Funding Options for UK Sports Facilities

Header image of funding for sport facilitiesInvesting in sports facilities is vital for improving the health and wellbeing of communities across the UK. However, funding can be a major hurdle for many clubs and organisations looking to upgrade their facilities. Fortunately, there are several funding opportunities available to help bridge the gap and support these important projects. Here are a few options:

  • Sport England
  • Football Foundation
  • National Lottery
  • Local Authorities
  • Charitable Trusts and Foundations
  • Private Sector

Sport England

Sport England is a national body responsible for investing in and promoting sports participation, investing more than £250 million each year. They have a range of funding programs available for sports facilities, including the Community Asset Fund, which supports the development of community sports facilities. The fund provides grants for the improvement of existing facilities and the creation of new facilities.

Sport England funds

The Football Foundation

The Football Foundation is a charity funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the government. They provide grants to improve football facilities across the country, with a particular focus on increasing participation among young people. They offer two main funding programs: the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants of up to £500,000 for the development of new or refurbished football facilities, and the The Premier League Stadium Fund, which supports the improvement of safety and accessibility at football stadiums.

Football Foundation funding finder

National Lottery

The National Lottery funds a wide range of community projects, including sports facilities. The Awards for All program provides grants of up to £10,000 for small community projects, while the larger Reaching Communities program provides funding of up to £500,000 for projects that make a significant impact on their community.

The National Lottery Community Fund

Local Authorities

Local authorities also have funding available for sports facilities, often in the form of small grants or loans. These can be used for a wide range of projects, including upgrading pitches, improving changing facilities, and installing floodlights. Check with your local authority to see what funding opportunities are available in your area.

Charitable Trusts and Foundations

Various charitable trusts and foundations in the UK offer grants for sports facilities. Examples include the Garfield Weston Foundation, the London Marathon Foundation, Foyle Foundation, and the Robertson Trust. These organisations may have specific criteria and focus areas, so it’s important to review their guidelines before applying.

Private Sector

Finally, the private sector can also be a source of funding for sports facilities and potential partnerships. Many companies have corporate social responsibility programs like Tesco Community Grants and the Poundland Foundation that support local communities, and some may be willing to fund or sponsor sports projects. Companies like Notts Sports offer a ‘fast tracked funding’ format that acts as a flexile operating lease, an alternative method to consider when looking to fund your sports facilities.

*Please note that funding opportunities and grants may change over time, so it is advisable to visit the respective organisations’ websites or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on funding availability and application processes.

Determining Your Funding Needs

Determining your funding requirements is a crucial step in the application process. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the financial scope before seeking funding. To assist you in this endeavour, we have referenced the most recent Sport England facility cost guide, which outlines both the initial development expenses and ongoing maintenance costs. Within these cost guides, you’ll find comprehensive cost breakdowns for a variety of sporting facilities, including tennis courts, 3G football pitches, padel courts, and hockey pitches. Utilise these resources to gain insight into the precise funding amount your organisation should seek when submitting your application.

Additional Sport Facility Management Resources

Head over to our Sport Facility Management Hub now for an in-depth exploration of financial strategies, staffing insights, and operational best practice.

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