Sport England Community Asset Fund
Of interest to organisations dealing with Sports, Community Facility, Community Assets
Sport England’s Community Asset Fund is a programme dedicated to enhancing the spaces in your local community that give people the opportunity to be active.
With the Community Asset Fund, the onus is on what you can do. They know most organisations will be eligible but they also know some will not be. This won’t be a problem in the first instance.
Statutory bodies like local authorities and all education establishments provide important community sports facilities at a local level. The Community Asset Fund is open to applications from all bodies but an annual budget will be ring-fenced for these organisations. Although they will always look objectively at each project, statutory bodies and education establishments are different to community organisations and so they will reflect that when considering your application.
Statutory bodies and education establishments will specifically need to:
• Provide a minimum of pound-for-pound 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
Please note; they understand Statutory bodies and education establishments are more likely to need to access to higher levels of investment of up to £150,000 however, awards over £100,000 will be the exception rather than the norm.
For local authorities considering Community Asset Transfer or applications across multiple sites, they strongly recommend contacting them via email or phone 03458 508 508 to discuss any queries.
There are a number of things they want to achieve with this funding, but most importantly they want to help local organisations to create quality and financially sustainable facilities that benefit their community for years to come – which may mean providing help to get things up and running too.
Their accompanying resource Developing your idea also has useful guidance and case studies that will help you develop your project or idea.
Through their Community Asset Fund, they want to continue to invest in the local infrastructure that gives people the opportunity to get active. For example they need to consider how to:
• Work with new and different organisations that can reach new and different audiences – particularly hard to reach groups and communities
• Develop new ideas that really respond to customer needs in their local communities
• Reduce grant dependency across the sector
• Create more resilient and sustainable places to be active
What they want to achieve from this investment:
• 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 their target audiences
• Ensure their capital investment reaches organisations who have not accessed their funding before
• Create a more resilient, sustainable, less grant dependent sport sector
Any organisation with a great idea can apply for our support. You might be:
• Looking to take over an underused sports facility or one under threat of closure. You might need support to bring a building back into use or need improvements to a recreational space
• Wanting to expand or improve the sporting experience you offer your customers. You could be looking to improve a changing room or installing new toilets, heating system or social space
• Responding to an emergency or unexpected event that is stopping people from being active. You might need to fix a roof that’s been damaged or repair an area after flood damage
• Or simply have a great idea for a project. You might want to make improvements to a building or open space that’s clearly needed in the local community.
They expect their typical awards to be either:
• Small-scale investments typically ranging from £1,000 to £15,000. These will address 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 typically ranging from between £15,000 to £50,000. These will address more substantial changes. This might be an upgrade to an existing facility or developing a new space in the community.
By exception, they will consider larger investments ranging from £50,000 to £150,000. This will be when organisations can demonstrate a considerable impact or are targeting under-represented groups. They are also unlikely to have received funding from Sport England previously.