Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme

Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme

We are offering grants for environmental organisations in Wales to build skills, develop ideas and improve the services they deliver.


The Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme is no longer accepting applications. Explore our available funding.


The Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme is a new £920,000 revenue grant scheme to increase capacity within the environmental non-governmental organisation (eNGO) sector.

What do we mean by green recovery?

  • reversing the decline in nature
  • addressing the changing climate and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change
  • tackling unsustainable patterns of production and consumption (the circular economy)
  • investment that supports job creation and new markets (economic recovery)
  • targeting action to those groups, communities and places that are most vulnerable, and/or have been hit hardest to address underlying inequalities and deprivation (social recovery)

Aims of the fund

Through the Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme we want to:

  • provide support to eNGOs to increase capacity through strengthened governance, financial resilience, community engagement, project development and other relevant skills.
  • put eNGOs - particularly smaller organisations - on a more sustainable footing by supporting the development of higher quality projects
  • improve the reach of eNGOs into under-represented communities (ethnic minorities, young people, disabled people, areas of deprivation, etc)

The fund is open to non-governmental not-for-profit environmental organisations, or partnerships that are led by an eNGO. Applicants must be based in Wales and developing projects within Wales. The organisation’s principal aims, or charitable objectives, must be concerned with the protection or improvement of the natural environment.

We will only accept one application per organisation or partnership.

We will accept applications for revenue funding until 31 July 2021. You can apply for up to 100% of funding.

Pre-application advice is available via email – contact:

16 November – 6 December 2020: submit a Project Enquiry Form. Feedback will be given within 10 working days. This stage is optional but strongly recommended. 

23 November 2020 – 10 January 2021: submit a full application. Please note: no application support will be offered between 21 December 2020 and 4 January 2021.

By 8 February 2021: grant decisions

Through the Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme we expect to see a step change in how well organisations work, the ideas that they develop and/or the services that they deliver. 

Applications can include any of the following activities. Please do not try to do them all:

  • strengthened governance, financial resilience and other relevant skills
  • developing plans or strategies (eg: business plans or communication strategies)
  • improved community engagement and consultation
  • project planning and development activity
  • improved service provision
  • identifying challenges presented by COVID-19 and possible solutions
  • strengthened partnership working

Your project must: 

  • Include a minimum of £5,000 consultant support. This does not need to be planned at application stage. You can include a consultant you have worked with previously or we can provide you with contact details if successful.
  • only cover revenue costs. This grant scheme will not fund capital projects
  • develop an action plan which identifies future priorities, actions, joint working and future funding
  • consider the Welsh language
  • acknowledge The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

The funding can be spent on:

  • fees for consultants, mentors, contractors, trainers, etc
  • staff wages (new and existing)
  • full cost recovery
  • staff and volunteer expenses
  • room hire
  • digital equipment or accessories
  • translation costs
  • contingency
  • evaluation

Visit our application portal and register an account (or log in if you have applied to The National Lottery Heritage Fund previously).

  1. From the drop-down menu choose £10,000–£100,000 (there is no dedicated Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme application form).
  2. Complete and submit a Project Enquiry Form, so that you can get feedback from us on your project before you complete your full application (service available 16 November - 6 December). This stage is optional but strongly recommended. 
  3. When you are ready, complete and submit a full application (from 23 November).

Please carefully follow the below instructions, alongside our £10,000-£250,000 grants programme guidance and application help notes, to complete your application.

Naming your project

Start your project title with #GREEN to help us correctly identify your application. For example: #GREEN Business Planning for The Welsh Birds Association. There is a limit of 15 words.

Section 1

Question 1a-1b – please use the application notes page 4 to help you answer these questions.

Question 1c – in no more than 200 words please tell us:

  • what you will do to improve capacity within your organisation
  • who will be involved
  • what you will be spending the funding on
  • how you will include Welsh language within your project

Question 1d–1j  – refer to application help notes page 4-6.

Question 1k – this funding comes from The National Lottery and you will be required to acknowledge them as a condition of grant. Please tell us how you will do this.

Section 2

Question 2a – tell us about the heritage (sites/species) that your organisation works to protect.

Question 2b – tick "Landscapes and Nature".

Question 2c – tell us what challenges your organisation is facing and how that impacts on the sites/species that you are trying to protect.

Question 2d – you only need to tick options if your project relates to specific sites. 

Question 2e – answer “no”.

Question 2f – answer “N/A”.

Question 2g – tick “no”.

Section 3

Use application help notes page 10-11 to answer all of the questions in this section.

Section 4

For this grant programme you need to achieve at least one of the below outcomes.

Outcomes can be achieved either within the current project or by building capacity and/or opportunities to do so in future projects. Please note:

  • for these grants, when we refer to heritage we mean “our landscapes and nature”
  • there is a 300 word limit for this section
  • your answer should detail what you will do and how you will know what you have achieved


  • A wider range of people will be involved with heritage. For example, a project may undertake consultation with young people aged 11-25 who may get involved in future projects.
  • People will have learnt about heritage, leading to change in ideas and actions. For example, a project may bring together a network of organisations to develop an environmental education programme focusing on reducing litter.
  • People will have greater wellbeing. For example, a project may pay for health consultants to advise on activities suitable for people suffering from certain health issues.
  • The funded organisation will be more resilient. For example, you may diversify your committee by bringing in additional expertise or providing training.
  • The local area will be a better place to work, live or visit. For example, you may bring together local groups to develop ideas for a bee friendly town or village. 
  • People will have developed skills. For example, you may create traineeships or apprenticeships for this or future programmes for under-represented groups.

Section 5

Using the application help notes pages 15-17, tell us how much it will cost to deliver your project. Please note, we cannot fund the following costs through this grant programme:

  • capital costs
  • statutory and/or legal responsibilities
  • recoverable VAT
  • projects being developed on private land where there is no public benefit

Section 6

Use the application help notes pages 18-19 to help you answer all questions in this section.

Section 7

The supporting documents required for this programme are:

  • governance documents (eg: constitution)
  • your most recent audited accounts
  • partnership agreements
  • job descriptions for new posts

Section 8

Use the application help notes page 23 to help you answer these questions.

To apply for the Green Recovery Capacity Building Scheme you must follow the instructions on this page, alongside:

 The Heritage Fund Wales is distributing the Nature Networks Fund on behalf of the Welsh Government

Nature Networks partnership logo