic hardship. Applications should demonstrate one of more of the following outcomes:

  • Encouraging communities to get involved in environmental activities
  • Changing behaviours leading to more local environmental action
  • Having a positive impact on the environment
  • Sharing learning about the environment with others

We are most interested in projects that can show that they have a demonstrable change and immediate impact on the environment, but we will still consider ones where they are also working to raise awareness, education and change behaviour.

While LEAF will consider applications for projects focused on any environmental themes (except those outlined in the exclusions), priority in 2018/19 will be given to applications covering one or more of the following specific environmental themes:

  1. Pollution and litter
  2. Woodlands and trees
  3. Sustainable transport (e.g. walking and cycling schemes)

Who Can Apply

We are particularly keen for small local voluntary and community organisations to apply. Larger environmental charities are eligible to apply, but they must be able to demonstrate significant need and involvement from the local community in the development of a project proposals and its planned delivery.

Size of grants available

Grants of between £750 and £2,000 are available in 2018/19 to voluntary and community organisations for revenue and/or capital projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Application Process

You can apply using the standard online Community Foundation application form at www.communityfoundation.org.uk/apply or you can download an application form from the Community Foundation website.

Applications for amounts up to a maximum of £2,000 can be submitted at any time under a fast track system, and do not have to wait for a specific funding deadline in order to apply.

Please note that for applications seeking funding over £2,000 and up to £20,000, there will be only one fund meeting which will be in September 2018. The deadline for applications will be 1st August 2018. Applicants are advised if successful within 1 month of this meeting.

LEAF assesses and monitors applications against key impact themes in the Environmental Benefits table in Appendix A. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how their projects are meeting at least some one or more of these themes. If you are unsure what this means, or how to calculate the outputs, please call the Principal Advisor, Environment to discuss.

LEAF is Changing

After more than 10 years’ funding and learning, the LEAF grant programme is changing. In the last 12 months the Community Foundation has been successful in attracting funds to enable us to create a dedicated environmental endowment fund as a legacy to the LEAF annual grant programme.  

From 1 April 2019, the LEAF environmental endowment fund will supersede the annual LEAF grant programme. It will have very similar funding criteria but will only able to support small grant applications. The final criteria will be confirmed in the coming few months. The final LEAF main grants meeting for applications up to £20,000 will therefore be in September 2018.

Exclusions/ what LEAF is unable to support

  • Conservation of charismatic well supported species or non-native species
  • Enhancement of habitat for sporting purposes
  • Expeditions or fieldwork outside of the UK
  • Playground or school ground improvements (unless there is significant wider community use)
  • Individuals
  • Zoos, captive breeding and animal rescue centres
  • Beautification competitions (e.g. Villages in Bloom)
  • Generic annual festivals
  • Capital costs of renewable energy projects.
  • Community garden/ allotment/ food growing projects unless the application is over £2,000 and you apply via the main LEAF funding route. If you have a community garden/ allotment/ food growing related project of up to £2,000 then you may wish to consider submitting a general application to the Community Foundation.

For more information contact

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