Grant applications: prepare your breakdown of project costs

When you apply to us for a grant, you'll need to give us a breakdown of your project costs using the template we provide.

Breakdown of costs template

Complete the breakdown of project costs template. You will need to upload it to your online application.

Project costs to consider


The funding bid should reflect the cost of the project to you after reclaiming any VAT you may be able to recover. It is your responsibility to ascertain the VAT status of the project, irrecoverable VAT should be reflected in the funding application and cannot be added subsequently.

Other funding

Are you receiving any other monies from NRW or other public bodies, including agri-environment funding? We need to satisfy ourselves that we are not double funding pieces of work and that we are complying with Subsidy Control rules.

Cash flow

NRW grants are paid in arrears. Consider how you will fund project costs between the start of the project and receipt of NRW funding. Consider contingency to pay for any price increases or unexpected costs. In exceptional circumstances we may consider funding in advance; applicants should demonstrate why this is needed in their application.

Financial contributors to the project

In your application you will need to confirm the funding you are requesting from us, the funding you, as an organisation, are contributing (if any) and the funding you are requesting from other sources (if any). Together they should add up to the total cost of the project.

The total requested from NRW should not exceed the total project costs.

NRW reserves the right to make an offer of funding that is different from the details or financial amounts that are set out in the full application.

Cost of living crisis

We recognise that everyone is faced with increased costs of living. We suggest when you are developing your project costings you consider contingency for increased costs using ONS & RPI published inflation rates e.g. March 2022 it was 6.2% and in April 7.8%. You are responsible for calculating expected costs which will then be paid on evidence of actual spend. We are unable to increase the value of our grants once an award has been issued.

We recognise people are also facing difficulties with recruitment and, for example, getting sufficient number of quotes for works and therefore we suggest allowing a 3-month tendering period or staff appointments where contractors are not available.

What we do:

  • Organisations can request advances - they need to demonstrate and evidence their need for this and then the final claim will be in arrears to avoid overpayment
  • Volunteer rates are based on the national minimum wage and the Applicant should calculate their staff rates based ONS and RPI guidance
  • We allow 15% flat rate of staff costs for overheads or full cost recovery subject to approval of full methodology and evidence of costs
  • Organisations are asked to estimate costs, and these can include future estimated increases, however these always need to be evidenced as actual spend so could result in underspend

We follow the WG 2014 Third Sector Organisations scheme and code of practice.

Staff salary

The salary costs should be calculated on the basis of the daily cost calculation(s), multiplied by the number of days worked on the project by the member(s) of staff, per financial year. Staff costs, rates and actual time spent on the project will need to be evidenced when making claims.

To calculate the daily rate for a member of staff add together the annual full-time equivalent (FTE) salary, National Insurance and pension. The total amount should then be divided by 220 (days) to give the daily rate.

Complete a line for each member of staff on the project.

Travel and subsistence

Travel whilst working on the project can be claimed. This can include train, car or bike.

All claims must be supported by:

  • receipts
  • detailed travel or mileage log
  • bank or defrayment evidence

Find mileage rates on GOV.UK.

Consumables or other costs

All purchases with a purchase value under £5,000 for each item should be entered under consumables/other costs.

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure is expenditure that results in the acquisition or construction of a capital asset (land, building, vehicle, equipment) or the enhancement of an existing capital asset.

External assistance/contractors

All purchases that exceed £5,000 must be procured in line with public procurement guidance.


Overheads can be included as part of your project costs. There are two possible ways to include these on your application:

  • Flat rate of 15% on direct project staff costs only. The flat rate does not need to be evidenced.
  • Full cost recovery (FCR) the methodology to be agreed by NRW and all costs must be fully evidenced.

The following are not eligible direct project costs and should be covered by overheads:

  • Accommodation unless you have had to rent a new office which is used exclusively by the project
  • HR costs are not eligible overhead costs apart from invoices for recruitment adverts for staffing the project
  • Items such as IT backup, heat and power, rent and rates
  • Core costs such as CEO and senior management
  • General administration costs (e.g. finance and audit costs) unless an officer is employed as part of the project to do this type of work and can evidence the hours worked directly on the project

The above costs should be covered by the additional flat rate of 15% of the direct project staff costs for overheads or evidenced as full cost recovery.


The time that your volunteers contribute to your project can be used as match funding. If you wish to do this we will need to know the number of volunteers, their role in the project, the total number of hours they will work on the project and the hourly rate. Time recording evidence will be required, so your volunteers will need to complete timesheets. All timesheets must be signed and dated by the volunteer and the volunteer co-ordinator.

We have set values for volunteer time depending on the type of work that they will be doing:

  • Unskilled £10.42 an hour
  • Skilled or technical £18.75 an hour
  • Professional £43.75 an hour

You must use these values when working out the value of the time that volunteers contribute to your project.

We do not pay for volunteer time. It can only be used as match funding and should not exceed 40% of the total project costs. Rates are based on the volunteers’ roles within the project.

Contingency planning

Should your other match funding be withdrawn or not offered, outline how your organisation would manage the project. What actions would you undertake? Do you have sufficient reserves that you can call on?

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