We offer two different types of support to help you write your neighbourhood plan or prepare a neighbourhood development order:

  • Technical Support
  • Neighbourhood Planning Grant

By completing an Expression of Interest form, we can determine what type of support you are eligible for.

How to video tutorials: Watch these five Neighbourhood Planning video tutorials to help guide you through the grant and technical support application process.

What support are you eligible for?

All groups writing a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order are eligible to apply for up to £9,000 in grant. Groups facing a range of complex issues are able to apply for further support from the programme.

This support can come in two forms:

  1. Technical support provided by AECOM – there are a range of technical support packages that groups are able to apply for as and when they become needed.
  2. Groups are also be eligible to apply for a further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.

If your group has already received £8,000 in funding and are still working on your plan, you may apply for further funding up to the maximum of £9,000 (or £15,000 for complex groups).

Groups with complex issues include:

  • Neighbourhood forums (where there is no Parish or Town Council)
  • Clusters of parishes
  • High growth areas
  • Deprived areas
  • Business led neighbourhood plans
  • Populations of over 25,000
  • Groups preparing a neighbourhood development order.

Further detail on this is in our guidance below.

Technical Support

Amount for each grant available: Dependant on application.
Closing date: We are operating a rolling application window for this programme.  We expect that it will be open throughout the year.

What is Technical Support and why do we need it?

Technical Support is available to groups facing more complex issues developing their neighbourhood plan.

If you need independent advice on a technical or process issue then our team at AECOM can help!

Technical Support is designed to provide you with information (evidence) and advice (professional judgement) which will help you to decide your priorities & direction, to draft policy, avoid legal challenges and to engage confidently with stakeholders such as developers, councils, local businesses and of course residents who will have a vote at the end of it all.

Our consultants will work alongside you, doing only what you cannot manage and with a clearly defined brief, such as producing a design guide, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), evidence review or site assessment. The more substantial pieces of work will last between a few weeks to several months depending on the complexity of your situation.

Our team at AECOM are particularly keen to help ambitious groups, from all types of neighbourhood, who want to really influence how their place grows and changes going into the future.

How to video tutorial: Technical Support – Find out about eligibility, packages for complex or priority groups, applying , various different technical support packages and more.

Neighbourhood Planning Grants

Amount for each grant available: Amount for each grant available: All groups are eligible to apply for grant funding of £9,000. In addition, neighbourhood forums and other groups which are facing complex issues such as high growth can apply for a further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.

Closing date: We are operating a rolling application window for this programme. All grants which are awarded in 2016-17 have to be spent within six months or by 31 March 2017 at the latest.

Some ideas of what you might apply to use grant for include:

  • Developing a website
  • Training sessions for members of the steering group
  • Help with putting together a project plan
  • Undertaking a household survey
  • Help with developing the evidence base
  • Engaging a planning expert
  • Venue hire, publicity materials, printing and other costs associated with consultation.

Further details on what you can and can’t apply for can be found in our Guidance Notes here.

You can also check out some stories from other groups looking at what they spent their grant money on and how they budgeted for their neighbourhood plan.

A couple of key points to note with regards to a Neighbourhood Planning Grant:

  • You can only apply for funds that you can spend within 6 months or before the end of the current financial year, whichever is the earliest.
  • You can only apply for between £1,000 and £9,000. If your application is not within this range it will be automatically rejected.
  • You cannot apply retrospectively for work that has already taken place.
  • You cannot apply for the cost of staff or volunteer’s time, except for specialist consultants.

How to video tutorial: Grant application process.

Guidance Notes

Before you complete our Expression of Interest form to establish what type of support you are eligible for, please read the Technical Support and Neighbourhood Planning Grant Guidance carefully.

Resource: Technical Support and Neighbourhood Planning Grant Guidance


To establish what type of support you are eligible for, complete the Expression of Interest form below.

Please do not start the application process until you have read our Guidance Notes thoroughly.

Link: Neighbourhood Planning Expression of Interest form

By clicking on the above link you will be taken to a separate online form which you must complete. Once the type of support you are eligible for is determined, you will be sent a link to your nominated email for you to start the online application process.

How to video tutorial: Completing an Expression of Interest form.
How to video tutorial: Neighbourhood Planning support application process.

Application form in Word

The application form is also available in a Word document to assist you with the input of your answers into the online form.

Download: Neighbourhood Planning Grants – blank application template 

Please note: This is not an official application form – it is a template for your application preparation only. You must complete the online application form (via the link provided to your personal email). If you submit this document as an application it will be deemed invalid.