Applying for seed-corn funding for your market can help to meet initial costs.
With markets satisfying a wide range of community objectives, there are a number of avenues you can explore both locally and nationally.
Any funding application will need to be made once your organisation has a constitution (covered in Chapter 8: Governance) and a bank account. However, you may well be partnering with an existing organisation in which case they could act as an accountable body for any application.
Typically grants are banded into three brackets:
Small grants – £500 to £1,000
Medium grants – Up to £20,000
Large grants – £20,000 up to £250,000 or more.
Small to medium grants can sometimes be sourced through your Local Council, Primary Care Trusts or a Local Chamber of Trade. Local and national charities offer grants in accordance with their primary purpose and the database can be found on the Charities Commission website.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller grants do not require a great deal of paperwork, have a fast turnaround time and need little monitoring afterwards, with funders generally requiring only a short report or presentation. The larger the grant the more work is required to submit and monitor, with large grants often taking up to six months to complete, requiring quarterly reporting over the duration of the grant period.
Small and medium grants usually only cover capital expenditure items such as marketing materials and equipment. It is only when you are in a position to apply for large grants that rent on buildings or salaries may be covered. Large grants are in the main only open to those social enterprises that have been in business for a minimum of two years and are able to provide evidence of sustainability and the outcomes achieved in the community.
CASE STUDY: Marlborough Communities Market
Based in Wiltshire, in a town already supporting two general market days per week, Marlborough Communities Market was started as a Transition Town initiative. Local environmentalists raised concerns about the closure of a farmers’ market that had been running in the town for twelve years, and the lack of support now available to local farmers.
With funding from the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Fund, the Town Council and the Unitary Authority, the new market was established in 2012. Supporting local food networks, the market also encourages start-up businesses as well as those reviving rural skills and low carbon industries.