The Foundation currently manages a range of funds each with varying criteria

and award sizes.

Please do not apply under more than one fund at any given

time without contacting us first.

From the 5th April 2016, all applications to the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, are to be completed and submitted online. Below, you will find secure links that will take you through the relevant application processes. Applications will not be submitted to us for consideration without all of the required documentation being uploaded as part of the application, so please ensure you have all relevant policies and accounts to hand for upload.

Listed below are the current funds which we manage. Linked with each is a set of

criteria. Please read the Criteria before completing an application. Our staff are more than happy to offer advice on how to complete the forms and which fund to apply to.

We operate four funds linked to the Airport, but these are very different and we ask that you take care to complete the correct application form and use the correct criteria. If in doubt, please contact us. The way the Airport is structured is explained  here


We do not publish deadline dates (except for Youth, Big Local and LuDun funds).

Our Awards Panels meet on a regular basis but you will need to make sure your full bid including the provision of any extra details requested by the Foundation to clarify that bid is with us a minimum of three months before you need the funds for which you are applying - particularly if the bid is for a one-off event with a specific date in mind. (except small awards of under £1500 for fast track approval under the LLAL community fund)



Mark West Fund

This fund is now CLOSED but may reopen November / December 2017


The Mark West Fund for Women is a specific fund targeted at supporting women and girls to achieve their full potential by funding locally based community groups who have the expertise to address issues of inequality at a grassroots level.

The aim of the fund is to improve the lives of women and girls through social change grant-making and educate the entire community about the benefits to society when the potential of women and girls is realised. The fund is named after the former Chief Executive of the Foundation, Mark West who was passionate about addressing issues of inequality.

To Apply for the fund go to:




London Luton Airport Ltd - Community Awards Fund  

There are two funds under this scheme for awards of up to £10,000 per year:

one for the Luton Borough Council area and

one for its Near Neighbours (to the south, south west, west and north east of the Airport).

Each fund has its own criteria leaflet as follows:

LLAL Criteria or Near Neighbours Criteria 

Applicants to these funds can apply for up to £5,000 annually without match-funding, or up to £10,000 showing an ability to match via voluntary community commitment.

Applicants to this fund should apply online, via the following link:

LLAL Community Fund up to 10,000


Fast Track Applications.

BLCF is keen to ensure that applicants receive a quicker response for smaller applications to the Community Awards Fund, and therefore a new system has been implemented for awards under £1500. When an application under £1500 is submitted, we aim to provide you with a response within 2-4 weeks as we understand that sometimes there is an urgency to your application.

Groups seeking less than £1,500 and with a turnover of under £10,000 can apply via the follwing link:

LLAL Community Fund under 1500

For all Fast-track applications, you must email or phone the office to inform them that you would like your application to be considered under the Fast Track scheme.



London Luton Airport Ltd   - Youth Services Fund

From September 2017, the priorities for the Luton Youth Fund will be refined to concentrate on a number of key priority areas;

  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Mental Health
  • Serious Youth Violence
  • Community Cohesion
  • Raising Aspirations for young people particularly at risk or vulnerable
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction


The applications for this fund will therefore be expected to be very focussed and specific to a targeted group. Youth work which is more generalist in nature, will still be funded under the LLAL Community Fund.


This fund is aimed at supporting young people aged between 11 and 25 across

Luton. Bids are assessed by a panel made up of adults and young people from Luton with an interest

in youth work. All successful applicants will be expected to be able to assess the impact of their work very clearly. A background to the fund is shown here background The full criteria can be downloaded here: LutonYouthFundcriteria.

There are three levels of application:

Building the confidence and ability of small community groups working in this field with awards of up to £1,500. Apply to this fund by clicking and following the following link: Youth Fund to 1500

Awards for local organisations already working in this sector of up to £10,000.

Apply by clicking and following this link: Youth Fund up to 10,000


Large awards are available in two tiers (up to a maximum of £20,000 and up to £50,000) for major projects that can demonstrate strong partnership working across Luton's diverse geography and ethnic mix. The application form is an expression of interest only and strong bidders will be asked to complete a full business plan application before being put to the panel.

Only two or three bids a year will be available at this size.

Apply using this form youthfundlargegrantprelim

Prior to your submission of an expression of interest, for any large award, a meeting between yourselves, and Fozia Irfan (Head of Grantmaking) will be necessary. Please contact Fozia to arrange this. You can reach Fozia by clicking this link: email Fozia

The next deadline for receiving bids under this fund is midday on 15th June 2017





Whitbread Plc. Chairman's Fund                                    

Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation are proud to have been chosen by Whitbread Plc. to manage their Chairman's Fund, for charitable award making to small local charities and community groups. For information about the fund, and the funder please read the following:

Whitbread Plc Chairman's Fund

Awards of Between £250 and £3,000 on projects fitting the three themes of the fund:

1: Skills and Inclusion

2: The reduction of rural social isolation

3: Community Cohesion

The fund has been created to support charities and community groups whose beneficiaries are from the South Bedfordshire communities of Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and the outlying villages to the County boundary.

For further clarification, please see the criteria leaflet :Criteria Leaflet

Applicants to this fund should complete follow the relevant process outlined below;

For bids of up to £1,000 please apply by clicking the following link: Whitbread up to 1,000

For bids of £1,000 to £3,000 please apply by clicking the following link: Whitbread up to 3,000


London Luton Airport Operations Ltd                            

Criteria Leaflet for LLAOL fund

For a brief video outline, see 

Awards of up to £7,500 on projects that fit the criteria listed. Projects should be operating in Central Bedfordshire, Luton, North Herts District, Stevenage, St Albans District or Aylesbury Vale District.

Applicants to this fund should apply by following the relevant links below;  

For bids of up to £1,000 apply by clicking the following link: LLAOL up to 1,000

For bids of up to £7,500 apply for clicking the following link: LLAOL up to 7,500

For more of our funding programmes, please scroll down further


Comic Relief                                                                                                                                                     

Comic Relief criteria  Awards of up to £5,000 (but please be aware that our annual budget for this fund is only £22,000, so awards in excess of the full amount are very unlikely to be succesful).

Applicants to this fund should complete this application form: Comic Relief Application

Please note: bids need to be with us by mid - February or mid - August at the latest to be considered*.

*We are not accepting any further applications until further notice.



The Panacea Charitable Trust


The Foundation distributes awards on behalf of the Panacea Charitable Trust to projects where the beneficiaries are from the borough of Bedford. Priority is given to groups that support those who are experiencing mental health issues or projects supporting those in poverty or with physical disabilities. The emphasis is on health/sickness, poverty and education.

Applicants to this fund should apply by clicking the relevant link below:

For bids of up to £1,000 apply by clicking the following link: Panacea up to 1,000

For bids of more than £1,000 apply by clicking the following link: Panacea over 1,000



Removing Barriers to Volunteeting in Bedford Borough

VolunteeringinBedfordCriteria VolunteeringinBedfordBorCriteria

Awards of up to £2,000 to help recruit, train and retain volunteers.

Applicants to this fund should apply via the follwoing links:

For bids of up to £1,000 please click on the following link: Volunteering up to 1,000

For bids of more than £1,000 please click on the following link: Volunteering to 2,000


General Awards

General criteria

Awards of up to £1,000 to small community groups who do not fit under any of the other funds we operate.

Applicants to this fund should apply online, via the follwing link:

General Fund Award Application


Crimebeat Bedfordshire and Luton

Funding of up to £500 is available for projects tackling issues of Community Safety, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour reduction for children and young people, or projects for the wider community led by young people. To apply, please complete this form


Funding is also available towards transport costs for lower, middle & primary schools and the lower age range academy’s to visit Hazard Alley Safety Centre in Milton Keynes. Funding towards the cost of transport for visits to Hazard Alley is limited to one visit per school in any three year period. To apply, please complete this form.



LuDun - awards to individuals

This fund was set up with income received following the closure of the LuDun premises in Dunstable. The object of the fund is to provide access to training and education to adults with physical or learning difficulties. Beneficiaries must live in the post code areas of LU5, LU6 and LU7 or be previous employees of the LuDun facility in Liscombe Road, Dunstable, wherever they may reside.

LuDun criteria

LuDun Application


The Foundation does not make awards to individuals (except very specific cases - such as the LuDun and Jane Cart's Trust projects) but the following links are to organisations that offer more information on this subject:

Rotary Youth Trust for young people in Luton -

Or Turn 2 Us for a range of funders according to your age, occupation, location

etc. -



Building Stronger Britain Together

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation have launched the second round of the ‘Building a Stronger Britain’ (BSBT) programme, a fund set up by the Home Office and M&C Saatchi. The combined programme comprises: in-kind media support for community groups managed by Media Trust and Breakthrough and local grants managed by Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation.

The grant funding available will provide groups with the opportunity to bid for money to fund concrete proposals which meet one or more of the three BSBT objectives:

  • Fewer people holding attitudes, beliefs and feelings that oppose shared values
  • An increased sense of belonging and civic participation at the local level
  • More resilient communities

There are two pots of funding, one for applications between £1,000 and £14,999 and the second for larger grants of £15,000-£50,000.

Applicants must apply for a grant direct through the Home Office web site : where they can view a thorough guide on how to apply and can then apply online.

This fund will reopen again later in the year.


Youth Social Action

Big Lottery Fund and Department of Culture, Media & Sport are each investing £20 million seed funding over four years to create the #iwill fund which is a national programme with some local distribution. London Luton Airport Limited are acting as match funders locally and the Foundation are awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill fund.

#iwill is a UK-wide campaign aiming to get 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action by 2020. Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities and social action develops the skills and knowledge of young people that employers look for. The criteria for the fund is here (click here) and the application can be completed here:

These applications will only be considered twice a year in April and September – deadlines are 12th September 2017.