Small Grants

We want to support a wide range of projects that get communities more active

A netball player attempts to intercept a low pass that is caught by her opponent

Could you help people in your community become more physically active? Would a grant of between £300 and £10,000 help make your ideas happen? 

What we want to fund

We want to support projects that help everyone to take part in physical activity whether this is formal sport or informal activity aiming to help people lead more active lifestyles.

We know some people and communities face real barriers to getting active. Our funding can support your project to run activities that help overcome these barriers, and not just formal or traditional sports.

The Small Grants programme wants to support projects which meet one or more of the following aims of our Towards an Active Nation strategy:

Our aims

  • Getting inactive people to become more active
  • Developing lasting sporting habits
  • Develop more positive attitudes among young people

Our priority is to fund activities which reach people and families who have not had the opportunities to be active that others have. This might be for several reasons, including low income or where they live, but also levels of confidence.

We want to fund activities that are relevant, engaging and help people get regularly active – including those who do very little or no exercise at present. 

We also will consider projects that contribute to the broader aims of our strategy. We are particularly interested in projects that involve:

Our key audiences

  • People on lower incomes
  • Supporting inactive people to become more active
  • Women
  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities

You can now apply for funding for projects that work with children from the age of five. We have put together some extra information below about the kinds of projects we’re particularly interested in supporting that involve children aged five to 13. There is also some extra information to consider if football is the focus of your project.

And while our funding mostly supports projects that deliver recognised sporting activity – a full list can be found here – we also want to support a range of activities that people enjoy, including less formal activities. For sports that Sport England deems higher risk, appropriate affiliation to the national governing body will be required. Please call 03458 508 508 if you would like further information. 

So, a project delivering activities not included on the list of recognised sports could still be considered. Please contact us about any other activities that you would like to deliver.

A few other things to consider

  • We want to fund new activity or a clear expansion on previous projects.
  • Funding can be for up to £10,000 for a project. We may make slightly larger awards in exceptional circumstances.
  • Projects can last up to three years.
  • People taking part must be based in England.

We aim to let you know our decision in eight weeks. Projects must not start before a decision has been made.

Who can apply

You don’t have to be a sports organisation to apply. We’re more interested in your knowledge of and track record in the community that will benefit from the project.

But if you’re a sports club or group, you can still apply for funding. We will prioritise applications that can show they will involve people who face barriers to being, and staying, active. 

Your organisation can apply if you're:

  • A not-for-profit voluntary or community club or organisation
  • A registered charity
  • A not for profit company or community interest company or other social enterprise
  • A school
  • A statutory body

All organisations we fund will need to show that they meet Tier 1 of A Code for Sports Governance. If you are successful in funding, we may ask you to make changes to your governing document to ensure the requirements are met. You should send us your organisation’s constitution or governing document when you apply. We will provide support to organisations or clubs to meet this requirement.

What costs a grant can pay for

We can fund a wide range of costs and items. Below are some examples. If you are not sure whether we can fund an item, please speak to us.

We can fund

  • New or additional equipment
  • Kit for new teams or teams that haven’t had any before
  • Fixed term or sessional staff and/or coaching costs
  • Training or coach development costs
  • Venue hire
  • Transport
  • Volunteer costs or expenses

Projects with children aged 5-13

We are principally interested in projects that support active play. By active play we mean activity where children are most likely to be in charge. It also has a key role to play in their development, such as helping a child to learn control, develop creativity and to resolve conflict through social interactions. Parents see this type of activity as an opportunity for children to just ‘be kids’ and a more attractive form of downtime than the use of mobile phones, tablets and other devices.

We are also interested in projects that take a whole family approach. We won’t stipulate who should or shouldn’t be included, as it could differ from child to child, but examples might include parents, relatives, carers, guardians or other responsible adults involved in a child’s life.

Football projects

We'll prioritise projects working with people from lower socio-economic groups and that seek to address identified barriers to participation in football. We will not fund capital items such as building work or fixed equipment such as goals. If your football project is capital focused, please visit the Football Foundation website.

Examples of revenue project costs which we'll consider include sessional coaching/activation, venue hire and items of non-fixed equipment such as moveable goals. More information on our football priorities can be found here.

Preparing your application

We'll be looking for information on the four areas below. Make sure to tell us about how the project will address these points. You can download an example application form here.

Evidence for the project's need

What is it the project will look to address? Is there demand from the local community for the project?

And how do you know the project is something they'll be interested in?

The project's impact

We are looking to understand the impact of each project. We would like to know how many people will benefit from the project; how many times people will take part and what will change following their involvement.

Things to consider are the impact on people’s physical activity levels, mental wellbeing, social or community development, individual development or economic development.

Planning and delivery

Show how the things you want us to support will lead to the change expected.

Identify any partners that will be involved and their role in delivering the project.

If you have a project delivery plan, please attach that to your application.

Wider benefits

How will people continue to take part in the project?

How long will this be sustained for?

And how will funds be raised that enable this?

Gather your supporting documents

You'll need to provide us with copies of certain documents.

Key documentation

  • Your governing document/constitution
  • Your most recent financial accounts – if you're a new organisation, please submit a three-year income and expenditure forecast
  • Your last three bank statements – if you're a new organisation, please provide evidence that you have a bank account
  • Your safeguarding policies (if relevant to your project).

These should all be in the name of your organisation and can either be uploaded when completing your application, emailed, or send by post to:

SportPark, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3QF

Please remember to include your unique reference number.

You can also include photographs, letters of support or other documents you feel may help explain why your project is needed – but please only include documents that directly relate to your project.

Register your organisation

If you've not applied before, you'll need to register your organisation before you can start an application. You can do this here. You can also see an example application form here.

Complete your application

We're looking for the best projects, not the best applications, and you should only write something you think really helps us understand how good your project is.

Focus on the points detailed above and use the guidance available by clicking on the “?” icon next to each question on the application form for more help.

After you've applied

We aim to let you know our decision in eight weeks. If we do need some more information, we'll contact you.

We only have limited funds available. Sometimes we can’t fund everything we’d like to, including some really good projects. If we can’t fund your project, we'll tell you why.

If you're successful

If you're successful, you'll receive an award agreement that states the purpose of the award and contains our terms and conditions. It'll also contain various forms that you'll need to fill in to accept and claim your award. Please read your award letter carefully and keep it safe for future reference.

Your grant is intended specifically for the project you have applied for, and any proposed changes should be discussed with us in advance.

You should keep also all receipts and evidence of expenditure. Payments for goods and services for the project should be made directly from the organisation’s bank account (i.e. not by cash) as we may request bank statements to verify claims for payment.

Download example application form

Apply now