1.1 To encourage the discovery of new caves and cave passages in the Peak District and associated areas.
1.2 To offer financial aid to Derbyshire Caving Association individual members and member clubs to help offset expenses incurred in the discovery of new caves and cave passages in the region.
1.3 Under exceptional circumstances to offer formal recognition to DCA Individual Members and Members Clubs where such recognition may aid the furtherance of projects in accordance with Aim 1.1
1.4 To ensure that conservation and access interests are properly considered in the exploitation of such discoveries.
1.5 To ensure that discoveries are fully documented and recorded.
2.1 The Fund shall be financed in the first instance by a levy on all the Association's members as part of their annual subscription; the amount of this levy to be agreed each year at the same time as the annual subscription rates are agreed. 'Me full amount due shall be available from the Fund at the beginning of each calendar year without waiting for the collection of subscriptions.
2.2 The money in the fund at the beginning of each calendar year shall be divided into two equal parts, one part to be allocated for the six month period beginning 1 March of that year, the second part to be allocated to the six month period beginning 1 September of that year.
2.3 The Fund may accept donations.
2.4 The Fund shall be under the control of the Association's Treasurer, who shall make awards from the Fund as from time to time directed by the Discovery Fund Grants Panel. (Subject to 5.2 below.)
2.5 All donations received after 1 March in any year, together with any money left unallocated from either 1 March or 1 September grant rounds, shall be transferred to January of the following year.
2.6 In any six-month period, any one project may receive not more than 50% of its eligible expenses or not more than 50% of the money in the Fund for that six-month period, whichever is the less.
3.1 Applications may be made for recognition or grant from the Fund by Individual Members of the Association or by Member Clubs. Such applicants must be of not less than 12 months standing in the Association. An application from a Member Club must be supported by the signatures of two officers of that Club, neither of whom must be the principal applicant.
3.2 The grant is intended to aid in reimbursing money spent on the purchase or hire of materials, technical equipment or supplies necessary for the progress of the work, to assist in the conservation of or access to the discovery or to document the discovery. Grant is not available for the purchase or hire of caving equipment or for travel expenses.
3.3 Grant will be given only for legitimate work which makes a significant new section of cave accessible, either by an extension of an existing cave or the opening of a new cave.
3.4 Mines which may be of interest to cavers shall qualify for grant in the same way and under the same conditions as caves.
4. THE GRANTS PANEL
4.1 The Grants Panel shall consist of the Association's Chairman (or his nominee), the Association's Conservation & Access Officer (or his nominee) and three Ordinary Members elected at the Association's Annual General Meeting. It is expected that the Ordinary Members will each have a special interest in a different area of the Peak District.
4.2 The Association's Treasurer (or his nominee) shall be ex-officio a member of the Grants Panel but shall have no vote.
4.3 In the event that any member of the Grants Panel wishes to apply for grant or recognition, he shall stand down from the Panel for that six month period. If any member of the Grants Panel is considered to have a financial interest in an application he shall stand down from the Panel for that six month period.
5.1 Application forms may be requested from the Association's Treasurer at any time.
5.2 The Grants Panel shall meet twice a year to consider applications. Their recommendations shall be put to the earliest possible Council Meeting of the Association for ratification, after ratification the Grant shall be paid to the applicant and / or a letter of recommendation signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Association shall be supplied.
5.3 For an application to be considered at a Panel Meeting it must be completed and returned, together with supporting evidence of expenses incurred, to the Association's Treasurer by 1st March or 1st September.
5.4 The Treasurer shall make available copies of the completed application to all Panel Members as soon as possible after the closing date for applications. (The cost of this to be borne by the Association.)
5.5 The applicant shall have the option to appear in person at a panel meeting at their own expense to present their application. Where an applicant appears in person to present their application they are to leave the meeting after their presentation, and are not entitled to be present during the presentation or discussion of other applications or during the decision making process.
6.1 In order for grant to be awarded or recognition given, access arrangements made by the applicants should, as far as practicable, allow all cavers access to the new discoveries. (Subject to conditions imposed by the owners or lessees, considerations of conservation. etc.)
6.2 In order for grant to be awarded or recognition given, the applicant must indicate how conservation of the new discovery may be achieved, having reference to the National Cave Conservation Policy.
6.3 A description of the discovery must be submitted to the Association's Newsletter Editor and to the Derbyshire Cave Registry Secretary as soon as is practicable. (This does not preclude more detailed publication elsewhere.)
6.4 All applicants shall have a duty to:
i) make safe any entrances to the satisfaction of the owners or lessees to prevent risk to farm stock or passers by,
ii) make safe, as far as is reasonable and practicable, any work done inside the cave to prevent risk to other cavers.
6.5 Recognition will be awarded only for the specific project for which application has been received and may be revoked by Council at their discretion.
6.6 The Constitution of this fund may be amended only at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting of the Association under the rules which apply to amendments to the Constitution of the Association itself.
Originally accepted at the Council Meeting of 12th. November 1994. Amendments incorporated subsequently in 1996 and 1997.