Where do I start?
There are four simple steps to applying for an Inspired Facilities grant :
Step 1: Is your project eligible?
To be eligible for Lottery funding your project must be:
- Submitted by an organisation that is able to receive public funding such as a voluntary or community organisation, sports club, local authority, or school or other education establishment.
- Based on a site your organisation owns, or intends own, or have a lease for the facility
- For capital (ie building) works - we do not have any revenue funding to cover operating costs
- Not yet started, but be capable of starting development work within six months of receiving a grant and open to the public within 18 months
- The only application submitted by your organisation in that round
- Focused, at least partly, on adults and young people aged 14 and over.
Step 2: What do you need?
You will need to show that your project is really needed and that our investment will successfully encourage people to play or keep playing sport in your area.
If you’re a voluntary or community sector group, you should talk to your members or users and the wider community. Find out what they want; identify the things that are holding the club back or stopping the community taking part; and understand what will encourage them to take part and keep on taking part in the future.
If you’re a local authority, other statutory body, or school or other education organisation, you will need to supply evidence, such as a published leisure strategy, of the local need your project aims to meet. ).
You also need to show how you plan manage your project, generating revenue to pay for running costs and maintenance that will keep the facility open for years to come.
Step 3: Work out your project costs
- Make a list of the sports and activities you want to offer, based on what your members or the local community have told you.
- You should also note down the level you want to play these sports at – is it just for fun or recreational use, or are you planning to hold county-level competitions? This will affect items such as the playing surface you choose and the equipment you buy.
- Browse through the catalogue’s four sections – you can do this on the website or print a PDF to look through offline – and find the items your project needs to deliver your chosen sports and activities.
- If your items are in the catalogue – take a note of the details and costs and use this information to complete your online application.
- If your items are not in the catalogue – work out your own costs and enter these onto the online application form. You may need to appoint a qualified person such as a quantity or building surveyor to do this. We’re happy to receive survey and cost information in whatever way is easiest for you, but we need to be sure that the numbers are realistic and that you have explained why the work is needed.
Please be as realistic as you can when putting your project costs together. In earlier rounds there were some projects that did not include VAT when it was probable that they wouldn’t be able to claim it back, forgot to allow any cost for significant building work or put in extremely optimistic and unrealistic figures. The result was either having to find more partnership funding, reduce the scope of the improvements to be done or potentially making the project unviable.
Sport England's Design and Cost guidance brings together our best practice design advice and requirements for a wide range of sports facility and building types.
Step 4: Fill in your online application
You must apply online via Sport England’s My Applications website.
If you haven’t applied for a Sport England grant before you will have to register first; otherwise you can use your existing username and password.
The application form has a series of pages for you to complete. Please don’t forget to save as you go along. Help and guidance are provided on every page to help you understand what you need to tell us so we can assess your project fairly and objectively.
We can also answer your queries over the phone, simply call our funding helpline on 08458 508 508 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember your application will be judged in competition with all other applicants, so it’s worth spending time reading all the guidance and presenting us with the strongest argument as to why we should invest in your project.
We also need to see some documents relating to the governance and ownership of your organisation and, more specifically, your project.
Governance and ownership documents
To help us check your organisation’s eligibility, management structure and financial health, you must submit photocopies of a number of documents you should already have:
- Your governing document such as your constitution, memorandum and articles of association, trust deed or other formal document*
- Your most recently audited or accountant verified accounts *
- At least three bank statements*
- Evidence of security of tenure
- A child protection policy if your project involves children (under the age of 16)
*Statutory bodies such as local authorities, parish or town councils do not need to supply these
We also need two more documents which cover the details of your project:
- A sports development plan that outlines the impact on sport your project will have
- An income and expenditure forecast that shows how the project will cover its running costs and be financially stable once it’s open.
You can download and complete templates for both these documents.
You must submit all documents, either electronically at the end of the application form on the My Applications website or by post to:
3 Oakwood Drive
We must have these documents before we can start to assess your application.
DON’T FORGET to quote the Unique Reference Number (URN) that you will be given when you start your application on each document you send in.