The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF)
The LCF is not a fund in the usual sense of the term — it is a UK tax credit scheme which enables operators of landfill sites to contribute money to projects which improve the lives of nearby communities.
The money is derived from the taxes on landfill waste which were introduced in 1996 as a means of reducing the growth of landfill sites and to promote a shift to more environmentally sustainable methods of waste management. Landfill operators must collect these taxes on waste that they dispose of in a landfill site. The LCF allows them to give a proportion of that money to organisations which deliver environmental objectives, instead of paying it to the Government.
Comprehensive information on how to find funding from the LCF may be found on the website of ENTRUST , the body which regulates the fund on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs. Pages within the ENTRUST website include: About the LCF ; How it works ; LCF objectives ; Finding funding ; Funders’ directory ; Contributing third parties ; Applying to become an Environmental Body; Frequently asked questions ; LCF forum ; News
Applicability to Bell Restoration Projects
One of the categories of community project which may benefit from this scheme is the repair, maintenance or restoration of a place of worship (or a place of architectural importance). This is one of the six main areas of work that can be undertaken when utilising LCF monies. It is described in more detail under OBJECT E on the LCF Objectives webpage.
Practical experience from Bell Restoration Projects
The CC Bell Restoration Committee contacted a number of people who we knew had made applications to the LCF and asked them about their experiences. It was a small sample, but we think that their comments will be helpful to anyone else making an application. To make sense of some of these comments, you need to understand how the scheme works by visiting the web pages detailed above.
How had they found out about the LCF?
- General awareness of grants awarded to other projects in local area.
- On list received from Community Centre warden.
- Information from local District Councillor.
- Seeing the waste lorries going through the village.
To whom did they apply?
Some projects had made their application direct to the LO, some had applied to a DEB, and some had applied to both. In our small sample those who had applied directly seemed to have more success.
Was the application process difficult?
Most applicants felt that the process was not difficult, just time-consuming. Usually a detailed application form was required often having lots of questions unconnected to ringing, such as how many trees would be planted. On the other hand, most applicants received lots of help from the organisation they applied to and/or comprehensive written guidance. Most applicants reported that organisations kept in close touch with them during the project, and at least one required written interim and final reports before the grant was paid.
What contributed to a successful application?
The most important qualification was being local. Most LOs specified a radius within which the project must be located, and some applicants had to mark up an OS map to prove they were close enough. Distance varied, but was never more than 10 miles, and most seemed to specify a 7-mile radius.
Some thought that their project being a bit different to the usual was helpful, but it did mean that applications needed to explain their value. Applicants used some or all of the following as reasons why the project should be supported:
- An amenity appreciated by the village as demonstrated by requests to ring for weddings, funerals and national events.
- A wide range of age usage.
- Measurable outcomes, e.g. recruitment of new ringers, increased requests for ringing.
One applicant said that the best advice he could offer was to listen to what the LO said were their criteria, and then take time and trouble to put the application in their words as far as you honestly could.
Good PR opportunities were certainly attractive to most LOs. Some requested that their logo should be used on press releases and publicity notices, and they provided help and guidance on relations with the press.
Was a contributing third party needed?
It seems that for smaller amounts, perhaps up to £2,000, no contribution was requested. However, for larger grants most LOs required reimbursement of around 10%. In some instances there was some difficulty in finding the necessary donor, although at least one Guild BRF has been a CTP. It is probable that not all BRFs would be able to do this under their rules.
CC Bell Restoration Committee