The money will fund work with local communities to help them improve their local area design.
Thirteen organisations across the country will receive small grants totalling £79,000 from the Neighbourhood Projects Small Grants Programme to provide advice and support for community groups to help them improve design quality in neighbourhood projects.
Additionally the Design Review Small Grants Programme will award five grants, totalling £35,000, to local design review panels in Staffordshire, London, Wakefield and Hull to help them explore new ways to involve the community in reviewing the design quality of proposed new developments in their area.
Director of Design Council CABE Diane Haigh said: "Supporting communities in developing their own vision for their area and involving them with local design review is vital in ensuring that Britain’s new planning system empowers people and is truly accountable."
The projects are expected to be completed by next spring followed by an event showcasing the outcomes to be held at the Design Council in the summer.
Find further details and a full list of grant recipients here.