Apply for funding for ideas for your library

Apply for funding for ideas for your library

What funding is available, who can apply and how.

Covid 19 and project extensions

The innovation fund projects are now on pause, as all libraries are closed until 1 May 2020.

The Innovation Programme has been extended until September 2021. This is so projects to be delivered by July 2021.

The deadline for the second round of open innovation funding will be postponed from 29 May 2020. They will be re-planned once libraries re-open.

What funding is available

We’re offering funding to help pay for ideas for libraries that will benefit local people. It’s called the Innovation Fund. It’s available for projects or activities that can be completed by December 2020. 

Funding for libraries Friends Groups

The innovation fund projects are now on pause, as all libraries are closed until 1 May 2020.  The deadline for Friends Groups applications will now run monthly until 31 March 2021. 

Libraries Friends Groups can apply for up to £1000 to help:

  • set up and run the group
  • pay for ideas for improving the library service

To be eligible for the funding your Friends Group must have a:

  • bank account
  • written constitution

Application deadlines for Friends Groups

You need to apply by 5pm on the last day of each month, up to 30 September 2020. 

We’ll tell you if your application is successful within 2 weeks.

Funding for organisations

Following the Library Innovation Fund application process that took place last month we made awards to 30 successful projects across 24 libraries. See our libraries and projects sheet (pdf, 209KB) (opens new window) for a list of the funded funded projects.

There is a remaining pot of funding that was not awarded as show in our libraries and amounts leaflet (pdf, 337KB) (opens new window) . This will be made available to apply for, as in the first round, with a deadline for receipt of applications on 29 May 2020.

You can apply for up to £3000 if you’re a:

  • voluntary and community sector community-based organisation
  • charity 
  • not for profit company

We’ll give priority to organisations based in Bristol.

It can be used to improve:

  • how libraries and communities work together
  • library buildings
  • how library services are run

Application deadlines for organisations

You need to apply by 29 May 2020.

We’ll contact you in mid June 2020 following the panel’s decision.

Apply for funding

To apply:


After you apply

We’ll assess your application based on how well it:

  • empowers and cares for people
  • is fair and inclusive
  • helps connect people in communities
  • supports and enables wellbeing

If your application is successful, you’ll need to present your project or activity at meeting with people from the libraries Friends Groups and other community representatives.