Answers to all your frequently asked questions are coming soon
Q. Are we eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply for Lottery funding if your organisation is a:
- Fully constituted club, association or trust - an organisation, generally within the voluntary sector, with its own constitution or memorandum and articles of association.
- Community amateur sports clubs (CASC): - an organisation registered with HMRC as a community amateur sports club.
- Local authority – county councils, metropolitan district councils, unitary authorities, district councils and the London boroughs.
- Local Education Authority – a local education authority on its own behalf, or on behalf of a community school.
- Foundation school or college – although run by the local education authority, the school retains control over admissions, employment of staff, land and buildings.
- Voluntary aided or controlled school - although financed and maintained by the local education authority, the school's assets are held and administered by trustees.
- Independent school or college – a school or college for fee-paying students that does not receive a government grant.
- Institute of further education - a college or other institution that provides further education.
- Institute of higher education (including universities) – a university or college that provides higher education.
- Other public sector statutory body - other public sector organisations established by statute or statutory powers such as parish and town councils.
- Community Interest Company (CICS) – a limited company created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage).
- National governing body (NGB) -a recognised governing body for sport
- Private sector company or business – a commercially-run organisation where by all profits on the project are ring fenced and not for private gain.
- Industrial Provident Society – an organisation trading for the benefit of their community which is registered with the financial services authority.
- If your type of organisation is not listed here but you feel that you maybe eligible then please feel free to give us a call on 08458 508 508
Q. Can I discuss my application with someone?
Sport England is managing the delivery of this Lottery investment programme and has dedicated local officers working across the country who are able to help you. We are expecting a high volume of calls on the programme and as such we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.
Call our Funding Helpline on 08458 508 508 for more details. This funding line is open 8am-9pm Monday and 8am-5pm Tuesday to Friday.
Q. Can there be more than one applicant?
No – you must be a single, eligible organisation who will be accountable for the award.
Q. Do I have to use the costs in the catalogue in my application?
No you do not. We recommend that you do because the costs are market tested and sufficient to give you a provisional cost for your project.
Q. Do we need to show how our facility will be maintained and managed once the refurbishment or building works are complete?
Yes, you need to tell us on your application form how you will manage and maintain your facility to ensure it can be used by your local community for many years to come.
You will need to put aside money every year to ensure equipment, fixtures and fittings can be replaced in the future.
Q. Does the location of my project make a difference?
Whilst over 90 per cent of England has one or more Inspired Facility projects in their Local Authority area, we would like to see all LA areas across the country have a legacy to the 2012 London Olympic Games. We will favour applications from the following Local Authority areas:
|Barking with Dagenham|
|Blackburn with Darwen|
|Cannock Chase District|
|City of London|
|Isles of Scilly|
|Kensington and Chelsea|
|Oadby and Wigston District|
Please note, this does not mean that if you submit an application from one of these areas that it will automatically be successful. It still has to be a very good project and will be assessed in the same way as all other applications.
Q. How do I apply?
There are four simple steps to applying for an Inspired Facilities grant.
- Check your organisation is eligible to receive Lottery funding.
- Find out what your club or local community needs
- Work out your project costs
- Fill in your online application
Advice and guidance on each of the steps can be found in Where I do I start?
Don’t forget this is a competitive process and we expect to receive a large number of applications. So give yourself the best possible chance by reading all of the information available on this website.
Q. How much can we apply for?
Community and voluntary organisations and parish and town councils can apply for grants worth between £20,000 and £50,000. At least 70% of the funding available is set aside for these groups.
Local authorities, statutory organisations and education establishments such as schools can apply for grants between £20,000 and £150,000.
However, £150,000 grants will be exceptional and only given to projects that can demonstrate a strategic rationale to their application - for example, a review of a local authority’s sports facility stock that identifies this project as a top priority. We will invest a minimum 30% of the available funding through local authorities.
Q. If we are applying from a school or education establishment do we need to open up our facilities to the wider community?
Yes, the focus of this programme is to open facilities to the wider community.
This is best achieved through a Community Use Agreement.
Further information on this can be found on the Sport England website
Q. We don’t have access to a computer can we apply on paper?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept paper application forms.
If this is a problem for you, call our Funding Helpline on 08458 508 508 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help you.
The groups you may wish to try include:
- Other club members/friends/neighbours
- Citizens advice bureau
- Internet café
- Other community groups
Q. What are our chances of receiving funding?
This is a competitive process and we doreceive a lot of applications as Inspired Facilities is part of our high-profile Places People Play programme, which seeks to build on the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games to build a legacy of increased participation.
You can improve your chances of success by carefully reading the catalogue, FAQs, and guidance on the application.You should also watch our online workshop to get a greater idea of what we're looking for.
Carefully plan your bid, don’t cut corners and remember to enclose any supporting documentation.
Q. What documents will I need to supply in support of my application?
This will depend on the type of organisation you are. Community and Voluntary groups will need to supply:
- A photocopy or scan of your governing documents. For example, this may be a constitution, memorandum of articles of association, trust deed or other formal document.
- A photocopy or scan of your most recent audited or accountant verified accounts
- A photocopy or scan of your last 3 bank statements
- All organisations will need to supply:
- Evidence of security of tenure
- Child Protection Policy (only required for projects involving children under 16)
- An income and expenditure plan - download the template
- A sports development plan - download the template
Local authorities, statutory organisations and education establishments such as schools will need to supply:
- Evidence of security of tenure
- Child protection policy (only required for projects involving children under 16)
- An income and expenditure plan- download the template
- A sports development plan - download the template
3 Oakwood Drive
These will need to be sent within five working days of the closing date for applications and don't forget to the write the unique reference number (URN) that your application wil be given on each document.
Q. What measurement and evaluation will we need to complete?
Your project’s success will be measured on the contribution it makes to Sport England’s aspiration of getting more people playing more sport more often.
You will need to record the number of times individuals take part in sport at your facility (also called throughput) and report these numbers to us every six months for five years.
Q. What are the benefits of using the Inspired Facilities contractors?
Sport England's pre-selected contractors have the ability and resources to take your project from an initial meeting with you on site to final completion. Our aim is take the worry and stress off your shoulders by providing you with a single organisation which can guide you through the survey, design, relevant building and planning approvals, health and safety and construction process.
Q. What are the Inspired Facilities contractors?
- Building modernisation works which has 10 contractors across the country
- Outdoor sport surfaces which has 6 contractors across the country
- Outdoor sports lighting which has 4 contractors across the country
- Community Sport buildings which has 4 contractors across the country
What will Inspired Facilities fund?
Q. Can a single sports club apply?
Yes you can apply if you are a club that plays only one sport
Q. Can I apply for a grant featuring equipment only?
Equipment can be included but must be part of a wider facility development.
Q. Can I apply for facilities in which karate takes place in?
We cannot fund facilities in which karate takes place. This is because we deem karate to be a sport which has specific safety requirements and have therefore made affiliation with the relevant national governing body a condition to receiving Lottery funding. Currently karate has no recognised governing body in
Q. Can I apply for facilities in which karate takes place?
We cannot fund facilities in which karate takes place. This is because we deem karate to be a sport which has specific safety requirements and have therefore made affiliation with the relevant governing body a condition to receiving National Lottery funding.
Q. Can junior sports clubs apply for funding support?
Yes, you can, however your application must also show how your project will also be available for use by people aged 14 and over.
Q. Can we apply for revenue funding?
You cannot apply to Sport England for revenue funding to pay for development costs, such as coaching. However, if your project fits the criteria for Thomas Cook Children's Charity you can apply for some revenue funding especially if it enhances your Sport England project.
Q. Is there anything that we cannot apply for?
The following are NOT eligible for funding:
- Routine maintenance (eg painting and decorating) and repairs (eg broken window) as this does not represent capital expenditure
- Personal sports equipment and clothing – this is not a lasting asset, nor does it provide wide enough community benefit
- Provision of children’s playgrounds and play equipment
- Living quarters for grounds staff or club employees
- Purely social accommodation
- Buying land or facilities for future use as this does not constitute the development of a specific / immediate project.
- Projects intended primarily for private gain
- Grants that contribute directly to a company's distributable profits
- Endowments – funds to build up a reserve or surplus and loan repayments are not possible under this the Inspired Facilities Programme as these are revenue costs.
- Retrospective funding (we will not reimburse costs incurred)
- Activities that primarily promote religious belief.
- Any revenue projects – staffing, coaching, ongoing costs such as energy. However you may apply to Thomas Cook for these items as part of your application, see question Thomas Cook section for more information.
- Fees charged for pre-application advice or support.
If you have an unusual project which you think may not be eligible, please call our Funding Helpline on 08458 508 508to discuss it before starting work on your application form
Q. projects solely focused on playing field improvements eligible under this programme?
No. You must apply to the Protecting Playing Fields Programme.
Q. We are a successful club and recently gained promotion to a higher league which means we have to meet new standards set by the league (floodlights, fencing and covered spectator area). Can we apply for funding?
Yes, however you will need to make a case about what additional benefits these improvements will bring. A letter from the league stating these requirements must be met is not sufficient evidence of need or benefit.
Q. We need to improve our playing field and clubhouse; can we apply under this programme for both items?
Yes - but the minimum length of security that we will require on projects that include improvement to playing fields is 25 years.
If you are applying for funding to just improve your playing field, you will need to apply under the Protecting Playing Fields programme.
You can find out more about the Protecting Playing Fields programme on the Sport England website
Q. We want to develop an outdoor multi-use games area (MUGA) because are aware of the need to provide a resource for young people to use. Can we apply for this?
We can and do fund a variety of multi-use games areas under this programme. Successful projects can demonstrate the need using local surveys of interested groups or a good sports development plan showing how the facility will be programmed, managed and monitored. Floodlighting for these projects will be considered favourably as this provides higher levels of access and use and therefore better value for money. Please note we do not fund children’s play equipment.
Q. What types of projects will Inspired Facilities fund?
The Inspired Facilities programme will refurbish and upgrade club facilities, and convert existing buildings into venues suitable for community sport.
We are looking to invest in local projects that are developed and delivered by community and voluntary sector groups that don’t have specialist facility development knowledge.
This is why, although we are not telling you what work your project needs, we have pulled together a catalogue of typical facility developments and improvements.
This catalogue is based on what sports clubs have told us they need, and the improvements are grouped into five areas;
- Building modernisation
- Outdoor sports lighting
- Outdoor sports surfaces
- Community club buildings
- Sports equipment
- Requests for outdoor cricket nets
- Resurfacing / upgrading of club tennis court
- Community and voluntary sector projects with a total project cost greater than £1m will also be a low priority.
However you do not have use it. We will accept applications for items not listed but you will need to work out the costs and explain why the work is needed, but we need to be sure the numbers are realistic. We suggest you use an appropriately qualified person, such as a quantity or building surveyor to do this.
We have also pulled together a group of contractors who can do all the work for you, if you receive an award. This includes checking your budget costs, applying for necessary statutory approvals or planning permission, doing the work and preparing maintenance manuals.
Although it will be quicker, easier and cheaper, as you benefit from economies of scale, to use these contractors, again you do not have to. You may appoint your own contractor if you prefer.
Q. Which sports are eligible?
All Sport England recognised sports are eligible.
We prefer it if you or the club or group you represent is affiliated to the relevant sport’s national governing body (NGB).
For sports that have specific safety requirements, we have made affiliation with the relevant NGB a condition if you want to receive Lottery funding. These sports are marked with an asterisk in our recognised sports list.
Please see the complete list of recognised sports on Sport England’s website
Q. How is an in-kind contribution defined?
In-kind contributions can count as partnership funding as they reduce the size of the grant your project needs.
Such contributions take the form of goods and services provided free of charge, where you would normally have to pay for them. We will need to see formal documentation to support your in-kind partner funding for example, an invoice for professional services showing the reduced rates.
The value of the contributions in kind should be identified separately and it is important that they are included in both the project costs and partnership funding sections of the application form.
The types of in-kind contributions that are eligible are listed in the table.
|Category||Yes we can count these||No we can't count these|
|Partnership funding in the frm of land||Donation of freehold land or property from a genuine third party provided that it constitutes added value through the transfer of ownership and control.|
Land must be given freehold or its equivalent
Value needs to be independently and professionally verified and reflect any existing planning consent or restrictions
Value of any land, facilities, equipment or other assets already owned by an organisation
Services / materials in kind
Independently validated voluntary labour, professional fees or donations of materials
Or materials, such as
Must genuinely constitute added value, not something that would be undertaken anyway.
Health and safety legislation determines that many elements of construction must be carried out by suitably qualified people to reduce the risk of accidents on site and to ensure that the finished work is carried out in accordance with statutory requirements like building regulations.
Work in kind involving specialist trades such as electrics, plumbing and heating must be undertaken by an authorised contractor with appropriate certification and professional indemnity
Activities or tasks that would be done anyway such as general maintenance
Q. Is partnership funding required?
We would prefer you to have some partnership funding – either cash or in kind.
However, we know funding can be difficult for voluntary or community groups to raise so we won’t rule out your application if you don’t have any. This also applies to Town and parish councils..
Local authorities, schools or educational establishments, and other statutory bodies, are expected to provide pound-for-pound partnership funding.
Potential sources of partnership funding include your own funds (cash), funding from partner organisations, other grants, sponsorship and non-cash (in kind) contributions that help to reduce the grant request.
Funding which has come from Sport England through other channels or programmes does not count as partnership funding. This includes:
- NGB whole sport plan capital funding
- Sport England Small Grants programme
NGBs may however have other funding sources and these would be classed as partnership funding.
Football Foundation funding is eligible but only where it is for multi sport projects with at least one other partner investing. This is because,
Sport England funds the Football Foundation and including a contribution from at least one other party helps us meet Lottery regulations regarding additionality.
Application assessment process
Q. How many applications have you received so far?
We received a total of 631 applications for Round 1. 542 of these were from voluntary and community organisations (including town and parish councils) and 89 were from local authorities, statutory organisations and education establishments such as schools.
In Round 2 we received a total of 1006 applications; 168 were from local authorities, statutory organisations and education establishments such as schools, while 838 were from voluntary and community organisations (including town and parish councils).
Most recently Round 3 had 968 applications; 830 from voluntary and community organisations and 138 from local authorities, statutory organisations and education establishments such as schools.
In total overall more than 2,600 applications have been submitted.
Q. How many submitted applications were successful?
The total awarded projects are:
· Round 1 – 350
· Round 2 – 379
· Round 3 - 310
Q. How will our application be assessed?
We will first all of all make sure that your organisation and project is eligible to receive Lottery funding, and then assess your application against our four criteria:
Need – is the project needed and wanted by members or users, and the wider community?
Impact – will it really keep existing participants playing sport and attract new people?
Community involvement – have local people been involved in the project’s development and are there plans to keep them involved once the award has been made?
Sustainability – will sufficient revenue be generated to keep the facility running and well-maintained for years to come?
We will give priority to projects that
Have not benefitted from an individual sports Lottery grant worth over £10,000
Offer local opportunities to people who do not currently play sport
Are the only public sports facility in the local community
Q. If our application is unsuccessful, can we apply again in future rounds?
Yes, although if your project or your organisation is ineligible you would have to show how that the issues we outlined in your rejection letter had been dealt with.
Q. If we are successful, can we apply again in future rounds?
Yes, providing you are able to demonstrate the need for further work, each application will be assessed on its own merits and against our Inspired Facilities programme criteria.
Q. When must we submit our application and when will we hear whether or not we’ve been successful?
Round 4 opens for applications on 11 March 2013 and remains open until 5pm on 29 April 2013.
We estimate that it will take up to 12 weeks to assess all the applications received. You will be told of the decision regarding your application during the last week of July 2013 at the earliest.
Round 5 will open on 21 October 2013 and remain open until 16 December 2013.
Q. When will we know whether or not our application has been successful?
Technical questions about the Catalogue items
Q. Can I apply for funding for work that has already started?
No, you cannot apply for funding for work that has already begun. This includes binding commitments such as contracts or purchase orders.
Only begin the work or make the commitment to buy once you have received and accepted your award unless you have received written consent from Sport England beforehand. This written permission from Sport England may only be sought once you have submitted your application for funding
Q. Do we need to have planning permission or building regulations in place when we apply?
No, if your project needs planning permission or building regulations approvals, your appointed contractor will sort it out if you are given an award.
If you are in the process of applying for, or have already secured, planning permission please tell us about this in the Project Description section on the application form
Q. Has VAT been included in the catalogue costs?
All costs in the catalogue are exclusive of VAT.
Q. How are the catalogue costs calculated?
Using the catalogue will help you develop a budget cost for your project easily and quickly. The costs shown already include:
- Design fees
- Satisfying planning requirements and building regulations
- Connecting to local services such as water or electricity
- Preparing the site and carrying out the work
- Removal and disposal of building waste
- A small contingency sum and regional variations.
We have not included VAT in our prices as some clubs and statutory bodies will not have to pay VAT. If your organisation has to pay VAT – or you think you have to – you should add 20% VAT to your budget.
Q. Should I include VAT in the project costs section of the application?
Q. We cannot find our proposed facility development in the catalogue, can we still apply?
Yes. Although we expect the Inspired Facilities catalogue to cover most of the work projects need, we will accept applications for items not listed.
You will need to work out costs yourself and explain why the work is needed. We suggest you use an appropriately qualified person, such as a quantity or building surveyor to do this.
Q. What are my project start and finish dates for this funding?
Your project must start within six months of you accepting the award and be open within 18 months.
Q. Who has the final sign off of the design specifications?
Sport England and our agents will make technical recommendations on projects
Thomas Cook Children's Charity
Q. How does the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity funding work?
Thomas Cook Children’s Charity was set up in 2009 and supports disadvantaged children and children who are sick or have a disability. It has joined with Sport England to fund projects that will support these aims and make people more aware of the charity’s excellent work.
When you apply to the Inspired Facilities programme you will be asked if you want to apply for some additional funding from Thomas Cook Children’s Charity. This funding is ADDITIONAL to any funding you request from Sport England.
You will need to explain how your project helps disadvantaged young people aged under 18. There are some questions on the Inspired Facilities application form where you can do this.
After Sport England has assessed your application, and if we are able to offer you a grant, we will pass your application on to Thomas Cook Children’s Charity Trustees for a decision.
If you application to Sport England is not successful, you will still have the opportunity to apply separately to Thomas Cook Children’s Charity. We will send you more information about this when we have assessed your application.
Q. What can I apply to Thomas Cook Children’s Charity for?
Thomas Cook Children’s Charity supports in projects for disadvantaged young people aged under 18. You can ask for capital funding for building works or revenue funding for operating costs. The work should help the project you want funding for achieve even more.
Security of tenure
Q. Do we have to either own the project site or have a long term lease on the building?
Yes, although you do not need to have legal ownership of the facility or site you want to improve when you apply. However, you will need to own it before any payments can be made to you.
If your application is successful, a form of security over the grant may need to be in place within six months of you accepting the award. This will only apply to projects that are deemed to be high risk or have been awarded £150,000 or above so this may well not apply to you.
Grant Security is a straightforward process and, if you are granted an award, our in-house solicitor will be in touch to explain what you have to do.
Grant security simply enables us to recover the value of your grant should you, for example, sell the property, go into liquidation or break the conditions of your award.
The table summarises what we need for each size of grant in terms of grant security and the length of any lease.
|Grant AMOUNT||Minimum length of lease||Grant security|
|£20,000 to £50,000||7 years||Normally no security, unless indicated by risk analysis|
|£50,001 to £99,999||10 years||Normally no security, unless indicated by risk analysis|
|£100,000 and above||15 years||15 years|
Projects which including a playing field improvement
( Projects which include a playing field improvement must offer protection of the site for sporting use for at least 25 years)
|25 years||25 years|
If for any legal reason you are unable to provide a Legal Charge, Sport England will take a Restriction on Title. This will usually only apply to local authorities and we will usually take a restriction on title for all grants worth £150,000 and above.
Q. How long will the funding agreement with Sport England last, and what are the terms and conditions associated with the award?
The length of your funding agreement varies according to the size of your grant, as summarised in the table below.
|Grant Amount||Grant Period|
£20,000 to £50,000
£50,001 to £99,999
£100,000 and above
Project including playing field improvements
If you receive a grant, your funding award will contain several conditions.
- Send in financial and progress information on your organisation and project
- Provide Sport England with grant security where applicable
- Display a sign recognising the National Lottery funding your project has received
- Record the number of visits to the project and tell us the figures every six months for the next five years
Additional conditions may also be included as part of your award.
Finally, Sport England will also have step-in rights.
This means that if your organisation finds itself in financial trouble, we can step-in and take over the project with a view to selling it to pay off your debts.