Make a Difference (MAD) Fund

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The Make a Difference Fund (MAD Funding) is a smaller fund set aside from the main Area Committee budgets each year to enable ‘quick fixes’. Up to 10% of each Area Committees annual budget may be set aside for the MAD Fund and divided equally amongst the wards comprising the area. Typically, it is used to purchase small items or ‘one off' events.

Councillors can access the portion of the MAD Fund allocated to their ward to make local improvements. Each ward has an annual budget (see below, last updated 30/01/2024).

Remaining 2023/24 Make a Difference Fund budgets are:


  • Alexandra:          £95.00
  • St Margaret’s:     £500.00
  • Westgate:           £500.00

South West:

  • Gipping:              £500.00
  • Bridge:                £500.00
  • Sprites                £500.00
  • Stoke Park          £500.00

North West:

  • Castle Hill:          £500.00
  • Whitton:              £500.00
  • Whitehouse:       £500.00

South East:

  • Gainsborough:   £250.00
  • Priory Heath:      £500.00
  • Holywells:           £300.00

North East:

  • Rushmere:          £500.00
  • St John’s:            £500.00
  • Bixley:                 £400.00

Please click the different areas to view a map of ward boundaries and Councillor details. 

Who and what do we fund?

Funding is available to make positive improvements within the ward area and is awarded to groups for small scale community initiatives that meet local community needs.

As with Area Committee funding, Ipswich Borough Council funds projects led by VCSFE groups/organisations. These must address at least one of the priorities outlined in the relevant Area Action Plan and benefit a significant number of people from within the specific ward area.

Below are the current local action plans:

Examples of items covered by MAD Funding:

  • One off project expenses, equipment or similar costs.
  • Contributions to celebration events with lasting community benefit or a follow up plan of community engagement.
  • Start-up costs for a new group or organisation.
  • Match funding for projects – evidence will be required that such funding has been secured.

Items that are not covered by MAD funding:

  • Ongoing revenue or maintenance costs.
  • Insurance, feasibility studies, planning etc. application costs, solicitors or other fees.
  • Donations to individuals.
  • Donations to commercial bodies or events.
  • Direct staffing costs.

A full breakdown of the budget for each ward and examples of previously funded projects can be found at Area Committee Projects 2022/23

How to apply

To apply for a Making A Difference Grant please email the Community Engagement Team at with the following information:

  • A short brief of the proposal (including how much funding you require, a cost breakdown, the ward area you would like to apply to and evidence of how your proposal will impact residents of that ward)
  • A constitution/ governance documents
  • Proof of a bank account in the name of your group/ organisation (i.e. a bank statement)
  • A safeguarding policy

Once the team has received an application, eligibility will be checked before processing the application begins.

Please click here for the full MAD funding guidelines which give a full outline of the application process and eligibility criteria. 

Further information:

The Community Engagement Team are here to help. Contact: or 01473 432224 for guidance and support to complete applications. Alternatively, get in touch with your Ward Councillor to discuss your ideas further.

Further information on how we process and protect personal information.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Community Engagement Team,
1E Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

Telephone icon

01473 432224