Sport England Community Asset Fund

Status:Open to applications


Grants are available for community organisations, sports clubs, statutory bodies and educational establishments to enhance local community spaces which encourage people to play sport and get active.

Fund Value:
£ 15,000,000
Maximum Value:
£ 150,000
Minimum Value:
£ 1,000

Value Notes


A total fund of £15 million is available annually.

Three levels of funding are available:

  • Small Scale Investments – Typically ranging between £1,000 and £15,000.
  • Medium Scale Investments – Typically ranging between £15,000 and 50,000.
  • Large Scale Investments – Typically ranging between £50,000 and £150,000.

Sport England expect to make mainly small and medium scale investments as they can make a significant difference to an organisation and the community it serves.

The scheme is likely to be oversubscribed.

Extended Description

Sport England has launched its new capital fund, the Community Asset Fund, in support of its new strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’.

Building on Sport England’s experience gained from delivering the Inspired Facilities and Protecting Playing Fields scheme, this new funding programme will continue to invest in local infrastructure in order to give local people the opportunity to play sport and be more physically active with the goal of 'changing lives' and becoming a 'force for social good'.

Sport England wants to achieve the following through this funding programme:

  • Improve and protect existing sports facilities that support the needs of local communities.
  • Invest in new and different places that meet the needs of local communities, which include Sport England's target audiences.
  • Ensure Sport England's capital investment reaches organisations that have not accessed Sport England's funding before.
  • Create a more resilient, sustainable, less grant dependent sport sector.

Latest Information

There are no deadlines. Applications will be accepted at any time throughout the year. Applicants should apply when their project or idea is ready.

Key Criteria

Applications will be considered from any organisation with a great idea, including:

Community organisations and clubs that:

  • Own or lease existing local facilities.
  • Offer the community the chance to play sport and be active.
  • Are considering taking over an existing local facility that might not be a traditional space for sport.
  • Have not accessed Sport England funding before but want to create great spaces for people to be active.
  • Respond to the people in their local community.
  • Ensure everyone has the opportunity to choose to take part in sport and physical activity as part of their lives.
  • Are committed to providing a sustainable place to be active in their community for the long term.
  • Have not received a lottery award greater than £10,000 before now.
  • Are eligible to receive public funding

Statutory bodies and educational establishments that:

  • Provide important community sports facilities at a local level. Sport England’s Community Asset Fund is open to applications from all bodies but an annual budget will be ring-fenced for these organisations. Although Sport England will always look objectively at each project, statutory bodies and education establishments are different to community organisations and so Sport England will reflect that when considering applications.
  • Provide a minimum of pound-for-pound (50%) partnership funding.
  • Demonstrate the strategic need for their project proportionate to the scale of investment requested.
  • Limit requests to a maximum of £150,000 within any 12 month period.

Statutory bodies and education establishments are more likely to need to access higher levels of investment of up to £150,000; however, awards over £100,000 will be the exception rather than the norm.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for projects which will create or improve opportunities to play sport and get active in local communities. Grants do not have to be used for a traditional space or traditional sport. Examples of eligible project locations include: canal towpaths, woodlands and open spaces with the potential to be used and enjoyed as part of an active lifestyle.

The funding is available as:

  • Small Scale Investments – to cover the cost of emergency works due to something like storm or flood damage, or something totally unexpected that is stopping people from being able to stay active right now.
  • Medium Scale Investments – to make more substantial changes. This might be an upgrade to an existing facility or developing a new space in the community.
  • Large Scale Investments – for projects which can demonstrate a considerable impact or are targeting under-represented groups. (To be eligible for funding applicants must not have received funding from Sport England previously.)

Examples of eligible activity include:

  • Taking over an underused sports facility or one under threat of closure. Applicants might need support to bring a building back into use or need to make improvements to a recreational space.
  • Expanding or improving the sporting experience applicants already offer to their customers. Applicants could be looking to improve a changing room or install new toilets, heating systems or social spaces.
  • Responding to an emergency or unexpected event that is stopping people from being active. Applicants might need to fix a roof that’s been damaged or repair an area after flood damage.
  • Making improvements to a building or open space that is clearly needed in the local community.


Statutory bodies and educational establishments must provide a minimum of 50% partnership funding.

Sport England is a funder of last resort so the more an applicant is able to contribute to their project, the better; however the presence of partnership funding or in-kind support is not a prerequisite of investment.

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Revenue-only projects.
  • Routine maintenance and repairs resulting from wear and tear.
  • Children’s playgrounds and play equipment.
  • Projects intended for private gain.
  • Retrospective applications.
  • Projects Sport England has funded in the past.
  • Football-only projects.
  • Small-scale cricket projects.

Payment Procedure

Sport England will attempt to make a quick award to applicants who have applied for a small-scale investment in response to an emergency or unexpected event.

Medium and large scale applicants may be asked to provide further information about their organisation, the nature of the works they are undertaking, the people who will benefit or how the organisation plans to operate in the future before an award is made.

Application Procedure

Sport England is taking a new approach in running this funding programme. The following are some of the key changes:

  • This is an open rolling programme. Applications can be submitted at any time.
  • There will be regular and quick decision making.
  • The application is short and simple.
  • Initially no supporting information is required.
  • More flexibility regarding individual projects which could mean agreeing timeframes, supporting information or offering additional support.

An online application form and guidance information can be found on the Sport England website.

Applicants must provide evidence of the following with their application:

  • Organisations governance arrangements.
  • Organisations financial management.
  • Organisations bank account.
  • Organisations ownership or facility or space.
  • Appropriate Child Protection and Adults at risk policy and procedures.

Statutory bodies’ requirements are reduced due to the nature of the organisations.

Contact Sport England for further information.


Address & Contacts

Contact details:
Funding Helpline
Sport England 
2 Loughborough Park 
Oakwood Drive 
LE11 3QF
08458 508 508