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Sports Projects: Finding the right funder

April 5, 2016

In Wales, National Lottery money is given out by four main distributors, each with specialist knowledge of their sectors:

  • TFriends of Pedal Power.pnghe Big Lottery Fund which aims to help communities most in need
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund which supports a range of heritage projects including building restoration and natural conservation
  • Sports Wales which is the national organisation responsible for increasing participation and improving sport in Wales
  • Arts Council of Wales whose vision is of a creative Wales where the arts are central to the life of the nation

The Big Lottery Fund supports a wide range of activities including projects that develop people’s skills, promote community involvement and encourage healthier lifestyles. Unfortunately our remit doesn’t cover projects where the main purpose is to promote or develop the arts, heritage or sport. We do, however, recognise that these types of projects are often fundamental within the community and play an invaluable role in people’s lives. So this blog aims to distinguish the blurred line between fundable and non-fundable sports projects.

What we can fund

We can fund projects if they use sport as a vehicle to support community activity and meet the aims of our funding programmes. These could include projects that use sport to tackle inequality or integrate communities by bringing together people of different ages. Or projects that improve the ability of disabled people to take part in activities. An example of a potentially eligible project may include the cost of additional sessions hosted by a wheelchair based sports team (of any sport) which allows the integration and participation of people of all abilities and ages within a particular sport.

In some circumstances, we may be able to fund small scale physical improvements to sports clubs such as the refurbishment of a kitchen or the installation of disabled access bathrooms. In these circumstances, the applicant would need to provide evidence that the club hosts a wide variety of community activities other than those relating to sports.

What we can’t fund

Even if the project meets the aims of our programmes, the following remain unfundable:

  • projects that’s focus is on the general promotion of sport or to achieve excellence within a particular field
  • kit
  • start-up costs of sports teams and leagues

For projects such as these, Sports Wales’ Community Chest may be able to help with grants of up to £1,500 available for community groups. Community Chest is run in partnership with the 22 Local Authorities in Wales with its two main aims as:

  • Increasing participation
  • Improving standards

More information can be found here or by calling Sports Wales on 0845 045 0904.

You can also contact the Big Lottery Fund’s Advice Line on 0300 123 0735 for further information.

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