Esmée Fairbairn: Year Two

Plymouth has been given £1.3 million pounds as part of a five-year, place-based funding initiative to transform our city and bring about radical change. The money comes from one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK – the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation – which has chosen Plymouth because in recent years, across the city, different organisations have shown how they can work together to set up and run new, and innovative, projects which have made a difference to people’s lives.

Last year we had 43 applications and funded 23 projects (see list of projects from year 1 here). This year we want to encourage people to be more-creative, more-collaborative and more-transformative. We want to see ideas that take risks, are innovative and bring about radical change.


We want to hear from you!


POP+ is inviting you to put your idea or project forward and apply for the next round of funding.

We’re looking for individuals to get in touch if they’ve got a great idea; we’re looking for ‘informal’ groups who share a vision to come forward and we’re looking to hear from associations, networks and partnerships.

At this stage, we simply want as many people as possible across the city to tell us what they want to do; would like to do and can do to bring about change and make Plymouth better for everyone.

Chief Executive of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Caroline Mason, says; “We hope our funding will inspire local people to affect change and transform the place they live.”

These are the ‘values’ that are important to us:


  • Trust & relationships

  • Collaboration & inclusion

  • Building greater capacity and capability in people

  • Taking risks, innovation, transformation

  • Learning through action


These are the ‘actions’ projects should achieve:


Community Action

We want to see proposals that support and reinforce communities & neighbourhoods, enabling people to work together to improve their society, economy and environment. Successful projects will seek to transform what we do, how we do it and with whom we do it. They will change our neighbourhoods, our relationships and our city.

Grassroots Support

We want to give people more support so that they have the capacity to take on more and are capable of greater things. We want to help strengthen organisations that have a social purpose and grassroots associations so that they can help communities move forward.

Providing New Skills through Collaboration

The successful projects will bring people together and through ‘shared-learning’ individuals will learn new skills from each other. They will feel better equipped to develop and lead on their projects and support others.

Collaborating, mentoring and learning from others can help to strengthen individuals, communities and networks; it can empower people and it can bring about social change.

Becoming the change

We want others to share our values and those of the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation. We aim to use the funding process to encourage others to adopt some or all of these values and, in doing so, create a more compassionate and transformative city.

Challenge/Innovation Pot

This is where we go RADICAL; where we take on new IDEAS or where we SCALE-UP!

We are ready, willing & able to do something significant in Plymouth – whether that’s to take on a large project; address a specific issue or take advantage of an opportunity. Just tell us what it could be and help us shape our future.

Apply Here and Start a Conversation:

If you think you have an idea that will help Plymouth then we want to hear from you! You can email us your thoughts here.

Be warned: this is not a traditional funding relationship and POP+ and you will be winging it together!

Be Prepared: the next round of Esmée Fairbairn opens soon!

2 Responses

  1. Linda Wilson says:

    I am the secretary Friends of Plymouth city Museum and Art Gallery. We are a registered Charity with over 250 members. We feel that our heritage is an important aspect of living in Plymouth. Pride in our city is an important part of feeling at ease and being happy at home. We feel that we need more members from more diverse back grounds and particularly from the younger generations. (We currently seem to attract retired people.) We are currently raising money to support the opening exhibition at The Box. Mayflower 400: Legends and Legacy, which will attract many visitors and consequently encourage economic growth. The exhibition will be of mostly loaned items. Although the loans are free, we still need to find money for transport and restoration. Our target for the year is £25,000. This will secure the Pierce Patent (planning permission for the Plymouth U.S. colony; Jane of model created from the skull of an early settler who was possibly cannibalised; ; costume designs for a Mayflower film; a Bible belonging to one of the Mayflower passengers; another bible translated into the Wampanoag language; a Painting of the Maflower at dock, drawings of the native people. We are open to new suggestions and linkages with other groups.

  2. This Article says:

    This is really helpful, thanks.

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