Plymouth has been given £1.3 million pounds as part of a five-year 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.

The Esmée Fairbairn foundation has given POP+ and Plymouth a five-year grant to help make change happen in the city. It has given the city £1.3m for a five-year investment to spend on whatever we in Plymouth think will make a real difference to our city and our ways-of-life.

In June 2018 we allocated £141,000 to more than twenty projects across the city. Each of these projects was successful and received between £2,000 and £10,000:

  • Community Arts & Events Network
  • Community Criminal Justice Network
  • Diversity Business Incubator CIC
  • End Of Life Compassionate Network
  • Environment Plymouth
  • Food Plymouth Partnership CIC
  • Friends of Wyndham Square
  • HITH CIC & LifePlay Learning
  • Honicknowle Commnet Ltd.
  • Hope In The Heart CIC
  • Horticultural Therapy Trust
  • New4You Youth Group
  • Plymouth Area Disability Action Network (PADAN)
  • Plymouth Law Clinic
  • Plymouth Mental Health Network
  • Plymouth Tree Partnership
  • Revolutionary Women, Harbour, Trevi & Broadreach
  • Seadream Education CIC
  • Stiltskin Arts & Theatre CIC
  • The Ark Community Project Ltd.
  • The Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust CIO
  • The Salvation Army


Background to Plymouth’s successful EF Bid:

Before the £1.3m was awarded to Plymouth there were two big consultation events which brought together a huge wave of ideas, visions and dreams… as well as outlining the practicalities and risks involved. There is a lot to read, but the reports are here:

February 2017 – Esmee Fairbairn Visit Notes

May 2017 – Workshop Consultation


The outcomes for the five year change programme are:

  • Better Services for People
  • A Stronger Voluntary and Community Sector
  • Better working with other sectors in the city, so that we are all working together towards the same aims.


Year 1

The heart of this change is that decisions happen bottom up, not top down. So, as in the consultations above, everything will be openly discussed and decisions on spending will be taken by the sector, or representatives of the sector. There have been six months of discussion.

Now we are on to six months of “exploring and experimenting”.



There will be a series of visits to other parts of the country to see what they are doing, and gather ideas and inspiration.



We are investing in a partnership across the city for an ‘Our Plymouth’ website, so that everyone can be informed and take part.  Other partners here are the private sector (Chamber of Commerce), statutory sector (Plymouth City Council) and all supported by the Plymouth Herald. £20k.  There is another £10k for cross sector working.

Thank you to everyone who has shown an interest in the Street-to-Scale fund; to those willing to try something new and to those who have collaborated to bring about change in their communities. You have helped to trial a radical way of enabling funding to reach citizens.

POP+, working with Ratio, a CIC based in London, set up Street-to-Scale to test a method of funding based on trust, believing that local people know best about how to tackle local issues.  

Street-to-Scale funding opened in 2019 and within weeks, POP+ had received more than fifty expressions of interest. Twenty five projects were completed with a further seven, youth-led, projects made possible with funding via Ratio CIC from the Tudor Trust. 

Learning Champions Kim & Charlotte would like to thank the projects involved for their time and conversation which has helped POP+ to start to understand how this funding can reach and support grassroots community action. 

After feedback, a new welcome ‘envelope’ (replacing the box) has been designed, with six postcards offering step-by-step instructions. Street-to-Scale is designed to work with minimal contact and involvement by organisations, there are only a few rules and it operates on trust and relationships between group members.   


Street-to-Scale Update May 2020

More details of how to get involved will be posted on the Facebook pages of community groups across Plymouth. There will be a pot of funding set aside each month to stimulate action among small groups of people who may never have thought of applying for funding. 


What is Street-to-Scale?

Street-to-Scale funding is for up to £1000 to help people bring about postive change in their communities, for their communities.    

The money must be spent within eight weeks; anything not spent will be recycled into other S2S projects.

There is no application form;  there are no targets and no need for written outcomes.   


Who is it for?

People keen to support change in their community:  

Anyone can form a Street To Scale group, and connect with those in their community who share an interest in the same community mission.  

Informal groups of people: it is not necessary to be a constituted group.  

You may gather and work together for just the eight weeks of the project with no obligation to continue beyond this.   

However, should you wish to continue beyond the eight weeks, support is on offer through the POP ideas Ideas into Action workshop


Why Street-to-Scale?

We know that people have ideas about their communities; we know that people are ready to put them into action and that they may just need a little bit of money to get things started.   

POP+ wants to enable funding to get into the heart of our communities. POP+ believes that people can be trusted to make the right decisions with, and for, the communities in which they live.   

Street-to-Scale has been set up to pioneer ways of funding within (and for) communities and to test and learn from these new methods. 


Getting Started

Please keep an eye out for our Facebook posts. We’re posting in Facebook groups across Plymouth. This is so we reach out to people that POP+ would not normally be in contact with and perhaps would not normally consider being active in their community.


Here’s a taste of the fantastic community action made possible by Street-to-Scale across Plymouth so far:


  • Rock the Block – A silent disco event for community residents to come together in Stoke
  • Adelaide Angels – Litter picking, gardening group and events in Adelaide Street to increase community engagement. Click here for Plymouth Herald article
  • Arabic School – A school led by volunteers teaching Arabic to Arabic and non-Arabic speakers improving social cohesion 
  • Collective Good – Creating personal welcome hygiene packs for homeless people in hostels  
  • Free Radical Creations – Art, photography and social opportunities using different spaces  
  • Madness with WonderZoo (Mental Health Arts Day) – A Mental Health awareness event for artists to share work and perform  
  • North Star Study Group – Looking at the impacts of colonialism through a Monuments Walk, a book club, film screenings and raising awareness of the group  
  • No Whey Plymouth – Vegan food and marketplace celebration in Stonehouse 
  • PAP Project (Blue Plaque Project) – 40 blue plaques designed to celebrate the positive history of Plymouth   
  • ReadEasy Plymouth – Training coaches to work 1-1 with adults to improve literacy  
  • Royal Cinema Trust – Saving the Reel Cinema through raising awareness 
  • St. Matthias Community Garden – To buy tools to improve the gardening group at St Matthias church  
  • Banking for Change – Creating art spaces for children and adults in Stonehouse and building a grotto for Santa when he came to Stonehouse last Christmas   
  • Fish is Fun – Teaching children about fish, their habitats and sustainability   
  • Street Meets – North Stonehouse – Bringing residents of North Stonehouse together through ‘street meets’, events, food and gatherings   
  • Medicine through Time (Medifest)– developing the idea of Science & Health Exploratory through display areas and an event in Plymouth Guildhall
  • Greenbank – Onward House – Housing Estate Summer Activities 
  • Spaceforce – Workshops to build and then launch Space Balloons into near space   
  • THINQTANQ – Improving the environment of a community workspace in PL1  
  • Another World Farm – establishing a demonstrator indoor urban farm 


Young people’s Street-to-Scale Projects 

  • PZL Small Press (YEA Plymouth) – workshops with young people, setting up a small zine printing press and producing zines  
  • Infinity Festival (Ernesettle Community Day) – Youth Music festival in Ernesettle
  • Youth Community Garden – creating a green space and pizza oven at Redeemer Church 
  • Traversing Wall – Scouts and Leaders, planning, designing and building a climbing wall on the Scout Hut in Keyham 1st Keyham (St.Mark) Scout Group 
  • New4You (Youth Communal Area and Fire Pit) – Firepit and extension of communal area for Youth Group  
  • Big Wills Memorial Garden – Southway Youth Centre 
  • Diversity Project – Whitleigh Youth Group exploring different cultures and religions 
  • In other Words (Routeways) – Celebration Ball arranged by and for young people experiencing mental health challenges 
  • Growing Together – making and selling goods at a community market and a pop-up Christmas Shop along with a business run by young men with additional needs.  
  • OK Boomer – Literary Arts event planned and delivered by young people at Leadworks Factory – Rendle Street, Stonehouse


Coming Soon

  • Stiltskin Creative Arts & Theatre Company – Community Event run by the youth people’s board at Soapbox Theatre Devonport Park 
  • Bee Project – Exploring ideas to tackle the decline of bees. Set up by students from Plymouth High School for Girls 



Round 3 of the Learning & Collaboration Fund has been temporarily postponed due to the current pandemic.  Any announcements on the rescheduled timescales will be communicated through the POP+ mailing list, website, and social media. In the meantime if you have any queries please contact


Relationships are really important for resilience. Collaboration and relationships build stronger organisations. It makes joint funding bids more possible, easier recruitment of volunteers and finding skills for your organisations and may even bring about lasting, meaningful and purposeful change in Plymouth.

POP+ therefore wants to incentivise and enable collaboration. Collaboration can be difficult and tricky so learning is crucial to improvement.

So we want to know:

  • How you strengthen your collaboration going forwards
  • What are you going to learn about?
  • What will you do with this learning?


What can be funded?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but the following might help guide and give you ideas:

  • Providing opportunities to connect/network
  • Covering venue costs and people’s time
  • Facilitation costs
  • Providing opportunities to learn further
  • Communities of practice/action learning sets
  • Learning about how to collaborate better


What will not be funded?

  • Ongoing costs



  • Lead organisation: must be a charity, social enterprise or community group
  • Partner organisations: can be any sector
  • Partnership mix: 50% minimum of charities, social enterprises or community groups
  • Lead organisations has a bank account in the organisations name
  • Plymouth-based


How much funding is allocated?

£20,000 per round has been allocated (up to a maximum of £5,000 per application)


Match Funding

Small groups & organisations (under £40k turnover): 25% of what is requested.

Large groups & organisations: 100% of what is requested.

In kind contributions are valid, but will be down to the discretion of the Network of Networks.

Note on £40k turnover threshold: this will be the average across the collaboration.


Decision-making Criteria

Trust & relationships: Is there trust within your collaboration? How is this shown?

Collaboration & inclusion: How do you ensure the inclusion of a wide range of different types of people/groups/organisations?

Taking risks & innovating: What shows innovation and risk taking within your collaboration and the project you have planned?

Learning through doing: How would you plan to capture, record and share the learning gained from your collaboration and the project?


Timescales & Process

Future rounds:



TBC Network of Networks decision making

TBC Notification of results


Learning & Collaboration Fund Guidance Document

FAQ’s and Reflections from Round 1