WYE VALLEY AONB FUND 

Administered by Herefordshire Community Foundation

First Steps

The guidelines are to help you develop your application for grant aid to the Herefordshire Community Foundation (HCF) Wye Valley AONB Fund. The application form is available from the Herefordshire Community Foundation website (www.herefordshirecf.org). Before filling in the application form you are strongly advised to discuss your ideas with Wye Valley AONB staff to ensure that you and your project are eligible for funding. Details of how to get in touch with the Wye Valley AONB Unit are at the end of these guidelines, and available at www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk.

What is the HCF Wye Valley AONB Fund

The Fund provides an exceptional opportunity to apply for grant aid for projects which conserve and enhance the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and its setting. AONBs are nationally important landscapes, designated for their outstanding natural and scenic beauty. The HCF Wye Valley AONB Fund is administered by the Herefordshire Community Foundation and coordinated by the Wye Valley AONB Unit, based in Monmouth.

What is the purpose of the Fund?

The Fund will prioritise support for projects which benefit communities and the environment of the Wye Valley AONB and the area adjoining the AONB boundary (where the majority of the benefit is in the AONB) that is within Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. The fund seeks to conserve and enhance the local characteristics of wildlife, landscape, land use and community. Sustaining social well-being and economic viability are also important aims. The projects that will be supported are those which meet the statutory purposes of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is:

To conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

‘Natural beauty’ is defined in legislation as including flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features (s.92(2) of the CROW Act 2000) and cultural heritage (s.59(1)) of NERC Act 2006) which can make an appreciable contribution to an area’s sense of place and thereby heighten the perception of natural beauty. Land is not prevented from being treated as of ‘natural beauty’ by the fact that it is used for agriculture, or woodlands, or as a park, or that its physiographical features are partly the product of human intervention in the landscape (s.99 of NERC Act).

Who can apply for funding?

The Fund is open to receive applications from community groups, voluntary groups, landscape conservation groups, land managers, schools and education organisations, businesses, charities and local residents.

The principal of public benefit should be demonstrated by project proposals. Applicants will need to show how their project helps “conserve and enhance the Wye Valley AONB and support the non-statutory activities of the Wye Valley AONB Partnership.” In addition, proposals need to match the fund criteria which fall into the following broad categories.

HCF Wye Valley AONB Fund Criteria

Grants will be awarded within the following criteria:

Conservation and enhancement of the landscape
Activities could include landscape conservation grants to organisations, landowners, land managers and community groups for:

  • Conserving and enhancing the Special Qualities of the Wye Valley AONB (as identified in the AONB Management Plan).
  • Maintenance and management of natural features including coppicing, tree and hedgerow planting, pond restoration, grassland and wetland management and heathland conservation.
  • Maintenance and management of historic features including viewpoints, former industrial sites, drystone walls and historic settlements or buildings.
  • Equipment to undertake conservation activities.

Promote public understanding and enjoyment of the Wye Valley AONB
Activities could include grants for:

  • Education visits and activities.
  • Information and interpretation projects, e.g. information boards, walking leaflets, websites, public transport promotion etc.
  • Outreach projects, e.g. targeting disadvantaged groups.

Support the social and economic wellbeing of the Wye Valley AONB
Activities could include grants to landowners, business and communities for:

  • Enhancing community facilities, e.g. village halls.
  • Start up enterprises, e.g. farm shops, local food initiatives.
  • Community enterprises, e.g. village shops, village play schemes.
  • Community well-being initiatives, e.g. walking groups, ‘green gym’ health  and exercise groups simultaneously using and conserving the natural environment.

The objects for which the Herefordshire Community Foundation is established are:

  • To promote any charitable purposes for the benefit of the community in the County of Herefordshire and in particular the advancement of education, the protection of good health both mental and physical and the relief of poverty and sickness.
  • To promote other exclusively charitable purposes in the United Kingdom and elsewhere which are in the opinion of the Trustees beneficial to the public including the community in the County of Herefordshire.
  • To match the wishes of donors, corporate or individual, to community needs, to encourage local philanthropy for the public benefit, and to enable donors to use the resources of the Foundation to achieve more effective giving.

Grants and grant rates

Whilst there is no maximum grant which can be applied for, the HCF Wye Valley AONB Fund is not a large fund and should be used for either small scale stand-alone projects or as a modest contribution towards more substantial projects. Value for money will be considered when assessing applications. ‘In-kind’ contributions are welcomed, such as officer or volunteer time or loan of equipment. In 2020 we encourage grant applications in the region of £1,000 – £2,000.

The source of any match funding should be clearly identified to avoid the possibility of double funding. Please clearly identify any sources of match funding (cash  and/or in-kind) in the finance section of the online application.

Volunteer time: rates

Unskilled/admin = £8.21 per hour

Supervisor/technically skilled = £16.42 per hour

Professional/legal = £49.26 per hour

How and when to apply

You are strongly advised to discuss your ideas with the Wye Valley AONB staff before applying to the Fund. The Wye Valley AONB Community Links Officer can meet with applicants and/or speak on the phone to discuss your proposal and help frame your application to increase the possibility of a successful assessment and grant.

There are no set dates for submission of applications. The AONB Community Links Officer will inform you of the next Assessment Panel meeting, and when best to submit your application.

Applicants need to register to obtain the online application form through this link https://ukcf.secure.force.com/forms/HCF.

In addition to the HCF application form, applicants can submit supplementary project information directly to the AONB Community Links Officer, to help inform the Assessment Panel’s decision.

How are projects assessed?

Applications will be considered by the Wye Valley AONB Joint Advisory Committee’s (JAC) delegated AONB Assessment Panel and recommendations made to the Trustees of the Herefordshire Community Foundation.

The AONB Assessment Panel is a panel of local people made up of representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors, nominated by the Wye Valley JAC. The Panel will assess each project application based on whether it meets the aims, criteria and objectives of the Fund and whether it provides good value/benefits for the amount requested and there are sufficient funds available.

For grants of less than £1,000 the assessment decision is delegated to the Panel Chairperson in combination with a Trustee of the Herefordshire Community Foundation and the AONB Manager.

Once a decision is made by the AONB Assessment Panel, the recommendation will be passed to the Trustees of Herefordshire Community Foundation for endorsement.

Post Assessment – Grant Offer and Acceptance

The applicant will receive a letter stating the outcome of the funding application within two weeks of the panel meeting taking place.

If your project is approved, you need to sign and return the Grant Offer letter to formally accept the grant, any conditions and the payment process. You should not commence the project until you have confirmation that the signed Grant Offer Letter has been received by the AONB Community Links Officer. They will forward a copy to the Herefordshire Community Foundation.

Payment Process

Once the applicant’s acceptance of the Grant Offer Letter had been received by Herefordshire Community Foundation payment of the grant will be made. Depending on the type of project and size of the grant, the payment may be full payment up-front or 50% on commencement and then phased payment(s) based on agreed milestones and successful delivery. This may be negotiated in the pre-application process or at the discretion of the Assessment Panel.

Monitoring and Reporting

A report detailing the projects outputs, outcomes and actual expenditure, are required at the end of the project. A reporting form will be sent to you after you have started your project for completion at the end. Please include photos (before, during  and after) to illustrate how your project was undertaken and some feedback from beneficiaries, participants  and/or the local community.

Contact details

Sarah Sawyer, AONB Community Links Officer
Wye Valley AONB,
Hadnock Road,
Monmouth NP25 3NG

Tel: 01600 710844

Email: community@wyevalleyaonb.org.uk

Below we show the process step by step…

  1. 1
    Get guidance from WVAONB on the proposed project .
  2. 2
    Complete the application form and submit supporting evidence.
  3. 3
    Applications will be reviewed by a WVAONB panel and recommendations passed on to HCF trustees for a decision.
  4. 4
    You will receive notification of whether your application has been successful within two weeks of the review panel meeting. If your funding is approved you will need to accept in writing. Then payment will be made by BACS. This may be in stages.
  5. 5
    You must monitor the project and fill in a report form which you will return to WVAONB, with photos.
  6. 6
    You will need to confirm completion of the project. Then any final payment will be made.

CONTACT US

Herefordshire Community Foundation,
The Fred Bulmer Centre,
Wall Street, Hereford HR4 9HP
Registered Charity No. 1094935
Registered in England and Wales No. 4468139

t: 01432 272550

Should you require any further information regarding HCF or need assistance in making an application please submit your enquiry using this form, or email or telephone using the details above. 

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THE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE AT HCF
  1. Our Approach to Complaints

1.1 Herefordshire Community Foundation (HCF) aims to deal with all matters in a fair way which reflects the charity's aims and objectives. However, from time to time things may go wrong and in such cases, individuals may seek to complain. The purpose of this policy is to provide an efficient, transparent and fair way of dealing with any complaint.

1.2 Herefordshire Community Foundation is committed to providing a quality service to our stakeholders. Staff also strive to present themselves in a professional and courteous manner at all times. One of the ways in which the charity can continue to improve the service we offer is to listen and respond to the views of all our stakeholders, therefore HCF aims to ensure that:

  • there is an open and transparent procedure for making a complaint.
  • the complaints procedure is publicised so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • the complaint is dealt with promptly, politely and appropriately.
  • there is an appropriate response such as an explanation, an apology where we have got things wrong or information on any action taken.
  • lessons are learnt from complaints which are used to improve our service.
  • a confidential file of all complaints is kept centrally.
  1. How to Make a Complaint

2.1 If you have a complaint, please contact us as soon as possible.

2.2 All complaints should be made in writing by e-mail or letter. When writing or e-mailing your complaint, appropriate contact details should be provided such as an email address or a full postal address. Please address your complaint to: 

The CEO,
Herefordshire Community Foundation,
The Fred Bulmer Centre, Wall Street,
Hereford HR4 9HP

E-mail: ceo@herefordshirecf.co.uk

2.3 If the complaint relates to the CEO, the complaint should be made in writing by letter or email to the Chair of the Trustees at the above address or email:

chair@herefordshirecf.org

  1. The Process - Grants

3.1 Complaints relating to grant-making will be assessed by the CEO and a response will be sent within 5 working days of receipt. If it is not possible to issue a full reply within this time because a detailed investigation is required we will tell you what is being done to deal with your complaint, when you can expect the full reply and from whom. The CEO is required to report all complaints to the charity's board so they can monitor the handling of the complaint and ensure an appropriate response is given.

3.2 If you are not satisfied with the final response from the CEO you may ask for your complaint to be referred to the Chair of the Trustees for further investigation.

3.3  The referral will be acknowledged within 5 days of receipt and the Chair of the Board will aim to produce a decision within 20 days. If this is not possible you will be told what is being done to deal with your complaint and when you can expect the reply.

3.4 If following this second response you remain dissatisfied and if the nature of your complaint relates to funding received or not received, you can re-direct your complaint to the funding body where this is appropriate.

  1. The Process - Other complaints

4.1 Complaints relating to any non-grant making issue will be dealt with by the CEO and a response will be sent within 5 working days of receipt. If it is not possible to issue a full reply within this time because a detailed investigation is required we will tell you what is being done to deal with your complaint, when you can expect the full reply and from whom. Again, all complaints will be notified to the Board of Trustees so that they can monitor the action taken.

4.2 If you are not satisfied with the response from the CEO, you may ask for your complaint to be referred to the Chair of the Trustees.

4.3 The referral will be acknowledged within 5 days of receipt and the Chair of the Trustees will aim to produce a decision within 20 days. If this is not possible you will be told what is being done to deal with your complaint and when you can expect the reply. Any decision will be final.

External stage

Complaints that are sufficiently serious may be taken to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in may be found on their website at: charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc47.aspx