For many sports clubs looking to develop and upgrade their facilities, the sticking point is often money. Access to funding or even knowing where to start looking for funding opportunities are challenges that so many club committees face.
Here, we share some routes to consider when looking to obtain grants for sports club projects.
Check out the facilities section of their website
The FA, RFU, England Hockey, the LTA and most other UK sports governing bodies have a section on their websites relating to facility development and funding. Here, you’ll find information about funding schemes, fundraising guides and ideas, and contact details for their facilities teams. (We’ve included some links to these pages at the end of this article.)
Contact your regional facilities managers
The regional (or national) facilities managers from the sports governing bodies are an excellent resource and support to clubs looking for funding. These personnel are focused on helping clubs to develop their facilities and so will be able to advise on all stages of planning and development.
Discuss your plans with the regional/local associations of your sports governing body
As an example, for football, the county FAs will not only be aware of national funding schemes through the FA and other larger organisations but will also likely know about local opportunities through the council and other business partnerships.
Contact your local council and land developers working in your area
There is often funding available for sports facilities through land development schemes, such as the landfill communities fund and under the planning obligations of a Section 106 Agreement. Your local council should be able to provide some information on what is available. Local land developers should also be aware of any obligations when developing in your area and therefore of potential funding avenues for sports and leisure facilities.
Research local and national charities – ones specific to your sport and ones that focus on sports participation as a whole
Charities such as the Football Foundation have a number of grant and funding schemes available. These include long-running initiatives, such as the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, and funding schemes that have been created in response to current national or global events/issues, such as the Club Preparation Fund.
Also consider arranging fundraising activities if your club is a registered charity itself. Club members and the wider community may prove to be the pathway you need towards raising necessary funds for facility developments.
Speak to companies directly involved in building and installing sports facilities
Reach out to the contractors who work on projects similar to yours as they may know of available opportunities and may have had previous clients who were able to get their projects completed due to external funding and grants.
Some companies also have their own funding programmes in place. For example, Notts Sport, a leading specialist in synthetic sports systems, offers a solution called Fast Track Funding. Since its launch in 2013, this initiative has already helped to bring 45 projects to life at a combined value of over £15.7m.
We hope this list provides you with a starting point when looking for funding opportunities to develop the sports facilities for your club.
To be able to apply for funding, you’ll of course need to know an estimated project cost and for your pitch or court floodlights, we offer a free site visit, initial consultation and quote so get in contact with us today about your project requirements.