We are pleased to announce the successful allocation of £11.8 million, distributing 388 grants from the Inclusive Communities Fund to projects across the West Midlands. 

The Inclusive Communities Fund was established to empower communities to tackle local challenges. Inspired by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Fund is supporting community-based organisations, offering them access to new opportunities and legacy funding from the Games. 

For Heart of England Community Foundation, this represents a remarkable achievement—disbursing approximately four years’ worth of grant making in just seven months, making this fund the largest programme we have ever delivered. Our team has worked diligently to meet the overwhelming demand, processing over 1,300 applications totalling over £71 million. 

We have genuinely enjoyed reading all of the proposals that we received. We’ve learnt so much about the variety and scale of creative activities being delivered across the region, through the various streams and priorities of this fund. We have also made contact with new organisations who had never applied for a grant from the Community Foundation before. We are now looking forward to continuing to visit and engage with projects throughout the summer and the remainder of 2024.

The Inclusive Communities Fund is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund, which is using the underspend from the Games to ensure the positive legacy is felt right across the region and for many years to come. 

 Heart of England Community Foundation are the administrators of the fund across the region. 

Photo including Tina Costello OBE, Jayne Taylor-Farren, Shamiela Ahmed, Ryan Boyce and Helen Kendrick from Heart of England Community Foundation holding £11.8m big cheque

Photo L-R: Tina Costello OBE, Jayne Taylor-Farren, Shamiela Ahmed, Ryan Boyce and Helen Kendrick from Heart of England Community Foundation

Explore the Inclusive Communities Fund here
Programme Amount Awarded Number of Awards
Large Grants 1,961,481 14
Medium Grants 5,657,904 141
Small Grants 1,964,564 197
Small Works, Refurbishments, Renovations Grants 2,233,861 36
Totals 11,817,810 388




Location Amount Awarded
Number of Awards
Birmingham 2,524,630 88
Cannock Chase 266,977 11
Coventry 1,008,010 28
Dudley 842,034 34
Redditch 246,557 10
Regional 1,176,097 27
Sandwell 1,076,736 27
Shropshire 546,933 20
Solihull 756,980 25
Tamworth 319,117 10
Telford and Wrekin 531,554 19
Walsall 797,886 22
Warwickshire 891,242 39
Wolverhampton 833,057 28
Totals 11,817,810 388

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of visiting some of the first projects awarded a grant from the fund. We spent time with The Feast Youth Project, Ren Shin Kan Aikido Club, and Entrust Care Partnership. Each organisation supports diverse communities, in different parts of the region, to come together and take part in sports, arts or cultural activities. 

You can watch our first video featuring these organisations here: 

  • The Feast Youth Project were awarded £13,328 to support their interfaith youth service in Birmingham, fostering understanding and collaboration among young people from different backgrounds. 
  • Ren Shin Kan Aikido Club were awarded £15,000 to provide Aikido, Yoga, and Tai Chi classes in Dudley, aimed at improving exercise levels and combating isolation among participants. 
  • Entrust Care Partnership CIC were awarded £15,000 to deliver dance movement workshops in Warwickshire for children aged 8+ with additional needs or abilities, promoting creativity and physical activity. 

Reflecting on the success of the programme so far, Tina Costello OBE, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation said:  

“I feel so fortunate to have chaired the majority of the community grant panels, meeting new people with fantastic knowledge and experience of our region, and reading all of the wonderful applications we received” 


“It’s exciting to see the development of local projects working with people in every part of the region. The range of activities is simply incredible, and I am so proud of everyone involved in helping us to deliver this funding to frontline organisations. The diversity of the organisations and projects we have funded will drive change and create real impact—a fantastic legacy from the Commonwealth Games. I’m really looking forward to seeing this impact come to life in the coming months. 


“These initial fabulous videos from three fantastic local organisations show what this funding means for local people, and the strength, togetherness, and opportunity that comes when we invest in local community organisations.” 

Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:  

 “The Inclusive Communities Fund will touch the lives of many thousands of people right across the West Midlands. It is already providing valuable and in some cases life changing opportunities to take part in organised sport and community activities, improve local facilities, to learn important new life skills, and to get involved with arts and culture. 


“As Mayor, I want everyone to have the same opportunity to thrive. This fund and the wider Commonwealth Games legacy programme is putting money directly into the hands of these communities to help deliver their own solutions to important issues like health inequalities, social isolation and inactivity. These are the changes that are needed to create brighter futures for generations to come.” 

The Community Foundation is a registered charity serving the West Midlands and Warwickshire since 1995. With a strong commitment to fostering community development and philanthropy, we have awarded over £35 million to support more than 7,000 local projects and organisations. Our vision is to create a fairer, happier, and healthier Midlands where everyone has equal access to opportunities and experiences genuine wellbeing. Our mission is to nurture philanthropy by connecting caring individuals and businesses with meaningful causes, thereby unlocking resources to address local issues and support communities to thrive. 

Download the Fund Report

To access the full portfolio of projects awarded a grant from the Inclusive Communities Fund, please download the following report.