£3million fund for community sport and activity in Wales
Community groups, clubs, businesses and volunteers are being urged to take advantage of a multi-million pound fund to grow activity in every corner of Wales.
Up to £3million of National Lottery funds have been made available by Sport Wales to go to the heart of sport and activity, with the aim of growing the number of opportunities and get people participating.
With the public able to apply directly to the two different grant schemes, full take up of the money on offer will mean a significant boost for activity across Wales.
Funding is made available annually by Sport Wales, and applications for the current allocation can be made until March 2017.
“Our communities are at the very core of growing participation and we can only be successful if we work together,” said Sport Wales Chair Lawrence Conway.
“It’s so important because it’s about sport and activity but it’s much more than that. I see first-hand how we can help build togetherness, give people new skills, help people get fitter and healthier and change people’s lives.
“Setting aside such a sizeable chunk of our budget, exclusively for communities, is just one of the ways that we can help our grassroots thrive.
“This is another part of the jigsaw but it is a vital one and we need people to be aware there is support available for them.”
In 2016/17, £2.7million was awarded directly to 1,503 community clubs and projects across Wales.
The two main grant schemes available are Community Chest, which offers start-up help of up to £1,500, while Development Grants for more established sport and activity offers up to £25,000 of financial support.
The grants can be used to cover costs of a range of activity. For example, Wales is the only country in the UK that offers full financial support to volunteers looking to make the first step on the sports coaching ladder.
Grant support can also be given for start-up equipment, upgrade of local facilities, physical recreation projects and business development.
In total, around £30million of funding - made available by Welsh Government and National Lottery - is invested in community sport in Wales annually through partners including national governing bodies and local authorities.
“Whether it’s for health reasons, making friends, growing a new business or purely for the love of sport, this is about people and the impact it makes on their lives,” added Lawrence Conway.
“There are a whole range of ideas that can be supported. In the case of community chest, a local panel makes decisions on funding, so it amplifies how this is about communities.
“We want people to be innovative and bring fresh ideas to us. Last year we gave around half a million pounds to projects to specifically tackle inequalities, and we are looking to continue that investment.
“We’re so grateful to the National Lottery because their investment in Welsh sport is benefitting people across the country. But some people are still unaware of this support being available and that’s why it’s so important we do our very best to raise awareness of it.”
For more information visit www.sport.wales/funding--support.
The Club Solutions website also contains information to support volunteers and clubs. Visit www.clubsolutions.wales
· Sport Wales currently has an annual budget of around £42million to develop community sport and support elite success.
· Around 70% of the Sport Wales budget is allocated for community sport, with around 20% allocated to elite sport – community investment being three times that of elite investment.
· The majority of the community sport budget is provided to national governing bodies and local authorities to provide participation opportunities.
· £1million of funding has been allocated to the Collaborative Sports Facilities Group for the development of artificial pitches.
· Clubs, groups and organisations can apply for community chest every financial year.
· Only one development grant application can be ‘live’ for an applicant at any time. However, there is no limit to the number of applications that can be made.
· In 2016/17 1,421 community chest awards were made totalling £1,727,401.
· In 2016/17 82 development grant awards were made totalling £962,652.