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Asylum Seeker Grant Application

Document with pen

Preston City Council has been part of the Asylum Seekers Dispersal Scheme for a number of years. In April 2022 the Minister announced that there would be a full dispersal scheme which did not depend on local authorities "opting in" to the scheme.

Along with this announcement was the inclusion of funding to support local authorities to deliver their statutory duties and also to support wider initiatives to be decided by each local authority to support Asylum Seekers.

The Grant Funding Policy for Asylum Seekers in Preston

The Grant Funding Policy for Asylum Seekers in Preston applies to the allocation of grants through the Council's Asylum Seekers Dispersal funding programme.

You must ensure you have read and understand the policy and its terms and conditions before you apply for this funding, failure to do so may result in your application being unsuccessful.

The policy does not apply to any other means of financial support from the Council that may be available under other schemes.

View the Grant Funding Policy for Asylum Seekers in Preston

This Policy will be utilised by Officers to guide decision making around the Asylum Seekers Dispersal funding programme. Officers may apply discretion to the Policy in exceptional circumstances if it is deemed appropriate.

What is the purpose of the grant funding?

This grant funding will be used to support Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector groups, Sports Agencies, Education facilities and any other agency, to ensure that Asylum Seekers placed in Preston are receiving support in a number of areas that have been highlighted. These are:-

  • Increasing access to critical information via the use of interpreters.
  • Promoting better understanding of Asylum Seeker experiences, reducing stigma and fear around the term Asylum Seeker and refugee.
  • Developing Preston as an area with a reputation of supporting integration and promoting inclusivity.
  • Promoting health and wellbeing
  • Introducing nutritional cooking on a budget
  • Accessing education or vocational training
  • Learning to speak English via:-
    • Formal qualifications
    • Informal learning
  • Meaningful use of time

Housing was an area that was also identified as a priority for when people receive their right to remain. Funding for this has been allocated to Housing Advice Services and all people requiring access to this will be directed to a dedicated email address.

Applications for up to £10,000 will be invited from those eligible to apply (see section 4.) to deliver on any of the areas highlighted above.

What is the eligibility criteria?

In order to be considered for funding, organisation will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Any constituted VCFS, sports or activities organisation, Education provider, can apply provided they have a constitution, articles or rules describing the group's aims and objectives.
  • Be based in the City of Preston and provide services/activities for the sole benefit of people residing in Preston.
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organisation or group, which requires at least two joint signatures who are not related for all transactions.
  • Have the necessary policies and procedures that fulfil legal and financial requirements e.g., accounts, health and safety, equal opportunities and compliance with employment legislation and good practice. Especially essential would be up to date lone working policies.
  • Any organisation applying for funding to support and/or work directly with children and/or vulnerable adults MUST supply appropriate Safeguarding Policies and MUST ensure that they comply with the requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with the guidance, for all individuals concerned both staff and volunteers. The Council will request copies of relevant certificates where appropriate.
  • Have the capacity to meet the Council's requirement for delivering performance monitoring and accountability for the use of public funding.

What the council will not fund

  • Services or activities that are the responsibility of statutory bodies.
  • Organisations that have a nature of a political party or political lobbying organisations.
  • Religious organisations for the use of propagation of religion.
  • Individuals.
  • Capital projects e.g., building or refurbishment work, purchase major items of equipment.

General Grants Criteria 

The Council will also apply the following general conditions when considering applications.

  • All application must be submitted on an official Preston City Council application form.
  • There will be a rolling programme for applications which will be specified on the advert.
  • There is no minimum request for funding.
  • Application for up to £3,000 must include a copy of the organisation's latest income and expenditure account signed off by the organisation's officials and contain original or copies of the organisations last 3 months bank and/or building society account statements.
  • Applications for a grant greater than £3,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 must include a copy of the organisation's last financial years audited accounts (if no recent copy available then the latest year's income and expenditure account and balance sheet certified by the organisation's Treasurer will suffice) and annual report.
  • Applications for grant aid from organisations not supplying audited accounts must supply an income and expenditure account signed off by the organisation's officials and contain original or copies of the organisation's last 3 months bank and/or building society account statements.
  • Any grant approved will be subject to certain conditions, which must be satisfied before payment is made. This will be in the form of a Grant Funding Agreement . The organisation must indicate acceptance of such conditions within two months of an offer of grant.
  • Appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems need to be in place to measure performance and review effectiveness of the services delivered including finances and expenditure.

The Assessment Criteria

All grant applications will be assessed using pre-selected assessment criteria. The details of which will be made available to all applicants before they apply for funding.

The minimum criteria will be:-

  • Proposals that are based on evidence and engagement with Asylum Seekers.
  • Clear outputs i.e., activity with intended outcomes that the proposal will achieve.
  • Are able to demonstrate that the organisation has appropriate policies and procedures in place to recognise and maintain the Asylum Seeker's need for confidentiality; and ensure that no information is shared without the Asylum Seekers consent.
  • The clarity of the proposals financial outline.
  • The organisation's ability to successfully manage finance by submission of accounts, bank statements and cash flow forecasts as appropriate.
  • The approach to health and safety, duty of care and other appropriate best practice requirements including safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults (DBS checks) and the organisations ability to successfully manage these on the project.

Financial sustainability

  • A 3-year track record of financial stability
  • Robust financial controls
  • A realistic budget for the proposed service

In the first instance, all applications will be reviewed to ensure they are eligible for scoring. Application may be screened out at this stage if they do not meet the eligibility criteria as set within this Policy.

Grant applications will then be assessed by a panel of Officers in conjunction with the Executive Member for Communities and Social Justice. A scoring matrix will be utilised, a copy of which will be made available in the guidance notes for this scheme.

Unsuccessful applicants will be offered feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their applications.

Complaints against the process used to award these grants will be dealt with using the Council's complaints procedure. There is no right of appeal to the grant decision itself.


Organisations must be able to demonstrate that the grant award enables them to meet any of the identified priorities. The Council can be flexible about the costs that are eligible for funding as long as the application is for revenue costs not capital costs.

Organisations will also need to be clear in their applications on how the grant money will be spent.

As a guide only (this is not an exhaustive list) the Council will expect to be contributing to the following types of costs:-

  • Costs of specific staff i.e., interpreters, councillors etc. and a contribution to managers salary.
  • A percentage towards overheads
  • Volunteer costs
  • Renting of venues
  • Communications, marketing and promotion
  • Admin and back-office functions
  • Activity costs.


Preston City Council has a foundation living wage policy and is committed to being a Foundation Living Wage Employer. The Council will actively promote and encourage all businesses and companies including the VCFS operating in Preston to pay the Living Wage.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

Successful applicants will be monitored in accordance with the Grant Monitoring Procedure. As this is going to be a flexible grant process with funding aligned to projects to deliver throughout the funding period, monitoring and evaluation will be agreed and included in the Service Level Agreements, which will correspond with the outputs and outcomes specified in the successful application.

Self- monitoring reporting will feature, and all grant recipients will be required to produce reports on progress using the Council's monitoring report template.

All grant recipients will be required to produce an end of project Evaluation Report using the Council's template.

Grant Promotion        

The availability of this grant will be advertised openly to reach as wide a range of organisations as possible.

The grant will be publicised using a variety of mediums such as the press, voluntary sector networks, newsletters, council website and social media.

Applications Timeline       

There will be a rolling process for applications throughout the 2023 - 2025 timeframe. Organisations will be advised on this in the advert when the grant applications open.

Assessment of Applications

All applications will be judged on merit and scored against a transparent and common weighted system based on the priority being applied for.

Before being considered against the weighed scoring criteria, applications will undergo an eligibility check and ensure all the necessary supporting documents are available.

Incomplete applications or applications that lack the required eligibility criteria or supporting documents (stipulated in the checklist on the application form) will not be considered.

In order to be recommended for grant support, dependent upon the amount of grant applied for, applicants must meet the minimum threshold score shown in the table below:-

Application Amount

Up to £3,000

Minimum Threshold Score


Application Amount

Over £3k and up to £10k

Minimum Threshold Score



The assessment score of the panel will be final and conclusive and any further correspondence or further representation will not be considered, but feedback on an unsuccessful application will be provided if requested.

Prepare your application before you submit

We suggest that you download the PDF version of the Grant funding for the asylum seekers dispersal scheme application form (PDF) [157KB] before you submit your online application.

There is no saved option once you start the online application.

The PDF application form tells you all of the questions and information that will be required from you for the online application.  We suggest you download this document and complete it, gathering all of the documents that you need, so that once you start the actual application you can finish it in one go.

How do I apply?

Please complete the online application form.

Apply for the Grant Funding for the Asylum Seekers Dispersal Scheme

When will the Panel meetings take place?

Panel meetings will be held to assess applications as below, if you miss the cut off date your application will be added to the next meeting.

  • Panel meeting 24 June 2024 - application must be received on or before the 10 June 2024.
  • Panel meeting 26 August 2024 - application must be received on or before 12 August 2024.
  • Panel Meeting 21 October 2024 - application must be received on or before 7 October 2024.
  • Panel meeting 16 December 2024 - application must be received on or before 2 December 2024.

Grant Decision

Once the panel of Officers in conjunction with the Executive Member for Communities and Social Justice have made their decision, and subject to budgetary allocation, applicants will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

The decision to award grants to specific organisations will be published in a Cabinet Member Report in accordance with the Council's Constitution.

NB. There is a finite amount of grant available for this scheme, and applicants should be aware that even in cases where they meet all the relevant criteria, funding may still be declined because of budgetary constraints.

Standard Conditions of Grant    

Any grant approved will be subject to certain conditions that must be satisfied before payment is made.

This will be in the form of a Grant Funding Agreement . These will clearly lay out what is expected from the successful applicant and what is expected from the Council. The SLA will also set out the grant's payment schedule.

The exact nature of the agreements will vary from organisation to organisation and will be used to enable the Council to monitor and evaluate the successful initiatives.

All organisations must indicate acceptance (or not) of such agreements within two weeks of an offer of grant and must confirm as such before payment is made.

Where future of continuation of funding is being sought, evidence of success must be provided by way of a final evaluation report. Failure to report on the completion of a project may result in future grant applications being refused.

Grant Funding Policy for Asylum Seekers in Preston

Grant Funding Policy for Asylum Seekers in Preston placed here through The Dispersal Scheme 2023 - 2025.

Grant Funding for the Asylum Seekers Dispersal Scheme Application Form

The Application Form for the Grant Funding for Asylum Seekers in Preston placed here through The Dispersal Scheme 2023 - 2025.

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