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Bristol Bus Boycott Community Grant Scheme

Bristol 650

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Bristol Ideas has secured funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to create a Community Grant Scheme for projects honouring the 60th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott.

Individuals and artists can apply for funds of between £250 and £5,000 to support activities created for, with and by the community. This could include Elder lunches, music workshops, book talks, walking tours, art installations, sporting activities or wider community projects. Applicants simply need to demonstrate how they will make a positive impact on race equity in Bristol.  

The deadline for applications is 7am on Monday 19 June, with all activity taking place before the end of 2023. Applications are open to registered organisations and individuals over the age of 18 whose planned activity will be taking place in a BS postcode.

The 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott was a landmark event for British civil and legal rights. Campaigners vexed from signs that read ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs,’ fought for racial equality and social justice. Their protests led to the end of ‘the colour bar’ which banned Black and Asian people from driving buses. These actions would pave the way for the UK’s Race Equality Acts and ultimately impacting the UK Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 protects the rights of equalities groups across race, sex, religion, gender, marriage, pregnancy, age, disability and LGBTQ+ rights.

There will be two optional advice sessions for interested parties to attend, both on Zoom (Tuesday 23 May) and in person (Thursday 25 May). If you wish to attend either or both of these sessions, please contact

A grants panel of five community and organisational representatives will decide which applicants will be awarded grants based on a scoring system and judging deliberation. Applicants will be scored on criteria including their positive impact on race equity and communities in Bristol and the difference they make to increase outcomes for these communities; how they honour the Bus Boycott vision and its legacy; the memorable nature of their delivered activity; and value for money. 

The 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Bristol Bus Boycott was marked in an event at M Shed on Friday 28 April. The event included a speech by Mayor Marvin Rees, a performance by former city poet Miles Chambers and the launch of a public competition to decorate a Bristol bus with artwork that honours the boycott and its legacy.

The Community Grant Scheme is part of the broader Bristol 650 celebrations taking place across the city this year to mark the 650th anniversary of the founding of Bristol as an independent city and county. 

Apply for the Community Grant Scheme

Send application form to


  • The minimum grant is £250. The maximum grant is £5,000.
  • Your activity project might be a community lunch, an art project, a talk about activism, a performance, support towards a wider community project – anything for local communities, with and by local communities.
  • Activity needs to take place in a BS postcode.
  • Anyone of any age or background can be involved with the project. 
  • Applications will need to be made by a registered organisation or an individual over the age of 18 with a UK bank account. 
  • Applications need to demonstrate how they will positively impact on race equity in Bristol.

Eligible costs

  • Materials and equipment
  • Venue hire
  • Professional fees for artists, workshop leaders
  • Refreshments for participants
  • Transport costs
  • Access costs to allow people to participate – carers, childcare


Can I apply if I’m an individual, not part of an organisation?

Yes, you can apply if you’re an individual, not part of an organisation. You might have an organisation or organisations that you’re partnering with, which is also fine. The lead applicant is the person who is responsible for managing the project and the person who will receive the grant money.

How ambitious can my project be?

We’re looking for creative and interesting projects that are led by, for and with communities. We want projects to be ambitious, but also realistic and deliverable. We want people to be properly paid for their time and expertise and we want all activity to be delivered in 2023.

When does my project have to take place?

We’d like all activity to be delivered between 1 July – 31 December 2023. If there are unavoidable reasons why activity has to be delayed or postponed, please speak with us. .

When will I hear if my application has been successful?

The deadline for applications is Monday 19 June. We’re hoping to tell everyone if they’ve been successful or not by the end of June.

How much money are you giving away?

Bristol Ideas has secured £20,000 from National Lottery Heritage Fund for these grants. This pot is finite. 

Can I include staff time in my application?

Yes, you can include staff time in your application – particularly if you are a freelancer. We would also want to see other people, particularly workshop leaders or artists, being properly paid. Staff time can also be included as match funding or as volunteer hours. We would want projects to show that the majority of the grant was going towards the impact of the project on the community.

Does my project have to relate to the bus boycott specifically?

This grant is for projects that ‘honour the 60th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott’. This might be through a project that tells the specific story of the 1963 boycott and the people who lead it – it might also be a project that picks up the baton of racial justice and community activism today. It doesn’t have to be about the bus boycott, but it has to be inspired by the difference that these leaders and communities made to the world around them.

What marketing/publicity support can be provided?

Bristol Ideas will promote all of the successful applicants with a press release and blog. The teams at Bristol Ideas and Visit West can help to publicise the project, if needed or appropriate, and can give advice. Marketing or publicity costs can be included within your project budget.

My project is taking place in Weston-super-Mare. Can I still apply?

This funding is for activities taking place within a BS postcode – and/or with communities who live in a BS postcode. It’s fine for you as an applicant – or some of your partners, guest speakers, etc, to be based outside a BS postcode, or for activities to take place online – as long as the main beneficiaries of the grant live in a BS postcode.

Can I speak with someone about my application?

Yes, you can speak with us at We won’t be able to look at any applications in detail but we can answer any specific questions that you might have or give advice on how a project or idea might be developed.

I am currently receiving funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a separate project. Can I still apply to this scheme?

Yes, you can still apply.

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