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UK Sports Councils

There are four primary bodies that have responsibility for promoting grassroots sport in each constituent part of the UK. Each organisation distributes funds from the UK Government and the National Lottery to achieve this goal:

Typically, these organisations fund projects that look to increase participation, or improve pre-existing community sports facilities.

Each body may also offer ‘match funding’ for crowdfunding campaigns. This is when a grant giving organisation agrees to contribute to an applicant’s fundraising efforts. For example, it might offer to top up the remaining 40% of a project if the first 60% of the goal is reached through crowdfunding.

The final primary funding distributor is UK Sport. UK Sport aims to support all potential Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the UK.

Direct central government funding

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is responsible for a multi-sport facilities programme, a tennis court refurbishment fund, and a swimming pool support fund that are administered by different bodies.

National Governing Bodies for each sport

A National Governing Body (NGB) is an organisation that governs and administers a sport on a national basis. Amongst an NGB’s typical responsibilities are organising competitions and promoting participation.

NGBs might offer very different funding schemes depending on the sport, such as capital grants to improve football stadiums, support for groups offering facilities to people usually under-represented in a sport, and interest-free loans for sports facilities.

Funding for disability sports

Specific forms of funding are available for disability sport. Organisations might offer support to purchase specialist equipment for sports such as wheelchair tennis. Individuals and clubs may also be able to apply for more general funding to improve disabled peoples’ access to sport.

Other sources of sports funding

A variety of other organisations also offer funding to individual athletes and young people. These include charities that support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and organisations that fund individuals aiming to compete at the Olympic or Paralympic games.

Clubs Matters, an online platform created by Sport England, provides free help to those involved with a grassroots club. Its funding guidance and applying for grant funding pages provide an overview of how an organisation should approach the funding process.

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