Docklands Scene

PLEASE NOTE The Trust only provides grants for activities/purposes within its Area of Benefit within the London Borough of Newham - see map - or which directly benefit the communities within that area

  • The Trust will not respond to general appeals for funds
  • The Trust will not normally enter into correspondence in respect of unsolicited appeals for funds
  • The Trust cannot accept applications from individuals
  • Apart from Minor Grants which are restricted to the trust's area of benefit the Trust will not normally consider/provide grants outside of the annual grants programme


As part of the arrangements for its winding up the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) agreed with the London Borough of Newham (LBN) to deposit with the Trust, by way of a permanent endowment, a capital sum of £2.7m to safeguard into the future the Corporation's community grants programme for that part of the former Urban Development Area which lies within the Borough. This programme, originally operated jointly with the LBN, has proved a useful benefit in sustaining the community and voluntary sector groups which contribute so much to the regeneration of the area. From the inception of the grants programme the LBN contributed at least 25% of all grants made. However they withdrew with effect from 1st April 2015, since when the Trust has continued to provide an annual grants programme funded entirely from its own resources

The LDDC's Endowment

The endowment agreement sets out a number of rules and guidelines for the operation of the programme:

  • The area of benefit of the programme is the same as the Trust's area of operation, i.e. the whole of that area of Newham to the south of the A13
  • The making of grants to individuals is prohibited
  • Projects (as distinct from individual organisations) cannot be funded for more than 3 years
  • The Trust determines annually the amount to be made available to the grants programme
  • The Trust determines annually the priorities and criteria for the programme

The amount made available by the Trust each year depends, of course, on the performance of its investments


The Trust's constitutional objectives are broadly drawn and allow the Trust to fund a diverse range of activities. Within this broad framework the Trust each year approves detailed criteria and priorities for the annual programme.

Annual Main Grants Programme 2023-2024

The Royal Docks Trust invites voluntary and community organisations, which serve the Docklands area of L B Newham (south of the A13 Newham Way) to apply for funding for the period 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024. The closing date for applications is 5 p.m. on Tuesday 31 January 2023. An information and application pack can be downloaded here

Main Grant Approvals for the Previous Five Years

A list of the main programme grants approved by the Trust over the last five years is available here.

Medium Grants 2023–2024

Grants £5,000-£10,000

The trust has established a new grants programme for 2023 - 2024. Medium Grants – one off grant funding for projects / organisations seeking funding in the range of £5,000 to £10,000. In inviting applications for this funding the trust will welcome applications that:

  • Create new community initiatives, activities or services not currently available within the Trust’s area;
  • Will take place in or be aimed at parts of the Trust’s area of operation currently underserved by organisations or projects already supported by RDT funding;
  • They relate to short term projects or schemes with a spending profile which does not extend beyond six months from the date of payment of the grant or of its first instalment;
  • Grants that are to fund a trial or pilot project or scheme with a view to enabling a meaningful evaluation to be undertaken of its worth before proceeding further to be potentially funded by the Trust or another funder;
  • Grants that would encourage individuals or groups who are not currently involved to engage in community activities or services;
  • Grants that would have a beneficial effect in addressing matters such as loneliness, mobility or mental health;
  • Projects where the primary purpose does not relate to the purchase of equipment though part of the grant may be used for equipment
  • Applications should not relate to ongoing projects or schemes where the achievement of their purposes would be dependent on funding from other sources currently unsecured;
  • Applications should not relate to projects already approved for RDT funding under the Trust’s Main Grants Programme;
  • Applications to this programme should clearly show a capability to address one or more of the purposes outlined above. The amount of funding available for any one project will not exceed £10,000.

Funding Arrangements – When to Apply

The programme will operate on a rolling basis with applications open throughout the year.

Further Information

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Trust to discuss their ideas prior to submitting an application please contact:

John Johnson:

Medium Grants Application Form

An application form for a Medium Grant can be downloaded here.

Send the completed form to:
John Johnson
The Royal Docks Trust (London),
PO Box 78432,
London SE14 9ER

Minor Grants 2022-23


Each year a sum is reserved in the Grants Programme for Minor Grants. Docklands groups can apply for minor grants throughout the year. For 2022/23 the sum of £20,000 has again been reserved. Local organisations can apply for these grants at any time. Grants to Individuals are not permitted.

The rules are:

  • Projects for which grant is sought must provide benefits for communities within the Trust's area, i.e. for those communities south of the Newham Way (A13) - Beckton, Canning Town (part), Custom House, North Woolwich, West Silvertown, Silvertown
  • The maximum grant allowed is £2,000 but grants given for social events will not exceed £500 for any one event
  • No individual organisation may receive more than two minor grants in any financial year

Priority for funding is given to projects where the grants will:

  • Assist projects to meet the social and economic needs of the community, encourage community development and assist community integration
  • Enable projects to secure additional funding from other sources
  • Enable projects to continue to undertake activities by meeting the cost of minor repairs, of premises or equipment
  • Assist new projects to establish themselves e.g. the hiring of meeting venues, provision of stationery, meeting the cost of charitable registration etc.
  • Provide an opportunity for the Trust to demonstrate its purpose and promote its activities, so you will need to ensure that the grant is acknowledged, appropriately

The following will not be funded:

  • Revenue funding - that is to cover the ongoing running costs of a project (except to assist with starting-up costs)
  • "Top-up" money for currently funded projects where a deficit is occurring
  • Retrospective funding. Where organisations have already spent money before the application has been made

Application Form

An application form for a Minor Grant can be downloaded here.

Send the completed form to:

Jonn Johnson
The Royal Docks Trust (London),
PO Box 63195,
London SE14 5SE