Charity no. 1108296
Mon to Fri 8.30am-5pm




Who are we?

United Utilities Trust Fund was established in 2005 with funding being provided by United Utilities.

The object of the Trust is the relief of poverty, hardship or other distress by assisting people in need who are unable to meet the cost of water charges.   We achieve this by:

  1. Providing grants directly to individuals (call 0300 7906172 for more information)
  2. Providing grants to organisations to fund money advice/financial literacy projects that encourage financial stability and promote competent money management

Who can apply for organisational project funding?

You can make an application if your organisation can deliver services within the United Utilities Trust Fund geographical area and is a registered charity, voluntary organisation, not for profit organisation or public benefit entity.

What types of projects do we want to fund?

The Trust will consider applications from organisations that can deliver debt and financial capability projects but are keen to encourage applications from:

  • Grass roots community groups who wish to provide money and debt advice alongside other community services.
  • Organisations who can develop online content and provide digital outreach services around debt and financial literacy.

To enhance the overall value of the programme we encourage applications that involve match funding or contributions towards project delivery. These contributions may include, funding already secured or in-kind contributions made by your organisation such as; general overheads, capital purchases, management, supervision and administration costs and time of volunteers.

Your project must:

  • Enhance and develop the provision of money advice/financial literacy services to individuals within the United Utilities Trust Fund geographical area.
  • Demonstrate that it will provide a benefit to customers of United Utilities who are in hardship and unable to meet the costs of water charges.
  • Support a ‘deprived community’ where a significant majority of the residents live in the worst 10% Lower Super Output Areas or Wards in England and/or where there is a high incidence of debt.

How much can I apply for?

Up to a maximum of £40,000.

How long should the project last?

We expect projects to be delivered for a minimum of one year with the potential for projects of excellence being considered for continuation funding if budgets are available.

What / who will not be funded?

Funding will cover the direct costs associated with project delivery.  Please do not apply if your organisation or your project falls into one of these categories:

  • Currently delivering an existing project funded by the Trust
  • Your organisation appears to have sufficient funds to deliver the project or is not financially stable
  • Projects outside the geographical boundaries of United Utilities Trust Fund
  • National charities/organisations that are unable to accept the funding on a regional basis
  • Grant making bodies seeking to distribute grants on United Utilities Trust Fund’s behalf
  • General appeals, sponsorship and marketing appeals
  • Replacement of existing programmes or of statutory funding

My project fulfills criteria so how do I apply?

There are two stages to the application process:

Stage One

You will need to complete the Stage One application form to provide us with details of your organisation and an outline of your project.

We recommend that you read all the following notes before completing your application.

If your organisation and project are eligible, you can apply by clicking on the below link:

Stage One Application form 

Applications are to be submitted by email to the following address:


Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.

If you have difficulties accessing the application form please contact Gay Hammett via email at:

Alternatively call 0121 362 3625.

All Stage One applications will be individually assessed and projects considered to have most merit will be invited to progress to Stage Two:

Stage Two

If your organisation is successful you will be sent a Stage Two application form* where you will be requested to provide additional information and detail of your project to include:

  • Detailed plan of how you will deliver your project with clearly defined outputs/outcomes.
  • In depth explanation of the aims of the project to demonstrate what difference it will make, evidencing its importance, scale and urgency.
  • Further detail of the management procedures of your organisation and experience which qualifies it to take on this project.
  • A strategy plan that encourages sustainability and exit strategy, i.e. what actions will be taken to ensure project continuation/how staff would be redeployed if the project ends after funding period.
  • How you will monitor and evaluate the outcomes.
  • A detailed budget for your project.
  • Contact details of two independent referees who are not involved in the work of your organisation, e.g. your local authority, auditors, someone who refers clients to your service. We may contact these referees as part of the selection process.
  • Recent annual report and audited (or independently examined) accounts.
  • A copy of your current year’s budget and most recent management accounts.
  • A copy of your Memorandum and Articles or Constitution, or terms of reference which show your organisation’s objects.
  • A job description and person specification for any proposed posts.
  • Evidence of your organisation’s commitment to equal opportunities (for both service users and staff) and evidence of good employment practice.
  • Whistle-blowing policy.
  • GDPR policies and privacy notice.
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Safeguarding policy

Please note that as part of the Stage Two selection process your organisation may be requested to make a presentation to the Trustee board.

*Stage Two application forms are not included in this pack and will only be provided to organisations that are successful at Stage One.

Key dates:

31st May 2022 Closing date for submission of Stage One applications
Early July 2022 Organisations will be informed of the outcome of their Stage One application.  If your application is successful, you will be invited to progress to the next stage
Early August 2022 Closing date for submission of Stage Two applications
End of September 2022 Organisations will be informed of the outcome of their application

Assessment Criteria

Organisations must be able to demonstrate that their project will fulfill the objects of United Utilities Trust Fund and other set criteria outlined above.

Trustees will assess applications against the following criteria:

  • Definition of the community or target group
  • Definition of the problem and how the project will provide a solution
  • Project outcomes and impact upon the community and service users
  • Demonstration of robust organisational infrastructure and partnership working
  • How the project will enhance an existing service or develop a new service
  • Delivery and evaluation mechanisms
  • Track record of delivering successful projects
  • Wholeheartedly and demonstrably supporting the values of the trust
  • Strategic use of the funds and future project sustainability
  • What contributions / matched funding will be committed towards project delivery

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

General Information

Please do not make an application if:

  1. Your organisation or project is NOT able to meet criteria as outlined above.
  2. Your project involves delivery of any of the following: free at source non-commercial debt counselling/debt adjustment/credit information services and your organisation does NOT have permissions granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to undertake these activities unless you benefit from exemption and hold a registration number. These permissions must be in place before any applications are submitted.
  3. Your organisation would NOT be able to agree to the terms of the grant as outlined in the sample funding agreement.

Auriga Services Limited who manage United Utilities Trust Fund will assist the board of Trustees with the selection process.  As part of this process a member of staff from Auriga may visit or contact the organisation for more information.  Organisations may be requested to make a presentation to the Trustee board prior to final selection.

The Trustees are expecting that demand is likely to outstrip resources available.  This means that some applications may be unsuccessful even though they meet criteria.

Organisations are encouraged to make a contribution towards project delivery costs.  These may be in-kind contributions or funding secured from other sources.  These contributions will help to establish confidence in your project and add value to the programme.  Projects that are match funded are also of interest.

The Trustees’ decision is final.

If your organisation is successful in securing funding, you will be required to accept the conditions of receiving a grant (see sample funding agreement within this pack).  If your organisation is unable to accept these conditions please do not apply.

Projects must commence within 3 months of the Trust’s offer unless dispensation is agreed.

Capital purchases required as part of a project must be made within three months of the first grant installment unless dispensation agreed.  Expenditure on alternative capital items must be agreed by the Trust in advance.

Funding will be released quarterly in advance after receipt of satisfactory monitoring and performance.

The grant is ‘restricted’ and must only be spent on the project /work specified on the application form and confirmed in the grant acknowledgement letter from the Trust.  This must be reflected in statement of accounts.

Any under spend must be returned unless otherwise agreed.

If the project objectives are not being met the Trust will work with the organisation to resolve issues before withdrawing the grant.

The Trust may request that you include information in your own literature to acknowledge and help publicise the work of the Trust.

The Trust may also request that the project and the work of the Trust are promoted via appropriate local public relation opportunities.

Organisations who receive funding will be required to provide an end-of-year report detailing achievements and outcomes of the project.  The Trust may request the provision of further information to help publicise the work of the Trust.

If your application cannot be supported you should not reapply for the same purpose unless our letter to you explains that you can and under what circumstances.

You will not normally receive more than one grant from United Utilities Trust Fund.

You should be able to demonstrate how you have planned to continue your work after the grant ends and not assume further funding will be offered.

Organisations will be required to demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunities for both service users and staff and evidence of good employment practice.

Please do not ask the Trustees of United Utilities Trust Fund to provide a reference for your application.

Please do not canvass any of the Trustees.  If an undeclared interest is discovered after an organisation is awarded funding, grants will be frozen pending review and decision by Trustees.

We expect that the majority of projects that fulfill criteria will be delivering services that require the organisation to be registered with the FCA.  If you are unsure if your project will require FCA permissions please contact them directly for advice.

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