Frequently asked questions

Answers to your most commonly asked questions about funding through the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund.

Here you will find are answers to your questions about the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF).

To be kept updated about CCF you can:

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, or would like to discuss anything further, please contact us. If you are a current CCF Grant Recipient, please contact your Development Officer. For all other queries you can get in touch on 01786 468779 or

1. What are the application deadlines?

Climate Challenge Fund Grants - up to £150,000 (per organisation, per year) 

The CCF is currently closed. The latest round of grants, of up to £150,000 (per organisation, per year) were for projects taking place between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2020.

Find out more...

Climate Challenge Fund Development Grants - up to £1,500

CCF Development Grants are currently unavailable.

Development Grants of up to £1,500 have been available to help community-led organisations to scope out a potential climate action project, with the aim of subsequently completing a CCF Grant application or an application to another funder.

Find out more...

2. Is there a maximum financial limit for CCF grant applications?

The maximum amount of grant that an organisation could receive during either 2018-19 or 2019-20 is £150,000.

All grant awards were conditional on the confirmation of the Scottish Government budget.

We always advise applicants to design a realistic, cost-effective project and have Development Officers to provide guidance on the suitable scale of applications.

3. Could a community-led organisation submit CCF applications for multiple projects?

Grant Applicants for 2018-20 could apply for multiple projects, but needed to ensure that the combined total grant request for the projects is equal to, or less than £150,000 for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Some applicants may find it helpful to be able to initially apply for a smaller amount of funding to allow them to develop the capacity to submit a more ambitious application.

4. What is the maximum period of CCF funding an organisation could apply for?

Grant Applicants for 2018-20 could apply for CCF funding for a maximum period of a two years. Projects must commence on or after 1 April 2018 and be completed on or before 31 March 2020.

5. Is there a deadline by which CCF funding must be spent?

Yes, community-led organisations are expected to complete their project within the timescales set out in their their application. For example, the final date for all expenditure for 2017/18 CCF Grant Recipients is the 31st March 2018. All of the CCF funded elements are required to be completed and the final report submitted reporting on the outcomes achieved and reduction in CO2e emissions on or before 31st March 2018.

6. Can community-led organisations currently in receipt of CCF funding apply for further CCF funding?

Community-led organisations currently in receipt of CCF funding can submit an Expression of Interest for further funding, but will be required to demonstrate how their new project will achieve additional outcomes.

7. Can community-led organisations apply for CCF funding if they are also applying to other grant funds?

Yes, community-led organisations are not required to find funding from other sources but joint funded projects are welcome. Remember to check the conditions set by other grant funders to ensure they do not pose a barrier to joint funded work.  If you are seeking match funding for the project, you should demonstrate how your project will operate if you are unsuccessful in gaining match funding.

8. Are CCF Grant Recipients required to monitor the progress of their projects against objectives?

Yes, CCF Grant Recipients are required to monitor and evaluate their projects against the application objectives on a monthly basis. Plans for the monitoring and evaluation of CO2e reduction and community outcomes must be included in the application. Applicants will be signposted to resources that will help you achieve this. You will also be expected to complete a final report at the end of the project which details your activities, outcomes and lessons learned.

9. Do CCF Grant Recipients need to carry out a recruitment/tender process when hiring staff/consultants?

All grant recipients must follow an open and transparent recruitment process for all paid staff posts funded by the CCF. If you are planning on contracting in consultants for specific elements of your project, please note that if the value of this work is above £5,000 you will need at least three comparable quotes.

10. How should community-led organisations estimate the impact of their CCF activities?

There is a CCF methodology that we expect groups to follow. New guidance is in production to help you estimate the CO2e reductions which your project’s activities will achieve. Your Development Officer will also be able to provide guidance.  We will also provide you with recommended CO2e conversion factors to make calculations.

11. Can part of a CCF project be designed to generate an income?

Yes, applicants may include revenue generation activities in their applications. This income must be used to support further project activities that are consistent with a low carbon future, and applicants must be constituted as a not for profit organisation.

It is important to consider the long term financial security of your community and social enterprise offers a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable way of achieving this. Further information on social enterprises can be found on our Social Enterprise webpage.

12. How do we know if our organisation is eligible for CCF funding?

To be eligible to apply for any CCF funding your organisation will need to meet four criteria.

13. How do we know if our project is eligible for CCF funding?

Your project must meet four criteria to be eligible for CCF funding.  You should also ensure that all the items and activities included in your project are eligible for CCF funding. We have produced guidance demonstrating the items and activities that are eligible and ineligible for CCF funding.

14. What is carbon dioxide equivalent?

Carbon dioxide equivalent (or CO2e for short) is the total impact of all the different greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. A definition can be found here.

15. Can community-led organisations apply for a CCF funded project that works with local businesses to cut their carbon emissions?

Yes, however, there are some cases in which this type of work might overlap with other Government funded schemes. Please check this type of proposal carefully with a Development Officer before the application deadline. Resource Efficient Scotland is the Scottish Government funded programme that helps businesses and the public and third sectors save money by using resources more efficiently.

16. Is CCF funding available for feasibility studies?

Feasibility studies are eligible providing they are for activities that will lead to measureable CO2e reductions and are part of a wider project that will reduce emissions. Feasibility studies on their own are not an eligible expenditure.  Renewable energy feasibility studies are not eligible, for further information see

17. Is CCF funding available for community consultations?

Community consultations which will help a community-led organisation identify what action(s) / activities/ outcomes the wider community want to address or achieve are eligible. Community consultation and engagement activity could be included as part of a broader project.

18. Can climate resilience activities be included in CCF applications?

Climate resilience activities can be included in CCF project applications to run alongside carbon reduction measures.

Adaptation to climate change in Scotland could take many forms. A few adaptation examples CCF projects could think of including are outlined:

  • Measures such as green roofs, walls and rain gardens being installed in community owned buildings to combat overheating and flooding
  • Community growing projects including fruit trees to help produce shade to combat increasing temperature
  • Use of permeable surfaces for cycle paths etc to cut down on run off from increased rainfall
  • Drainage systems e.g. more pro-active unblocking of culverts or widening existing culverts

19. What is the relationship of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with 2018/19 CCF funding?

For 2018-2020 some CCF Grant Recipients (with projects involving waste and circular economy activities, or installation of energy efficient measures in community-owned buildings) will be match funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The ERDF supports Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which encourages activity such as energy efficient improvements to community owned buildings and the efficient use of resource through increased waste prevention, repair, reuse, and recycling activity.  The ERDF comes from the European Structural and Investment Fund which helps to facilitate major investments to support transformational change and economic and social structural reforms across Scotland.

Those grant recipients that are awarded using ERDF funds will be notified in their grant award documents and any specific conditions will be detailed within these documents.

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