Funding FAQs

Check out our Funding page for more information on our funds currently open to applications

30 June 2017

There are a lot of common questions that we are asked about our funding process and the answers to these are listed below.

If your question is not answered please feel free to email or call us on 0345 8508 508.

Does Sport England fund individuals?

Sport England does not fund individuals or teams, either through sponsorship or donations. We also do not provide educational support so you would not be eligible to apply for any of our funding programmes.   

However, you may be eligible for funding from another source, please find further information in the FAQ 'Where else can I seek funding from?'

Can I get funding to take a coaching course?

Sport England does not fund individuals directly but if you are involved with a club could consider applying to our Small Grants fund to qualify additional coaches.

Can my club get funding for new equipment?

Our Small Grants programme will consider funding the costs of new additional equipment so more people can take part but cannot replace any old or broken equipment.

Who can apply for funding?

You are eligible to apply for Lottery funding if your organisation is a:

  • Fully constituted club, association or trust - an organisation, generally within the voluntary sector, with its own constitution or memorandum and articles of association.
  • Community amateur sports clubs (CASC) - an organisation registered with HMRC as a community amateur sports club.
  • Local authority – county councils, metropolitan district councils, unitary authorities, district councils and the London boroughs.
  • Local education authority – a local education authority on its own behalf, or on behalf of a community school.
  • Foundation school or college – although run by the local education authority, the school retains control over admissions, employment of staff, land and buildings.
  • Voluntary aided or controlled school - although financed and maintained by the local education authority, the school's assets are held and administered by trustees.
  • Independent school or college – a school or college for fee-paying students that does not receive a government grant.
  • Institute of further education - a college or other institution that provides further education.
  • Institute of higher education (including universities) – a university or college that provides higher education.
  • Other public sector statutory body - other public sector organisations established by statute or statutory powers such as parish and town councils.
  • Community Interest Company (CIC) – a limited company created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage) and you have a suitable asset lock clause.
  • National governing body (NGB) - a recognised governing body for sport
  • Private sector company or business – a commercially-run organisation where by all profits on the project are ring fenced and not for private gain.
  • Industrial Provident Society – an organisation trading for the benefit of its community which is registered with the Financial Services Authority. 

Can I see a sample application form?

Dummy versions of application forms can be located on the relevant funding programme web pages.

You can print these so you can see what is involved before making your online application.

Can I find out what you have funded?

You can find details of the Lottery and Exchequer funding awards we have made here.

Where else can I apply for funding from?

There are a number of other sources of funding that organisations can apply to, these include:

  • Bowls England
    Help for affiliated clubs to find out more information on local, regional, national and even European funding opportunities.
  • Cash 4 Clubs
    Cash 4 Clubs offers all sports clubs in the UK the chance to win grants ranging from £250 to £1000. It is a simple scheme aimed at giving community clubs a helping hand and provide the opportunity to raise the money they need to invest in their club.

  • DSC Sports Funding Guide
    The Sports Funding Guide is a practical guide aimed at helping organisations and individuals looking to raise money and win support for their sport. Available from Amazon and Directory of Social Change.

  • Directory of social change funding websites
    Some of these links are by subscription only but local libraries may have copies of the associated publications:
         - Grants for individuals
         - Trust Funding
         - Company Giving
         - The government

  • Educational Grants and Charitable Trusts
    EGAS offers students, especially disadvantaged students, expert guidance and advice to enable them to secure funding for education and training.

  • Enable Sport  
    Provides specialised sports equipment to disabled children and young people who are actively competing in sport.
  • England & Wales Cricket Board
    Raising the money to carry out your plans is without doubt the most challenging task faced by cricket club committees and members. This guide will help steer you through many of the grant aid and development funding agencies which exist and to give you an insight into their respective funding criteria.
  • FunderFinder
    Some of the searches on this site are free but some may be by subscription only.

  • The Football Foundation
    The Football Foundation directs £40m every year into grassroots sport.
  • Funding for sailing
    Tips on putting together a funding bid and point you in the direction of some of the key funding sources that sailing clubs have been successful recently.
  • The Fundraising Directory
    Ideas, information and contacts for all UK fundraisers.

  • Grantsnet
    Grantsnet is a search engine for grants available to UK organisations.

  • j4b Grants
    A free database community groups can use to search for grants and funding.

  • Lawn Tennis Association
    Free to use grant search facility allows you to search through the thousands of grants and soft loans that could help you.
  • Lottery funding
    A free joint website run by all Lottery funders in the UK. This site allows you to search information on current funding programmes across the UK

  • M & S Energy Provides up to £400,00 of grant funding to groups to create community benefitting renewable energy developments. Applications close 29th July 2015.
  • Mayor of London
    The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme is supporting London’s promise of an Olympic legacy by investing £22.5m in projects across every London borough and creating hundreds of thousands of opportunities for Londoners to get into sport.
  • Premier League & FA Facilities Fund
    Providing grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and Sport England, and delivered by the Football Foundation.
  • The Rob George Foundation
    Provides financial support to young people who demonstrate exceptional commitment / ability in the world of sport but are held back by their financial situation from pursuing their goals.

  • Sport & Play Construction Association
    SAPCA funding advisor, Karen Woolland of wctd ltd offers a special funding service to identify for organisations what funds your project could apply for.
  • SportsAid
    Provides funding for young people between the ages of 12 and 18.

  • UK Sport
    UK Sport is a government agency responsible for developing high performance sport in the UK.

I cannot accept National Lottery funding for religious reasons, can you help?

If you may not accept National Lottery funding for religious reasons, we do have some very limited to scope to fund some smaller projects (for example through our Inspired Facilities or Small Grants programmes) from other sources. Given the extremely limited availability, large scale projects are very unlikely to be funded without Lottery funds.

You should apply using our normal application material and include a letter stating why you may not accept National Lottery funds. We will assess your application in the same way that we assess all applications. If we decide to offer you a grant, and provided an alternative source of funds is available, your grant will not come from our National Lottery income.

What is additionality?

Additionality is one of the criteria that we must consider when assessing funding applications.

In order for a project to receive National Lottery funding through Sport England, it must meet a criteria called additionality.

Additionality means that the National Lottery funding should be distinct from any statutory funding and adds additional value to community sport. Lottery funding decisions are independent of Government whilst being compliant with legislation.

When deciding whether a project fulfils the additionality criteria, Sport England will adopt the following principles:

  • Adding additional value to community sport is at the heart of what we do.
  • Proceeds of the National Lottery should be used to fund projects, or aspects of projects, that the Government is unlikely to fund. If Exchequer money is clearly not available, nor likely to be available, and no private sector funding is available, Sport England can fund with Lottery money. If Exchequer funding subsequently becomes available for an area that was previously funded by the Lottery, then Lottery funding could be withdrawn but only where there was a reasonable expectation that it will be funded by Government. This would not be applicable if additional funding provides added benefit that would otherwise not be obtained.
  • Additionality principles should not prevent us using Lottery funding to complement other sources of statutory funding including our Exchequer budgets, as long as there is a clear distinction between the uses of each and an opportunity arises to add additional value to existing schemes.

Does Sport England solicit applications?

Solicited Projects

National Lottery legislation allows Sport England to invite applications for funding where the organisation/project has the ability to drive forward our strategic aims.


When soliciting an application, Sport England ensures that:

  • Those involved in making decisions avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest. Those making the decision are informed that the application has been solicited. This is the key reason why Sport England insists that staff who solicit applications should have a clear separation of duty from those who carry out the assessment of the application.
  • Assessment procedures are fair and are seen to be fair. Sport England staff are careful to impress upon organisations submitting solicited applications that those applications will not necessarily succeed and that they will not be treated differently to unsolicited applications.
  • All applications, solicited or otherwise, are assessed on their individual merits.


Sport England uses its solicitation powers in a number of ways:

  • To invite an organisation to apply for funding where there is a specific strategic need. In these cases one organisation is invited to apply.
  • Where there is a specific strategic need, but Sport England is unsure as to which organisations are best placed to deliver against that need. In these cases, expressions of interest are invited from the public, proposals are assessed and then a number of organisations are invited to apply for funding.