Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT): Biffa Award
The Biffa Award is a Landfill Communities Fund scheme run by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) in its role as an Environmental Body (EB). This scheme is part of the process to enable Landfill Operators to redirect a small proportion of landfill tax liability (currently 4.2%) to support a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of their landfill sites through the Landfill Community Fund.
Under the Biffa scheme, funding is directed to projects which provide and improve public amenities for communities near to a Biffa operation. In addition, it funds projects that increase or maintain biodiversity. As of May 2016, relevant landfill sites in Northern Ireland are limited to Newtownabbey and Ballyclare.
On 1st May 2016 some major changes were made to this funding scheme. The good news was that this was due to less waste going into landfill sites and the percentage of tax that could therefore be distributed through the Landfill Communities Fund was decreasing. The bad news is that the funders, already heavily oversubscribed and now with less money to distribute, had to tighten their eligibility criteria.
The Small Grants Scheme was closed and there is now one Main Grants Scheme where applicants can apply for between £10,000 and £75,000, with the project total cost not exceeding £200,000 inc VAT.
In addition, The Cultural Facilities theme is no longer open to applications through the Main and Small Grants Schemes; instead heritage projects will be supported through the funder’s Partnership Scheme project with the Association of Independent Museums.
Main Grants Scheme
Under this scheme, grants are awarded to projects that provide or improve biodiversity, community spaces, cultural facilities, and places for outdoor recreation. For example. you may have a building that needs improvement in order to increase the range of services on offer to the local community. You could have a site-based project that is working to protect and enhance a species or habitat. Or maybe it’s an open space such as a park, play area or woodland that needs transforming to benefit local people of all ages. In a nutshell, the funders want to make sure that everyone has access to high quality local community facilities.
- The eligibility criteria for the Main Grants Scheme vary slightly depending on the theme under which you are applying for funding.
- The main criteria for Community Buildings, Recreation and Cultural Facilities projects are:
- The project’s site is within 5 miles of a significant Biffa operation or within 10 miles of an active Biffa Landfill site. Check your project’s postcode using the Postcode Checker.
- The project’s site is also within 10 miles of any licensed landfill site (To find your nearest landfill site, visit the Environment Agency website)
- The total cost of the project is less than £200,000
- There will be a minimum of 104 days of full public access to the project per year
- Any Biffa Award grant will be used for site-based improvement work, not for equipment or running costs
- Biffa Award is unable to fund requests to help an existing facility meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act
- Biffa Award is unable to fund retrospectively, so you should only apply for funding for work that will take place in the future
- The applicant organisation and project are eligible for enrolment and registration with the scheme’s regulator, ENTRUST. These will be conditions of any grant approved. Please note that organisations must be not for profit. Local authorities cannot apply or enrol
In addition to those criteria listed above, the criteria for Rebuilding Biodiversity projects are:
- The project’s site is within 15 miles of a significant Biffa operation. Check your project’s postcode using the Postcode Checker
- The project has specific targets in relation to a Biodiversity Action Plan and will deliver a direct improvement to biodiversity
- Your organisation has the support of key agencies, and has partners involved in the project’s delivery
- There is a management plan in place for the key species / habitat(s) involved.
As of May 2016, relevant landfill sites in Northern Ireland are limited to Newtownabbey and Ballyclare.
How to apply
The Biffa Award application deadlines changed in May 2016. There will now be three board meetings per year, where two themes will be reviewed at each meeting. The applicant’s grants officer will advise which meeting the project will be taken to and advise on application deadline dates accordingly.
The following 2016/2017 dates are to be confirmed:
• October 2016 – Community Buildings and Rebuilding Biodiversity
• February 2017 – Rebuilding Biodiversity and Recreation
• June 2017 – Recreation and Community Buildings