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Funding Support

If you are an Access Panel and are planning on applying for funding from the Access Panel Grant allowance you can download the most up to date forms below.  Please read the forms and criteria carefully.  You can download a Microsoft Word format or a fillable PDF format:

Access Panel Grant Application Form Microsoft Word

Access Panel Grant Application Form PDF

Access Panel Quarterly Update

Funding Support Criteria

The Scottish Government’s contribution to funding for local Access Panels who deliver support on access for disabled people within their local communities. As of July 2017, Access Panels are eligible to apply for a maximum of £1,000 per annum from this fund for 2017-18.

To be eligible for this funding, Access Panels must be:

  • Properly Constituted
  • A member of Scottish Disability Equality Forum
  • Recognised by their Local Authority
  • Have access to a bank account in the name of the Access Panel concerned
  • Have charitable aims and objectives
  • Managed by a committee/board of volunteers (not eligible for payment of services)

Funding will be available for activities that contribute to the capacity building of local Access Panels, for example:

  • Relevant training and development for members of Access Panels
  • Development of the service offered by the Access Panel
  • Costs associated with Access Panel service provision (eg Insurances)
  • Expenses for holding or attending access/equality related events
  • Production of Access related materials and information on Access
  • Providing a physical space for the Panel to conduct its work
  • Development of the Access Panel as an organisation
  • Purchase of capital equipment (eg computers, office furniture, etc.)

Grants will NOT fund:

  • Individuals’ salary costs (including members and directors themselves), salary costs, gifts, donations or payment for services provided by panel members including an organisation with a direct connection to members of Directors).
  • International exchange visits
  • Political or religious groups pursuing their primary objectives
  • Fund raising appeals
  • Purchase of second hand vehicles
  • Payments towards debt or other retrospective funding
  • Payment cannot be made in general terms, and must be for specific items/reasons as outlined in the grant application.

Funding Key points:

  • Panels can apply for up to £1,000 during the funding year either in one application or across multiple applications. This is slightly less than last year because of a reduction in Scottish Government funding.


  • Applications can be made either in arrears for expenditure already incurred or up to 3 months in advance of expected expenditure.


  • Applications must clearly show how the money will develop and promote the panel and its activities.


  • Panels must continue to provide quotes, invoices and receipts etc to support each application. Where quotes are submitted final invoices must be submitted within 3 months of receiving the funds.


  • Travel costs are restricted to a 50% cap to ensure that at least 50% of the funding will be used for growth/development. At the discretion of SDEF this cap may, under exceptional circumstances, be reviewed to better meet the needs of panels.


  • Applications for travel expenses (for members travelling on panel business) can be made in arrears or in advance. If claiming in advance Panels must provide supporting documentation within 3 months of the claim. Suitable evidence would be ticket stubs, personal expenses claims forms and mileage tracker forms.


  • Applications should not be submitted for member’s individual expenses claims as and when the Panel receives them. Panels should plan and budget their applications to the Access Panel Grant fund for regular expenses such as travel.


  • Office Bearers should sign application forms only, and where possible signatories should be impartial and independent of each other.


  • Payments will be made to the Panel only directly into their bank account; not to individual Panel Members or organisations which support a Panel.  Each application will be considered on its own merit.


  • Finally please note that any monies from the £1,000 allocation not applied for during the funding year cannot be carried into the next year’s funding allocation.

    The Scottish Government do ask that any unspent monies are returned to them at the end of the funding year.


Recording Expenditure

It is necessary to account for how you have used your funding. For every application, we require an invoice/receipt or quote for the amount for which you are applying. If you provide a quote, an invoice must be sent to us within 3 months unless an alternative timescale is agreed.

Access Panel Grant Application (additional information)

The questions below help with gathering information for the Scottish Government, to allow them and SDEF better understand and plan

Can you tell us why you are applying for this money from the Access Panel Grant Fund? 

Example answers –

  • To purchase a printer/toner/stationery …….
  • To pay for training for Panel members

What benefit will it have to either the Access Panel itself, its members, or the people in your community?

Example answers –

  • To develop the Panel’s capacity/development
  • Further enable Panel to carry out access audits

What goals do you hope to accomplish with the money?

Example answers –

  • Carry out more access audits
  • Develop volunteers

How to apply to the Access Panel Grant Fund

Applications to the fund must be made using an application form. Application forms and guidance are available to download from the Access Panel Website.

  • Once you have your application form you now need to look at your expenditure, both recent and expected:
  • Have you made purchases or paid for anything recently which meets the criteria of the grant?
  • Are you expecting invoices or claims for members travel expenses in the next few months that you will need funds for
  • When you have decided which items, you will apply to the fund for you should then check if you have the required evidence to submit with the application:
  • Do you have an invoice, receipt or quote which will show the expenditure?
  • If you have a quote, will you have the final invoice within 3 months of receiving the funds?
  • If you are applying for travel costs in advance:
  • Can the amount you are applying for be spent, and evidence of spend provided, within 3 months?
  • Have you looked at your previous expenditure on travel costs and used these to calculate a reasonable estimate? For example, taking the last 6-12 months expenditure on travel and calculating the average monthly cost.
  • Group your expenditure into categories, eg travel costs, development costs, admin costs etc.
  • This way you do not have to list each item separately for example: printing, photocopying, stationary and postage can all be grouped into Admin Costs. On the application form enter “Admin Costs – see receipts/invoices for details”. Space is limited on the form and you do not have to list every detail if it can be found in the evidence.
  • Next, tell us how each item you are applying to the fund for will help your panel. 

For example, travel costs help the panel to attend meetings, undertake access work within the community etc. Again, there is not a lot of space on the application form, however, you can use a separate sheet of paper to provide more detail if you feel it is necessary to tell us.

  • Once you have entered each item you want to apply for, told us why and how much, tell us if you have included evidence. If you are unable to provide any evidence please tell us at the bottom of the page why. The grant funds are awarded based on evidence, if you cannot provide evidence we need to know why if we are to make an informed decision on your application.
  • We have moved to BACS payments and no longer issue cheques for grant fund payments. Please make sure we have up-to-date details for the Panel’s bank account.
  • The form should be signed by 3 Office Bearers who are independent of each other. If you do not have 3 Office Bearers please contact us to discuss who would be appropriate signatories on the form.
  • You can submit your application by post or email. If sending by post it is advisable to keep a copy of the application for your own records, or in case it gets lost in the post.
  • Funding applications will be sent an acknowledgement email on receipt.
    This is followed by a Statement of Access Panel Grant Funding when the monies are paid by BACS into the Access Panel bank account.
    The Statement is a record of spend for the current year, showing remaining funding and any outstanding invoices/receipts due.
  • Finally, as Scottish Government funding is given on a quarterly basis, a summary of quarterly activity is required from Access Panels.

If you have a query regarding any of the above criteria or are unsure about any aspect of your application, please get in touch with us. We are here to help.

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