Wednesday 24 January 2024 – West Midlands

The Inclusive Communities Fund has received over £57 million in funding requests since it was launched in November 2023 following an incredible response from organisations across the West Midlands.  

The Fund, which will see £9 million awarded in total, is designed to support communities across the West Midlands to bring to life solutions to address the challenges in their neighbourhoods and local areas. This Fund is inspired by the momentum generated by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which provided support to community-based organisations across the West Midlands, enabling access to exciting opportunities and fresh funding streams.  

Heart of England Community Foundation is now assessing over 800 applications and expects to make announcements to successful applicants from March 2024. A community panel will support the Community Foundation, helping to advise where the large, medium and small works grants will be directed. Following this announcement, the Fund will close on the 5th February 2024 at 5pm. Organisations who have started but have not yet submitted their application are encouraged to do so before the closing date.  

The Inclusive Communities Fund has been made available by the UK Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) are overseeing delivery of this investment, through the Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund – to enable a significant programme of Legacy projects to take place until March 2025. Heart of England Community Foundation, who are administering the fund across the region, is working with United By 2022 – the official games legacy charity – to highlight the available funding to local organisations.  

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation said:  

“I’m delighted to share that the Inclusive Communities Fund has received an incredible £57 million in funding requests since its November 2023 launch. There has been such a keen wave of interest since we launched the programme, and this reflects the strong commitment of communities across the West Midlands to address local challenges.  

“We now begin the hard task of reviewing the applications, with successful applicants to be announced in March. We’re thankful to the UK Government and the West Midlands Combined Authority for their support in making this Fund possible, and we are excited to see these impactful community projects come to life across the region.” 

Heart of England Community Foundation also manages other funding opportunities across the region. These include the Community Environment Fund, Warwickshire County Council Social Value Fund, Solihull Fairer Futures Fund, Neighbourhood Network Schemes across Birmingham and many other Funds. If you would like to find out more information about applying to one of the Community Foundation’s other Funds, please visit our website or contact our funding team via email:    

If you would like further information about the Inclusive Communities Fund you can visit the Community Foundations website: or contact our team directly:  


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does this mean for my application?

Applications submitted for Large and Small Works/Renovation grants which closed on the 4th of January 2024 are being assessed for the decision-making panel by the Heart of England Community Foundation. Applicants who have already submitted an application for the Small and Medium Grants are also now being prepared for assessment and decision. Those who have started, but not yet submitted their application for a small or medium grant – now have until the 5th February 2024 at 5pm to submit their bid. The application portal will close after this date.

2. When will I hear a response on whether I have been successful or not?

We expect that all of those who have submitted an application for a Small Works / Renovation and Large Grant through the Fund will be notified about the outcome of their application from March 2024. Small Grants will be notified on a rolling basis, and we aim for these decisions to be much quicker. Medium Grants will be notified of a decision at the latest by the end of March 2024.

3. Will the fund reopen later in the year?

There is a slight possibility that the Small Grants Threshold may reopen after March 2024, but this is not committed or confirmed yet. We will know more as we approach the end of this phase of the fund. If we can reopen the fund after March 2024, we will give groups as much notice as possible.

4. Will the time frame for spending the grant be extended if decisions are delayed?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to extend the spending period of the Inclusive Communities Fund. All funding must be spent by December 2024. If your application is successful, our team will discuss your project timeline and budget spend with you.