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There is a wide range of funding sources available for projects including UK Government, the European Union, charitable trusts and the national lottery. Eligibility for funding will depend on the nature of your organisation/group, activities that you are engaged in and the type and scale of the proposed project.

Charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations can search for themselves through the hundreds of Government, Lottery, charitable and other funds available on a European, national, regional and local basis.

External funding alert

South Ayrshire Council now produces a monthly external funding alert that provides details on available funding opportunities and deadlines for applications from businesses, organisations and community groups. Further information is available by clicking on the links provided throughout the alert or via email from

Funding Alert - June 2024 (PDF) [571KB]

External funding service

We can help your voluntary/community groups and organisations to discover new funding opportunities for your projects and ideas. We provide a funder search facility that helps you to find out which funder is likely to provide grants best suited to you. We can also assist you to develop and define your business plan and or constitution, and put you in touch with experience and support from a variety of sources. Funding for projects is available from a number of sources including the UK/SG Government, The EU, charitable trusts and the national lottery. Whether you are eligible will depend on the nature of your organisation/group, its activities and the type and scale of the proposed project.

In addition to traditional grant funding there are a number of crowdfunding platforms, such as:

To allow us to assess the level of support you require please complete the External Funding Enquiry

The external funding service cannot provide advice on accessing funding for individuals, un-constituted organisations or profit making businesses. However the following contacts will be able to provide further information:


Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition(ARIA) Fund

The Ayrshire Rural and Islands Ambition (ARIA) Fund replacement to EU rural development fund LEADER.  It is part of the Scottish Government's Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programme.   

Community Empowerment Fund

Funded by UK Gov Logo - DSA Grant

Empowering communities is a national priority. It is an important part of public service reform, focusing attention on reducing disadvantage and inequality and improving outcomes for communities.

Community empowerment processes support people to do things for themselves and enable people to take control over the decisions and factors that affect their lives and communities. Community empowerment is a gradual process which involves continual learning and the constant building of a community's capacity to articulate and address their priorities.

South Ayrshire Council is committed to promoting and supporting the principles of community empowerment and encouraging interest in community asset transfer, as well as groups taking ownership of local land and assets and driving forward community led regeneration.

The main objectives of the fund will be to assist groups with community empowerment through the development of cultural and heritage activities as well as sport and art.

The definition used in respect of community-led regeneration by the Scottish Government,  states that community-led regeneration is about "people identifying issues and opportunities in their local area; deciding what to do about them and making positive change in their communities."

Successful community-led regeneration:

  • increases the number and strength of locally-controlled, enterprising community organisations
  • supports local organisations taking ownership of assets such as buildings or land
  • helps people to co-ordinate action and respond to challenges in areas where there are high levels of disadvantage
  • helps people identify and act on the priorities in their areas


Constituted community groups/organisations can apply for either a grant of up to £4950 or a grant of up to £15,000

There is a total of £105,000 available for this financial year.

For this year the funding will be split £50,000 for Revenue costs and £55,000 for capital costs..

This fund opens on Tuesday 28th May 2024 and will close on Thursday 20th June 2024 at 5pm.

For full information on the fund please check the guidance notes which details the full criteria as well as details on how to apply

Community Empowerment Fund. Application Form (Word doc) [75KB]

South Ayrshire Grants Privacy Notice (Word doc) [19KB]

Community Empowerment Fund. Guidance Notes (Word doc) [67KB]

South Ayrshire Charitable Trust

The South Ayrshire Charitable Trust has been set up to assist and improve the lives of South Ayrshire residents who are in need because of poverty, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

Find out more

South Ayrshire 4 Community

Search for funding for General Community Benefit, Education & Training, Health, Disability, Youth, Sport and lots more.

South Ayrshire 4 Community website

Participatory Budgeting (PB) Fund

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a way for people to have a say in how local money is spent. PB is mostly about bringing people together at local events for discussion, refreshments and can help encourage people to become more involved in local decision making and democracy. It is used across the world and here in Scotland, where PB events are being run by public bodies and local communities.
Local people will vote on who should receive funding and the applicant will be informed of the decision on the day. Anyone aged 10 or above and attending school, living, working or member of a community group in the area is eligible to vote.  We are introducing online voting this year, which will be open for one month prior to the PB events to allow those who cannot attend the event a chance to vote. 

Bids will also be considered in line with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which encompasses Sports, Cultural, Heritage, Arts and Creative Activities. 

Who can apply?

  • Project proposals are invited from individuals, community or voluntary groups who must run in the South Ayrshire localities.

  • This process is not open to schools, but Parent Association/pupil council may apply if the project does not cover core curricular activities.
  • Groups and individuals may submit applications for one project.

Full application criteria are detailed in the Guidance Notes.  Please note, a constitution/bank account is not required to apply.
PB Application Guidance Notes 24.25 (Word doc) [93KB]

How much can be applied for?

The maximum a project can apply for is £3000 with a lower limit of £500. This year, we are splitting the funding pots within each localityto allow smaller communities a better chance to be successful within this process. 
If you require support with completing the application, we are running drop-in sessions on the following dates and times:

  • Ayr - Monday 24th June from 4pm - 7pm in Ayr Town Hall
  • Online - Wednesday 26th June from 1.30pm - 3.30pm on Teams
  • Maybole - Monday 1st July from 4pm - 7pm in ICT Room above library, Carnegie Building in Maybole
  • Prestwick - Tuesday 2nd July from 4pm - 7pm in Community Centre, Prestwick
  • Girvan - Tuesday 9th July from 4pm - 7pm in McAdam Room in Carrick Opportunities Centre, Girvan
  • Online - Wednesday 10th July from 10am - 12noon on Teams
  • Troon - Thursday 11th July from 4pm - 7pm in Committee Room, Troon Town Hall

The deadline for the application is 19th July 2024.

To complete the online application please click on the relevant link below for your area: - Girvan and South Carrick - Maybole and North Carrick - Ayr South and Villages - Ayr North - Prestwick and Villages - Troon and Villages

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