Blue Spaces - Wales: FAQs

On this page, you'll find FAQs for our Blue Spaces - Wales call for expressions of interest. We will keep updating these FAQs, so if you cannot find an answer to your question below, do just get in touch.

1. What is the eligibility criteria?

  • Work must have a clear primary benefit to Wales.
  • Work must be legally charitable. The Charities Act 2006 defines this as work that falls within one of 13 descriptions of purposes and is for the public benefit.
  • We will also not consider applications for:
    • Grants to individuals.
    • Organisations without an asset lock - unless they are a registered charity.
    • Capital costs including building work, renovations, and equipment (the exclusion applies to grants only, we may make social investments for these).
    • Academic research – unless it can demonstrate real potential for practical outcomes.
    • Healthcare with a clinical basis.
    • Independent education.
    • Work that is primarily the responsibility of statutory authorities.
    • The promotion of religion.

2. Submitting an expression of interest

2.1 What costs will be considered?

We are flexible on what costs are covered including time of existing staff to develop the idea or project.

2.2 What information does Esmée want in the expression of interest?

The expression of interest is in two parts:

  • First, some details of your organisation including: charity or company number; total income for the last financial year; number of trustees and non-executive directors; and date established.
  • Second, we want to know more about what you are hoping to achieve by answering the following two questions. Please note that your answers are meant to be brief.
  1. What would you like Esmée to support (Free text – up to 250 words): We’re interested in what you want to do, how it would support people and organisations to look after their local freshwaters, and your longer-term vision for the work.
  2. How is your organisation well placed to deliver this change? (Free text – up to 250 words): We’re interested in who you’re working with, and what stage of development your idea or project is at.

OPTIONAL: If you have an existing 1 to 2 page summary about your work, you can upload this as a supporting document. Please note this is optional, and if you don’t already have an existing document to upload, please don’t worry about creating something new.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): Once you’ve submitted your expression of interest, you will be redirected to a DEI monitoring form to complete about your organisation. We want to use the information we gather to help us identify and address structural inequity, and ensure that the reach of our funding and our funding practices are fair and just. Learn more about how we're classifying our data.

2.3 Can requests for funding be used as match funding?

Yes, but the focus for our funding must be on our aims for Blue Spaces.

2.4 Will Esmée accept applications from two or more organisations working in partnership?

Yes, we especially encourage collaborative approaches.

One organisation will need to apply as the 'lead' - they will be treated as the grant-holding organisation in our system and hold responsibility for the progress of the work.

We'll need the collaboration partners to confirm their involvement. Not all partners have to be registered charities. You'll also nominate two contacts; one from the 'lead' organisation and one of the partners.

You can include anticipated costs of setting up and co-ordinating networks or partnerships in your application.

Please note: The 'lead' organisation will need to meet our eligibility criteria for Blue Spaces – Wales. If you would like to discuss this further, get in touch by emailing

2.5 What is the deadline for submitting an expression of interest

We open to expressions of interest on 21 March. The deadline for submitting an expression of interest is 5pm, 2 May 2023.

2.6 What is the process for decision-making and when will decisions be made?

We aim to make decisions on expressions of interest and get in touch with applicants if we would like to progress their application further by 25 May 2023. We will offer those applicants a follow-up call and potentially invite them to submit a full proposal. Our full application process should take about three months. Decisions for smaller grants (£60,000 or less) are usually quicker.

For applications we decide not to progress further, we will offer feedback, which we hope is helpful.

2.7 Does this affect current grants or applications?

Applications through Blue Spaces – Wales should not be for work or costs already covered by an existing grant or application.

3. Is Blue Spaces – Wales separate to your main funding priorities?

The call for ideas is targeted separately, but the work we support will contribute to our goals in Our Natural World – particularly on freshwater. We also hope to see the work contributing to our goals in Creative, Confident Communities and A Fairer Future.

Because Blue Spaces – Wales is a targeted call for expressions of interest, and to help us reach beyond our existing networks as well as those who are already familiar with Esmée, we are testing a different approach. This includes a change to our normal eligibility criteria, and changes to our usual expression of interest questions and length.

4. I still have a question, who can I contact?


Learn more