A Safe, Warm, Well-come

Community Recovery Warm Spaces Grant Scheme - Call 4

This scheme aims to offer Community and Voluntary Organisations funding to aid them in rebuilding and reconnecting communities following the coronavirus pandemic. As we head into the winter months, the scheme aims to help residents of this Borough who are vulnerable, isolated and/or struggling during the cost-of-living crisis by supporting groups to provide new, renewed or extended community activities which bring people together in a warm, safe and shared space.

The information published on this page is also available as a downloadable PDF (588KB).


Council has identified a budget to support projects that assist local communities through new, renewed or extended community activities which bring people together in a warm, safe, shared space.

Constituted groups are permitted to apply for 100% funding up to a maximum of £500 to encourage them to host a Warm Space for the local community. These grants are designed to support activities, not capital costs. Projects must run for a minimum of 3 sessions.

The definition of a Warm Space is that they must be a free to use, warm, safe place where residents can expect a friendly and inclusive welcome. People can attend on their own, or with a friend, and will have an opportunity to talk to others over a hot drink or maybe a hot meal and be encouraged to stay for long as they wish throughout its opening hours. You may also wish to make some social activities available.

Council will provide all successful projects with information packs to give out, which will contain practical advice on keeping safe and warm this winter. There can be further help to find out about more specialist advice and support for any issues or challenges they are facing.

The grant scheme will open for applications on 23 October 2023 for projects taking place between 1 November 2023 and 18 February 2024. It will stay open for applications until either:

  • The budget has been fully allocated; or
  • 1 January 2024, whichever is first; at which point the scheme will close for applications

N.B. Only applications that have been submitted before the closing of the scheme will be considered for funding. No draft applications will be considered.

Applications are restricted to one application per community group only.


To qualify for a grant under this Scheme, applicants must be formally constituted with a current committee and based in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area. The applicant must also ensure that any benefits from the funding are in the Mid and East Antrim Borough only.

A community organisation is defined as a group constituted to undertake specific duties and responsibilities as confirmed in their constitution for no private or commercial gain. There are a number of ways in which to constitute a community group and this can include groups that have a memorandum and articles of association as long as any profits are reinvested and not for private gain. This includes faith-based groups and single identity organisations undertaking community activities.


  • Enabling people to reconnect with their communities by hosting coffee/newspaper mornings or luncheon club in a warm and welcoming building running for six weeks
  • Enabling people to access a nutritious meal by hosting an activity such as a weekly beetle drive or cookery demonstration followed by supper
  • Extending the opening hours and/or range of activities provided by existing community organisations which bring people together in warm spaces for companionship eg guest speakers, keep fit classes etc
  • Hosting a series of information events, along with refreshments, with representatives attending from organisations who may be able to provide support and advice for the community in relation to the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Enabling and encouraging vulnerable people to use and access technology to keep them connected to the outside world by hosting an intergenerational club where the young people share computer skills and the older people share baking or sewing skills
  • Awareness raising events directly relating to the purpose of the fund, e.g. series of weekly speakers to provide wellbeing information, healthy eating, keep warm projects etc

Please note:

a. We ask that you are able to provide toilets, heating, tables and chairs and tea and coffee-making facilities.
b. the aim of the funding scheme is to facilitate groups to provide a number of repeated sessions over a period of weeks, during the winter months, not a one-off event
c. Council will also require successful applicants to contact the wellbeing team on wellbeing@midandeastantrim.gov.uk to register the project as a warm space, get a copy of the warm space charter and toolkit and to collect information packs for distribution

Eligible spend

The following are examples of items which can qualify for eligible spend:

  • Slow cookers to facilitate provision of meals such as soups and stews
  • Tea, coffee, milk, biscuits for coffee mornings
  • Newspapers or board games
  • Food ingredients for cookery demonstrations
  • Materials for a craft class or similar
  • Venue hire costs (eg hire of local hall or community centre)

These lists are not exhaustive, and any project ideas should be discussed with your local DEA Council Officer in the first instance to determine suitability (see contact details below).

Any groups who require support for projects are advised to contact their relevant DEA Officer to discuss other sources of guidance and support.

Applicants are reminded that the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus is an unprecedented global event and advice is constantly being updated. The latest advice from the UK government and the NHS can be found at; www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Scoring Criteria

To qualify for a grant under this Scheme, applicants must clearly demonstrate the following in completing the relevant application form:

I. What the project is, including planned dates (events should be well-planned and locally connected)
II. The need for the project (evidence base that the project meets the needs of the local community
III. The benefits of the project (eg strengthens community, addresses loneliness, provides warm spaces)
IV. Specifically targets people that are lonely or socially isolated

Each answer will require a minimum of 50% in scoring for the application to be successful.

Payment of Grant

To enable projects to commence as soon as possible, groups may request 50% advance payment of grant. In order to avail of this please contact the Grants Team to request an Advance Payment Request Form. The remaining 50% will be paid on completion of the project and satisfactory vouching has taken place (at Council’s discretion).

N.B. Council, at its discretion, may contact suppliers directly to verify expenditure has taken place in accordance with the application for funding and any offer of funding by Council. Cases of suspected fraud involving Mid and East Antrim Borough Council funds will be reported to the Police.


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will not fund the following under this scheme:

a) Any action or project that breaches the directive given by the UK Government in relation to self-isolation and the delaying of the spread of the virus;
b) Commercial ventures and organisations;
c) Organisations which fall under the remit or are primarily funded by Central Government or public sector bodies, such as schools, state funded / private pre-school groups, state funded / private childcare facilities, PTAs. (N.B. Community and Voluntary operated pre-school and childcare facilities are eligible to apply to this scheme);
d) Large items of equipment which would be deemed capital, i.e. non-portable, permanent fixtures or vehicles etc.
e) Use of commercial/business premises during normal opening hours (hire of a commercial premises outside normal opening hours for an activity which is not for commercial gain may be considered)
f) Single issue organisations whose primary focus is campaigning or lobbying;
g) Parades;
h) Events, parties, shopping trips or other day trips;
i) Umbrella groups not represented in the Mid and East Antrim area by a locally based committee;
j) Projects that have already commenced or expenditure incurred prior to making application to this scheme;
k) Projects outside of the Mid and East Antrim area;
l) Groups currently in arrears or in bad debt to Council;
m) Items of personal team kit, clothing and uniforms;
n) Alcohol;
o) Applications from individuals;
p) Holiday schemes/projects;
q) Party political activity
r) General running costs of an organisation. This includes salary, electricity, heating, Mobile / telephone, internet, rent costs, subscriptions, bank fees and membership fees, ongoing upkeep of websites.
s) The purchase of equipment relating to the administration of the group, e.g. IT equipment and mobile phones.
t) One off events

Equality of Opportunity

While administering the Grants Support Scheme, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will ensure the promotion of equality of opportunity between:

a) Persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;
b) Men and women generally;
c) Persons with a disability and persons without; and
d) Persons with dependants and persons without;

In addition, due regard will be given to the promotion of good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

How to Apply

Before completing an application, applicants should make sure that they are eligible to apply and have read these guidance notes in full.

Applications are made online by going to; www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/residents/grants

If you have issues in accessing the grants portal, please contact DEA Council Officer for your local area (see contact details below).

Specific Conditions

Projects that have been awarded funding through this or other Council grants schemes will not be permitted to obtain additional funding under this scheme for that particular project.

All projects awarded funding within the 2023/24 financial year must have their final claims submitted before 11 March 2024.

Proposed activity/project ends by

Final Claims/Paperwork submitted by

18 February 2024

11 March 2024

N.B. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all statutory licences and permits are in place prior to an event taking place. Typical licences required for a community event may include Entertainments, Street Trading etc.

For information on licences and fees, please visit our Licencing section.

Full terms and conditions are available on the Council website by going to our Grants section.

Procurement of Goods and Services

The following procurement procedures must be adhered to when purchasing any individual good or service relating to the project or event. Applicants are required to upload the necessary written quotations as outlined below to the application form. Failure to do so will result in the application not moving to the next stage of evaluation and may be deemed ineligible for funding.


Estimated value of individual item of expenditure (exc. VAT)

Number of Quotations Required

£0.00 - £2,999.99

Minimum of 1 telephone / email quotation

£3,000 - £7,999.99

Minimum of 3 written / email quotations

£8,000 - £29,999.99

Minimum of 4 written / email quotations

£30,000 +

Publicly Advertised Tender

Regulations to note:

  • The Public Supplies Contracts Regulations 1991
  • The Public Works Contracts Regulations 1991
  • The Utilities Supply and Works Contracts Regulations 1992
  • The Public Services Contracts Regulations 1993
  • It is good practice to have a system of opening and evaluating tenders.
  • Claims: Please use the proforma provided and submit by the target date. Original invoices and receipts should be submitted and a copy retained for your records.
  • Any legal agreements should only be made following professional advice.
  • When renewing insurance always check with alternative firms to obtain the best quote. Voluntary organisations like NICVA have favourable group arrangements in place.
  • Applicants are advised to maintain records of small purchases in a petty cash book and to ensure that cheques are not signed in advance.
  • Where it is evident that one supplier can provide the product or service as one itemised invoice as opposed to a series of invoices, the project promoter should treat this as such and seek quotations according to procurement thresholds. This will ensure the best value for money. Separating the scope of works into sections for the purpose of invoicing below the procurement threshold, will be deemed by audit as purposely splitting work values to avoid due process.

N.B. Council, at its discretion, may contact suppliers directly to verify expenditure has taken place in accordance to the application for funding and any offer of funding by Council. Cases of suspected fraud involving Mid and East Antrim Borough Council funds will be reported to the Police.




Fiona Surgenor

DEA Officer - Knockagh Fiona.surgenor@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 028 9335 8265
M: 07880 432 458

Jane Dunlop

DEA Officer – Bannside jane.dunlop@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 028 2563 3141
M: 07894 295 224

Alison Kane

DEA Officer - Carrick Castle alison.kane@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 028 2826 2460
M: 07939 634403

Jude McNeill

DEA Officer – Braid jude.mcneill@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 028 2563 3526
M: 07392 190 503


Wendy Carson

DEA Officer – Larne Lough wendy.carson@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
​T: 028 2826 2459
M: 07966 888 131

Lisa Thompson

DEA Officer – Ballymena lisa.thompson@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 028 2826 2367
M: 07391 863501


Amanda Cotter

DEA Officer – Coast Road Amanda.cotter@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
T: 02825 633196
M: 07391 863 492