Didcot Powerhouse Fund
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund

The Didcot Powerhouse Fund, launched at the end of 2021, invites grant applications from charities and organisations providing support to the wider Didcot community. Grants are offered annually and are themed. 

Amounts available: £1,000-£10,000. Small grants of up to £500 may be available for organisations and/or projects outside these criteria at the discretion of the Grants Panel.

Group annual income: £5,000 to £750,000

Type of cost: Project operating costs, including a proportionate share of overheads allocated to the project (but not grants exclusively for general overheads of the organisation). At least 90% of beneficiaries of any grant from the Fund must live inside the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence.

Closing date: Applications are now open. The closing date for applications will be Monday 8th January 2024 at midday.

Annual grants themes

The theme for 2024 is ‘Creating stronger bonds in our community’.

Charities and community organisations can apply for grants for projects that will:

  • Help to create a resilient and more inclusive community where people of all ages and backgrounds can thrive
  • Collectively address challenges such as isolation, disadvantage and poor mental health

Applications are now open for Expressions of Interest. The application form should be completed and submitted to ocf@oxfordshire.org by midday on Monday 8th January 2024. 

The theme for grants changes annually. Over the last two years £175,000 has been awarded in 35 grants from £400 to £13,000 all serving beneficiaries in the Powerhouse area. Find out more about the grants awarded here.

Geographic area of grants

Perceived by many as affluent, the wider Didcot area has pockets of poverty that fall below the Oxfordshire average and, in some cases, place it in the lowest rankings inside the UK.

Charities on the ground are already working hard on a levelling up agenda, but there are neighbourhoods in wider Didcot and surrounding villages where additional support is urgently needed if the area is to become a more inclusive and sustainable community. The Didcot Powerhouse Fund aims to accelerate this by streamlining corporate and community giving more effectively.

The Didcot Powerhouse Fund invites grant applications from charities and organisations providing support to the wider Didcot community, particularly those that are working closely with other charities and agencies. At least 90% of beneficiaries of any grant from the Fund must live inside the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence, within the outer blue line on the map.

The Powerhouse Area (The Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence)

Grant funding will offer sustenance to charities and organisations that know the area well, enabling them to help people help themselves, plus give them access to services they and their family need to thrive.

Criteria for any group applying for a grant
  • Size of group’s income (£5,000 – £750,000); where a number of organisations are making a joint bid, the size criterion applies to the total group income
  • Status: charity / community interest company / community group that has at least three trustees or committee members who are not related to each other
  • Previous grant recipients may apply provided the new project meets the current year theme; performance against previous KPIs will be taken into account in assessing applications
  • The group should have a bank account in its own name with at least two unrelated signatories, open for three months or more, and audited accounts available for the most recent financial year (if not yet available, submit management accounts or income/expenditure document)
  • Priority will be given to those organisations based within the grant area
  • Encouragement is given for organisations to work together to make joint applications for a joint project
  • Not an individual
  • Minimum one year of operation: if constituted for less than one year but have been active for longer please demonstrate activity; where a number of organisations are making a joint bid at least one organisation to have a minimum one year of operation, but not all
  • Applications from individuals, for profit companies, public bodies or statutory organisations (including parish/town councils) are not eligible
  • Reserves: minimum of one month of running costs or explain why this is not possible; explain why if reserves are more than 12 months
  • Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for
  • Applicants should be open to people of all religions and political affiliations, and must not proselytise

Small grants of up to £500 may be available for organisations and/or projects outside these criteria at the discretion of the Grants Panel.

Project criteria
  • At least 90% of the beneficiaries of the project must live in The Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence (see map above)
  • The project must be aligned to the annual grant theme
  • The application should be for:
    • the creation, or extension of a project, or programme of events in line with the annual theme where impact can be demonstrated
  • The beneficiaries must be people (not one individual or animals)

Those bids invited to the final Grants Panel will be asked for an itemised, costed project budget indicating how the grant will be used, and details of where other funds have been secured (where appropriate) must be provided.

While impact may take longer to achieve the significant proportion of the project implementation should be completed by December 2024.

More information can be found on The Didcot Powerhouse Fund FAQs.


The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is aware that applying for grants can be a time-consuming process for organisations, and potentially frustrating when no grant is then available. So the process of grant application is in two stages:

In stage 1 organisations are invited to complete a short form that is their Expression of Interest. These are reviewed by the Grants Panel. A small number of Expressions of Interest will then be invited to complete a full bid application and present to the Grants Panel in stage 2, the final round. In this way we hope to reduce time spent on unsuccessful applications.

STAGE 1 Initial Expression of Interest:

  • Organisation details
  • Amount requested
  • A brief outline of how the grant will be used
  • Area – geography
  • Timing – the project must complete by the end of the calendar year of application, in order for impact monitoring and reporting to donors to take place in the same financial year.
  • Please complete the application form for Expressions of Interest

Applicant workshop

An online workshop for applicants to explain the process and answer any questions will be held on 13th December at 1pm. If you would like to attend please register here.

You can see a recording of last year’s workshop for applicants below:

Please note that any queries relating to applications should be directed to ocf@oxfordshire.org or call us on 01865 798666.


Those organisations invited to progress to the final round will be asked to provide:

  • More detailed information about the project
  • How they are going to measure success
Stage 1 dates and timings
Applications open Friday 1st December 2023
Applications close Monday 8th January 2024, midday
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