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5 Sources of Funding for Community Sports Projects

Whether your town is big or small - sport is at the heart of every community. It helps people come together, improve their health and fitness, as well as build more confidence in their abilities.

To achieve all this, community sports projects require funding, just like any other charitable project. Funding can be received either through regular subscriptions, donations, or by applying for grants.

In this blog, we will show you the top sources of funding for this type of project.

Funding Sources for Community Sports Projects

Community sports projects can be varied. They can be established by charities, community groups, and even primary and secondary schools. They can also have specific focuses - such as different genres of sport, and different demographics of participants.

No matter what type of organisation you fall under - there’s a grant opportunity available. Below, we have listed our top five sources of funding for you to consider:

Community sports projects can benefit from many funding opportunities.

Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund

The Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities. These include the likes of changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with funds provided by the Premier League, The FA and the government.

This funding source will give grants for projects that provide evidence that they will:

  • Improve football and other sports facilities in local communities

  • Sustain or increase participation among both children and adults, regardless of background age, or ability - helping them to develop their physical, mental, social and moral capacities

The maximum grant available is £500,000, with the lowest being £10,000. Football clubs, schools, councils and local sports associations are all eligible to apply. There are also no deadlines for applications.

Premier League and the FA Facilities Small Grants Scheme

For organisations that wish to secure funding below £10,000 - then the Premier League and the FA Facilities also offer a Small Grants Scheme.

This type of funding aims to support the growth of football clubs and activities, prevent a decline in football participation, and make improvements to facilities to address any health and safety issues.

Grants range between £1,000 to £10,000 and are available to local authorities, education establishments, grassroots football clubs, professional and semi-professional football clubs and their associated community organisations.

Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund (AIPFF)

The Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund was initiated to increase sporting opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas of the UK.

The fund focuses on local community groups and sports clubs based in deprived parts of England, that deliver sports to young people (up to the age of 25) who would otherwise be excluded. These include the likes of:

  • Disadvantaged young people

  • Women and girls

  • Disabled children and young people

  • Young people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Applications can be made for grants between £2,500-£5,000 is value, with the funds going towards some or all of the following types of projects:

  • The development and improvement of playing fields and other facilities

  • The development and training of volunteers including the provision of qualifications

  • The purchase of specialist disability equipment

  • The development of long-term sustainability, for example marketing and finance expertise

Local community groups, sports clubs and charities are eligible to apply.

Community sports projects can recieve funding to boost specific genres of sport or encourage underrepresented demographics.

National Lottery Community Fund

National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘Awards for All’ scheme offers grants to support grassroots and community activity between £300 and £10,000 in value. It aims to:

  • Bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities

  • Improve places and spaces that matter to communities

  • Enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

Awards for All will fund specific activities, including:

  • Hosting an event, activity or performance

  • Purchasing new equipment or materials

  • Running training courses

  • Setting up a pilot project or starting up a new group

  • Carrying out special repairs or conservation work

  • Covering expenses for volunteers, pay for workers, professional fees and transport costs

Charities, community or not-for-profit groups, parish or town councils, health bodies, or schools are eligible to apply.

Sport Northern Ireland Project Re-Boot: Activate

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Crowdfunder and Sport Northern Ireland have teamed up to make £650,000 of match funding available to support the sports sector throughout the ongoing crisis. It aims to help the sport sector in Northern Ireland build itself back up to be better and stronger than ever before.

The funding places great emphasis on projects that support people from at least one of the following priority groups:

  • Women and girls

  • People with disabilities

  • People with long term limiting illness

  • Children and young people (aged between 11-18 years)

  • Older people over 50 years of age

  • Ethnically diverse communities

  • People on a low income

  • Families

  • People living in deprived areas

It focuses primarily on funding small to medium-sized sports projects requiring up to £5,000 of funding. Constituted sports clubs affiliated with a governing body recognised by Sport NI, community/voluntary organisations and charitable trusts are eligible to apply.

Find More Funding with FundReady

FundReady is Ireland’s leading subscription-based funding information service for third sector organisations. Powered by S3 Solutions, the digital platform is managed and supported by a team of specialist funding consultants, who can provide you with the latest funding opportunities and practical guidance to write and submit funding applications. The service is completely tailored and aligned to the funding needs and profile of each organisation.

FundReady Case Study: Youth Sport Omagh

Youth Sport Omagh (YSO) is a cross-community voluntary organisation that was established in 2001 to provide physical activity opportunities and high-quality sporting facilities to people of all ages and abilities in Omagh and the surrounding areas.

The organisation aims to bring people together, improve health and wellbeing, get people active and improve local relations through sport and physical activity.

Through the help of FundReady and the S3 Solutions team, Youth Sport Omagh successfully secured £230,000 to upgrade from a synthetic grass surface to a more sustainable, modern 3G alternative. A further £200,000 in small capital and revenue funding was also secured by the organisation with support from S3 and FundReady.

If you are interested in finding more funding opportunities for your community sports project, get in touch with our team today.


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