Funding strategy

Fife Environment Trust (FET) was established in 1997. The Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

Fife Environment Trust operates via the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF) supporting worthwhile projects as a designated Approved Body by SEPA – the Regulator of the SLCF.

The principles of sustainability and responding to the climate emergency are at the centre of the Trust’s Funding Strategy. The main aim is to utilise contributions from Landfill Operators in order to maximise benefits for communities through environmental projects with a specific emphasis on:

  • *Helping Fife communities rise to the challenge of climate change by supporting projects, which:
    • cut or store greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. projects that are “climate friendly” and aim to minimise the negative impact of climate change);
    • increase resilience to climate change impacts (i.e. what we term “climate ready” projects to help prepare for the impact of climate change; and
    • ensure that vulnerable people are not further disadvantaged by climate change and which provide opportunities for all.
  • Improving the quality of the natural environment within Fife* by supporting projects which support biodiversity and a healthy natural environment, and in so doing, recognising that nature-based solutions have multiple benefits;
  • Improving quality of life for communities by safeguarding and supporting improvements to the built and natural environment, including local generation of sustainable heat and power;
  • Supporting community led urban and rural regeneration schemes that encompass social inclusion, and which foster community capacity building and involvement in local decision making.

*Communities from all areas of Scotland are eligible

FET supports all Objects of the SLCF Scheme.

The Objects of the SLCF Scheme are contained within Regulation 29(5) of The Scottish Landfill Tax (Administration) Regulations 2015 and can be summarised as follows:

Anywhere in Scotland:

A. Reclamation, remediation, restoration or any other operation intended to facilitate economic, social or environmental use on land with restricted use due to a previous activity.

B. Community based waste prevention, recycling and reuse projects.

In the vicinity of a Landfill Site or Waste Transfer Station: Provision, improvement, maintenance of a public park or other not for profit public amenity:

C. Provision, improvement, maintenance of a public park or other not for profit public amenity.

D. The conservation or promotion of biological diversity through the provision, conservation, restoration and/or enhancement of a natural habitat of Scotland or the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural Scottish habitat.

E. Maintenance, repair or restoration of historic structures or sites of religious worship, historic, archaeological or architectural interest open to the public in Scotland, including their landscape context.

In order to fund administration costs:

F. The provision of financial, administration and other similar services to bodies enrolled with an Approved Body. (If your project requires additional support from Fife Environment Trust, such as financial or administrative services, this must be included as part of your project application. An example of this would be assistance in relation to claiming SLCF monies awarded).

All projects must be able to demonstrate clear public access. To meet the Trust’s minimum public access requirements, project sites (whether land or buildings) must be open to the wider community for a minimum of 2 full days per week or 4 evenings per week or 12 full weeks of the year (if seasonal). In addition, all projects meeting Object B, C, D or E must be able to demonstrate that the proposal is ‘for the protection of the environment’. In the context of the SLCF, the term ‘environment’ is not restricted to the natural environment and may be applied in a wider sense, including to the physical and built environments.

Within the boundaries of all eligible SLCF Objects as outlined previously, the Trustees of Fife Environment Trust will award higher scores to those projects encompassing the following:

  • Activities which address climate change; including reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. tree planting or peatland restoration and climate change adaptation such as projects reduce the impact of extreme weather/s, flooding and disruption;
  • Skills development within projects;
  • Eligible works to A and B listed buildings/structures;
  • The use of natural solutions that support wildlife and biodiversity, help protect or restore functioning ecosystems and which improve the health of the natural environment;
  • Innovative use of a public park or public amenity to enhance, maintain or introduce real community led social, economic or environmental improvements;
  • Sustainable local energy and heat production such as community renewable energy projects;
  • Partnership working and community involvement to achieve the proposed aims.

The Trust is unable to fund the following items:

  • Feasibility studies;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Maintenance costs for maintenance activities planned to commence upon completion of the project;
  • Ongoing running (revenue) costs;
  • Any works that an organisation is legally required to undertake.

  • Applications for funding towards play parks, skate parks and MUGAs are eligible for consideration, however the maximum funding contribution offered by FET towards the project will be £30,000. In addition, the applicant organisation must provide a minimum of 10% of the FET contribution in match funding towards the project. Long-term maintenance of the facilities must be guaranteed thereby protecting the spend of SLCF monies. It should be noted that a commitment to inspections and routine maintenance works only will not suffice and the Trust will be looking for a signed robust maintenance plan as part of the supporting documentation;
  • The Trust’s main aim is to support capital costs for projects;
  • Projects with a food growing focus will be considered by FET provided that the food growing element is part of a larger project, for example a community garden with food growing section to promote healthy eating and to reduce fuel miles and associated emissions;
  • New build projects are eligible for consideration, however the need for a new build must be considered in the context of the existing buildings available in the community for public use in recognition that the carbon impact of refurbishment is likely to be much less damaging than demolition and reconstruction;
  • The Trust recognises that it should be providing additional, not displacement, funding and all proposals should demonstrate the need for funding support by indicating how alternative sources have been investigated. Furthermore, applicants already in receipt of Scottish Landfill Communities Fund monies for their project will be considered a lower funding priority by the Board of FET;
  • Applicants of phased projects will normally need to re-apply each year. Funding in one phase does not guarantee funding in subsequent years. Further, applicants applying for second phase funding would need to ensure that the first phase of the project has been completed to the Trust’s satisfaction;
  • There must be a clear commitment to the maintenance of projects upon completion of the works;
  • The Trust reserves the right to fund only those elements of a project that conform to FET’s priorities as indicated;
  • Projects of a larger scale, or part of a longer-term development may be required to provide supplementary evidence such as a business plan or masterplan document. Applicants may also be asked to make a presentation to the Board;
  • In reference to the Small Grants Scheme, please note that applications for funding will normally not be considered in circumstances where the applicant’s audited accounts show unrestricted funds of more than £15,000 in the most recent financial year.

Fife Environment Trust currently offers two levels of funding support to eligible organisations and projects:

  • Small Grants Scheme

Applicants can apply for a maximum intervention rate of 90% of total eligible project costs of no more than £10,000 (exclusive of VAT). Applications are also welcome for £10,000 requests towards the cost of large eligible projects. The Small Grants Scheme operates on a rolling basis and applications can be submitted to the Trust at any time.

  • Large Grants Scheme

As a general rule, applicants can apply for between £10,000 and £50,000 up to a maximum intervention rate of 75% of the total eligible project cost. The deadlines for the submission of Large Grant Applications are the last working day in March and the last working day in September each year, with Board meetings scheduled for the end of May and the end of November.

Any group or organisation can apply provided the following criteria are met:

  • Community groups and organisations must be constituted not-for-profit bodies;
  • All projects must be directly for the public benefit.

Applicants must complete an application form to ensure that all relevant information is included and to ease evaluation in determining the practicality of the project and its relevance to the Trust’s Funding Strategy.

Submitted applications will be acknowledged on receipt. Upon completion of the first stage of the assessment process, applicants will be advised if any additional information is required or if a site visit is to be arranged as part of the evaluation process. Projects meeting the criteria and submitted by the closing date will be put forward for consideration by the Board of Directors at the next scheduled meeting.

All approved projects will be required to complete a quarterly monitoring submission until completion of the project. You will be asked for a quarterly monitoring update even if your project has not yet progressed to a site start. This is because we require an update on the progress being made moving towards a physical site start.

All claims must be submitted on an authorised claims form, which will be forwarded to you on request along with associated guidance. The Trust will only make payments against invoices for goods or services received or valuation certificates for building works, certified by a qualified person such as a chartered architect or surveyor. Payments will be paid as a percentage of the costs within a project as agreed i.e. if the Trust awards a 50% grant then the Trust will pay up to 50% of the value of eligible invoices for costs submitted at any one time. FET will not contribute to costs that fall outside approved purposes unless authorised by FET (in writing) before works commence. FET will not contribute to costs incurred prior to the formal offer release and acceptance by your organisation.