Funding news

14.11.16 - Details of Sport England's New Funding Programmes Announced

Information about new funding opportunities, including the key dates you need to know

Since publishing their new strategy Towards an Active Nation, Sport England have been carrying out a lot of work developing new funding programmes. Futher information is expected next month.


Volunteering has traditionally been encouraged because it is such a great enabler for people to play sport. This is absolutely crucial – grassroots sport depends on the thousands of people who give their time to help others – but Sport England also want to focus on what volunteers get out of volunteering in sport, and help ensure they have a meaningful and high-quality experience.

In December 2016, Sport England will:

  • Announce full details of a new £3 million volunteering fund to diversify the range of people who volunteer, and as a first step, support people from lower socio-economic groups to volunteer in sport. There are 5.6 million sports volunteers giving their time at least once a month in England – the most popular setting for volunteering. But our research shows that people from lower socio-economic groups are under-represented – just 31 per cent volunteers compared to 51 per cent from higher socio-economic groups.

Sport England want to work with a mix of organisations in this fund, some of which will be new to them.

The fund will be open in the New Year and we expect to start making awards in the spring.

Local delivery

Where people live and work plays a big part in the choices they make about the sport and physical activity they do.

In Sport England's strategy, they announced that they would be funding 10 places to develop and implement local strategies for physical activity and sport. These will be pilots to learn lessons from and will particularly focus on addressing inactivity and working with under-represented groups.

In December 2016, Sport England will:

  • Invite expressions of interest to become one of our local delivery pilot projects. If you’re interested in helping the types of people who aren’t normally active by putting their needs first, then this is the fund for you.

Sport England want to support pilot projects in both urban and rural areas and in different parts of England. They are expecting expressions of interest to be from local consortia. You won't be asked to make a funding bid at this stage. Instead we’ll want to get some basic details about the area you’re considering.

In January and February 2017, Sport England will hold a number of working sessions to help interested partners develop their ideas. That means by March 2017, they will be able to identify the three or four pilots which will go forward immediately and up to 10 which will require further development during 2017.

Tackling inactivity

Helping people who are inactive is one of our major priorities. Over the next four years, they are dedicating at least 25 per cent of their total resources to tackling inactivity.

In December 2016, Sport England willl:

  • Publish an investment guide on inactivity, describing the type of projects we’re looking to support, the people they want to benefit and the outcomes they are seeking to achieve
  • Open the first phase of the Inactivity Fund, which will focus on projects that help older adults (55+) to get active. We will be making up to £10 million of National Lottery funding available. They are targeting older adults first because their insight tells them this age group is much more likely to be inactive: 42 per cent of people aged 55+ are inactive compared to 29 per cent of the population as a whole.

Based on the work already done on inactivity, Sport England anticipate bids ranging from £250,000 to £500,000, but if you want to work on a smaller or larger scale, please do get in touch with Sport England to discuss your ideas – they are open to a range of options.

If you want to bid, you will need to submit your expressions of interest by noon on 13 February 2017. Sport England plan to make the first set of awards in June 2017.


The places where people play sport have a really big impact on a person's experience and likelihood they will come back regularly. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in all types of facilities, especially multi-sport for our major strategic investments.

In December 2016, Sport England will:

  • Launch the first phase of the new Community Asset Fund. If you’re an organisation looking to take over sports facilities, a sports club that wants to expand or you have a great idea for a project that’s clearly needed in the local community, then this could be the fund for you. £7.5 million will be available for single and multi-sport community facilities in this phase.

Based on similar projects they have already supported, they expect to make awards of between £5,000 and £150,000. You’ll be able to submit your bids from the beginning of January 2017. They plan to make the first awards from April 2017 onwards.

It might be that your facilities project is already right for one of our open funding programmes, like our Strategic Facilities Fund. Find out more here.

In January 2017, Sport England will:

  • Publish their wider facilities investment guide, giving partners more information on the type of projects they are looking to support, the people we want to benefit and the outcomes we’re seeking to achieve.
Supporting sport’s core market – major events

The UK has become known for hosting world class sporting events, with England playing an important role in building that reputation. Sport England want to ensure that the grassroots of sport really feel the benefit of those major events which are held in England, so they will be investing in using events to engage more people in sport and physical activity.

In December 2016, Sport England will:

  • Launch a £2 million fund to help engage a much broader range of people in and around major sporting events.