Access Panel Grant 2019/20

Access Panel Grant funding is the Scottish Government’s contribution to funding for local Access Panels across Scotland.  These monies are intended to support your Access Panel to deliver assistance on access for disabled people within your own community.

The Access Panel Grant can be used for any activity which can be clearly shown to help improve access and inclusion in your local community. 

This can be anything from equipment to printing costs to training.  Each application is considered on its own merit.  As of July 2017, Access Panels are eligible for a maximum of £1,000 per annum from this fund. 

To be eligible for this funding, Access Panels must:

  • Be a properly constituted group, charity, SCIO or social enterprise
  • A member of Disability Equality Scotland
  • Recognised by their Local Authority
  • Have access to a bank account in the name of the Access Panel
  • Have charitable aims and objectives
  • Managed by a committee/board of volunteers

Funding Key Points

  • Your Access Panel can apply for £1,000 during the funding year either in one or multiple applications.
  • Applications for funding can be made either in arrears for expenditure incurred (including travel expenses) or for up to 3 months in advance of expected expenditure. All receipts must be submitted within 3 months of funding being given.
  • The correct supporting documentation is fundamental to the grant process, and if not forthcoming after 3 months the relevant monies are then due to be returned to Disability Equality Scotland.
  • Applications must clearly show why you are applying for this money, the benefit it will have on the Access Panel, its members or the general public and the goal(s) that are hoped to be achieved with the funding.
  • Panels must continue to provide quotes, invoices, and receipts etc to support each application. Where quotes are submitted final invoices must be made available within 3 months of receiving the funds.
  • Overall travel costs for each Panel are restricted to a 50% cap to ensure that at least 50% of the remaining funding will be used for Panel development. This cap may, at the discretion of Disability Equality Scotland, be reviewed to better meet the needs of individual Panels. 
  • The only people authorised to sign Access Panel Grant application forms are office bearers, and where possible signatories should be impartial and independent of each other.
  • If granted, payments will be made directly into the Panel bank account, not to individual Panel members or organisations which support a Panel.
  • Panels who are successful in gaining funding from the Access Panel Grant must submit a report to Disability Equality Scotland within 6 months and no later than 1 year from the date funds are received. This report must outline what was achieved with the money and what impact it had on improving access and inclusion in their local area.
  • As Scottish Government funding is given on a quarterly basis, a summary of quarterly activity is required from Access Panels in receipt of funding.
  • Each application will be considered on its own merit.

 What can we pay for?

  • Relevant training for Access Panel members
  • Development of the service offered by the Access Panel
  • Costs associated with the Access Panel service provision
  • 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
  • Costs associated with the sustainable development of the Panel
  • Purchase of capital equipment including office equipment, computers, and furniture

What can’t we pay for?

  • Individuals salary costs, gifts, donations, honorarium, or payment for services given by Access Panel members, directors, or external organisations, or payments to an organisation with a connection to members or office bearers themselves.
  • Internal exchange visits
  • Political or religious groups activities
  • Fund raising appeals
  • Purchase of second-hand vehicles
  • Payments towards debts or other retrospective funding (funding applied for must always be expenses incurred within funding year in question)
  • Payment cannot be made in general terms, and must be for specific items/reasons as outlined in the grant application.

Please note

When original receipts are not available at the time of application and circumstances change and monies are not spent during the 3-month period after grant funding, then unless agreed with Disability Equality Scotland, these monies are then due to be repaid immediately and cannot be held in an Access Panel’s bank account until as and when it may be needed.

If further funding is required, a new funding application can then be submitted.


Standard Terms and Conditions for Access Panel Grants in Scotland

By applying to Disability Equality Scotland, the organisation named in the application (referred to as “you” in these terms and conditions) agrees, if awarded a grant to –

  1. Use any grant monies only as described in your application or otherwise agreed with Disability Equality Scotland.
  2. Provide us promptly with any information and reports we require about the proposed expenditure and its impact.
  3. Acknowledge Disability Equality Scotland as the funder using our branding in accordance with the relevant brand guidelines.
  4. Hold the grant in a UK based bank or building society account, which satisfied our requirements as set out in guidelines and requires three unconnected people to approve all transactions and withdrawals.
  5. Immediately return any part of the grant that is not used for the purposes for which it was given.
  6. Comply with data protection laws and obtain the consent of your beneficiaries for us and you to receive and process their personal information and contact them.
  7. Keep accurate and comprehensive records both during the funding period and for 7 years afterwards and provide us on request with copies of those records and evidence of expenditure of the grant, such as original receipts and bank statements (which can then be copied and returned).
  8. Panels who are successful in gaining funding from the Access Panel Grant must submit a report to Disability Equality Scotland within 6 months and no later than 1 year from the date funds are received. This report must outline what was achieved with the money and what impact it had on improving access and inclusion in your local area.
  9. Disability Equality Scotland publicising and sharing information about you and your project including your name and images of project activities. You hereby grant us a royalty free licence to reproduce and publish any project information you give us.  You will let us know when you provide the information if you do not have permission for us to use it in this way and

You acknowledge that we are entitled to suspend or terminate the grant and/or require you to repay all or any of the grant in any of the following situations.  You must let us know if any of these situations have occurred or are likely to occur –

  1. You use the grant in any way other than as approved by us or fail to comply with any of these terms and conditions.
  2. You have match funding withdrawn or receive duplicate funding for the same costs as funded by the grant.
  3. You provide us with false or misleading information either on application or after award of the grant, act dishonestly or are under investigation by us, a regulatory body or the police, or if we consider for any other reason that public funds are at risk or you do anything to bring Disability Equality Scotland into disrepute.
  4. You enter into, or in our view are likely to enter into, administration, liquidation, receivership, dissolution, or your Access Panel’s estate is sequestrated.

You acknowledge that:

  1. The grant is for your Access Panel use only.
  2. We may not increase the grant if you spend more than the agreed budget.
  3. The grant is not consideration for any taxable supply for VAT purposes.
  4. We have no liability for any costs or consequences incurred by you or third parties that arise directly or indirectly from the grant, nor from non-payment or withdrawal of the grant, save to the extent required by law.
  5. These terms and conditions will continue to apply for one year after the grant is paid.
  6. If the application is made electronically, the agreement between us shall be deemed to be in writing and your online acceptance of these terms and conditions shall be deemed to be a signature of that agreement.

Good Practice Guide

A guide to our checks on your information

Disability Equality Scotland believes that disabled people should be in the lead in increasing access and inclusion in all its forms, thereby improving their communities and the lives of disabled people that live within them.  Disability Equality Scotland is committed to working with all Disability Access Panels to help succeed in that aim.

Therefore, we need to ensure that any successful grant applications are given to appropriately constituted organisations who can then make the most of the monies we have available for distribution.  We cannot award a grant or allow a current grant to continue if a serious risk is identified that shows that public funds will not be well managed.

Forms and supporting documentation

The information that you provide should be accurate, current and consistent with any other information you have submitted or any information that is in the public domain (that is regulatory bodies, your own presence on the internet and other information gained from reliable internet sources).

Examples of concerning information are –

  • Regulatory bodies (as appropriate) show end of year reports/accounts are overdue
  • Financial information on your application form that does not match that held on your regulatory body
  • The numbers or names on your committee or board does not match supporting information or information in the public domain.

Governing documents

Your governing documents, such as constitutions, memorandum and articles of association) must be up to date, correct, properly signed and where appropriate in line with the requirements of your regulatory body.

Examples of concerning information are –

  • The details of your organisation name, legal status, number of trustees/directors required, powers of your organisation in relation to your funding request etc, do not match information you have given us in other documents.
  • The details do not match other information in the public domain.
  • Other information suggests that you do not follow your own governance requirements, for example your financial policies, frequency of meetings.

Organisation address

The address of your organisation in your application and in any other documentation must be your organisation’s current registered address.  We will only accept the home address of a trustee or main contact if your organisation does not have an office.

Your history with us

We will review how your organisation has managed any previous grants from us

Examples of concerning information are –

  • Your organisation has not previously complied with the terms and conditions of grant or did not respond to our requests in a reasonable or timely manner
  • We are still attempting to resolve a potential breach of the terms and conditions of a current grant

People within your organisation’s board/committee

We may identify concerns about a person named as a contact or who has a position within your organisation.  These concerns may result from our history with your organisation, the individual’s involvement with organisations of concern or through information in the public domain.

Please note that due to restrictions under the Data Protection Act, we may not be able to give you any information on these concerns or try to resolve them.

Data Protection

Disability Equality Scotland take our responsibility for looking after information seriously. We follow the Data Protection Act at all times when asking for or handling your information including:

  • Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully
  • Data is processed only for the purpose(s) for which it was collected
  • Data is adequate, relevant, and not excessive
  • Data is accurate and kept up to date
  • Data is not kept longer than necessary
  • Data is kept secure against unauthorised access and loss or damage