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The cost-of-living crisis is having a severe impact on communities in deprived areas, and particularly young people. This concern is reflected in most funding grants currently available to sports clubs across the UK. With this is mind, to receive public funding, clubs are being encouraged to establish deep connections with the communities they exist within. Funding grants are generally open to not-for-profit organisations and sports clubs.  

Where to Start 

Think about how you are, or could be, ‘More than a Club’ 

This blog published by Club Matters provides guidance to help community sports clubs think about how to develop into hubs for their communities. Svend Elkjaer, founder of The Sports Marketing Network said “Often, because their roots are in the community, clubs can design and deliver their programmes to suit people's real needs, instead of focusing on sporting outcomes alone.”. 

Check out the Funding Sources (see below) 

We’ve found seven major sources of funding open in 2023 to not-for-profit community organisations, such as sports clubs. The list isn’t exhaustive, and you should also check with your local Activity Partnership to see what else might be available in your area. 

Take a look at these successful applicants for an idea of how they met the funders priorities 

Read our Club Guide: Examples of Successful Grant Applications featuring clubs and gyms who’ve received funding in recent years, with details provided about their application.  

Apply for your Grant Funding 

Read our Club Guide: Applying for Grant Funding which walks clubs through the steps involved in applying for funding from start to finish, and what to expect from the process.  

Keep in touch with British Weight Lifting 

Let us know if you are thinking of applying for funding and want to talk through your idea. If you are successful, we can help publicise your good news. 

Grants Your Club Can Apply For in 2023 

1. National Lottery Awards for All (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) 

Funding from £300 to £10,000 is available to support what matters to people and communities. There are variations of the funding for each home nation. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? To fund organisations who are helping more people reach their potential and building strong relationships in communities.  

When is the closing date for applications? Ongoing. Apply at least 12 weeks before you want to start the activities or spend any of the money. 

Find out more: National Lottery Awards for All 

2. Tesco Community Grants 

Tesco Community Grants is open to charities and community organisations to apply for a grant of up to £1,500. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? To help projects that support food security, children and young people and local store nominated good causes. Examples include holiday clubs, breakfast clubs and equipment/kit for youth sport. 

When is the closing date for applications? Ongoing 

Find out more: Tesco Community Grants 

3. Small Grants Programme - Sport England 

This fund seeks to develop opportunities for communities to get more people physically active. Sport England are supporting new projects through providing National Lottery funding of between £300 and £15,000. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? To support projects working with people located in areas of high deprivation (specifically people living in areas defined by Indices of Multiple Deprivation 1-3). To see which area your project location fits into, you can use this postcode checker. 

When is the closing date for applications? 30 June 2023 

Find out more: Small Grants Programme 

4. Active Together - Sport England 

There's £7.5m of National Lottery funding available to support clubs and local organisations to set up and run their own crowdfunding campaign, with a potential financial pledge from Sport England to help them towards their crowdfunding target. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? Crowdfunding is an alternative if you don’t meet any of the priority groups of Sport England’s other funding streams, or if you’re seeking to raise funds because of a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additional support is available to help clubs run an effective crowdfunding campaign:   

  • free 1-2-1 coaching by experts 
  • advice and guidance on campaign improvements 
  • access to free online courses 
  • free 30-minute webinars, monthly 

Find out more: Active Together 

5. Sport Facilities Fund – Sport Scotland 

Awards of up to £100,000 are available for sports facility projects within club and communities, school and education or performance sport environments. This includes funding for major items of sports equipment. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? To support projects that demonstrate an impact on the outcomes of ‘Participation’ or ‘Progression’. Enhanced support is provided to projects within or serving the most deprived communities according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). 

When is the closing date for applications? 1 April and 1 September each year. 

Find out more: Sports Facilities Fund 

6. Be Active Wales Fund – Sport Wales 

Grants from £300 to £50,000 for projects in Wales that enable more people to participate in physical activity. Examples of how the money could be spent includes upskilling volunteers, buying equipment, developing different ways to deliver physical activity, reaching people currently under-represented in sport and physical activity. 

What’s the purpose of the fund? To reduce inequality, create long-term sustainability and introduce new or different ways of operating. 

When is the closing date for applications? You can apply once per club or group every financial year (April to April). 

Find out more: Be Active Wales 


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