Active Through Football

An exciting new programme from Sport England, funded by The National Lottery and delivered by the Football Foundation.

What is Active Through Football?

Active Through Football's ambition is to increase activity levels and create sustained behaviour change in a Place-based approach.

£10 million of targeted revenue investment will be invested in up to 15 Places over the
next five years, with an aim of increasing activity levels in people aged 16+ from lower
socio-economic groups (LSEG).

Full programme details are provided within our prospectus and supported by a series of FAQs.

Programme Outcomes

Insight - Active Through Football
Insight - Active Through Football


Community Ownership - Active Through Football
Community Ownership - Active Through Football

Community Ownership

Increased activity - Active Through Football
Increased activity - Active Through Football

Increased Activity

Behaviour Change - Active Through Football
Behaviour Change - Active Through Football

Behaviour Change

Why is it important to target this audience?

There is a stubbornly persistent gap in levels of participation between individuals from higher and lower socio-economic groups. Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey (2018-19) shows that 18% fewer people from lower social groups are active compared to higher social groups. Research is showing that this gap in activity levels has not improved during the Covid-19 pandemic and suggestions are that inequalities will widen. 

A targeted approach

We’ve created a strategic mapping tool that uses level of deprivation, physical activity levels and socio-economic group classification data to identify the highest concentrations of our target audiences across the country in each local authority area. This mapping has provided us with a shortlist of 50 local authority areas spread across the country.

The places we're targeting


The places we're targeting

Discover the 50 local authority areas we're targeting and book your place on one of our webinars - where we'll be providing more information about the programme - by clicking the 'Find out more' button below. 

Working Together

Working Together

A wide range of local stakeholders will need to come together to deliver the programme within your area. We’d therefore also ask that you identify local organisations that you think could support the delivery of the programme. Please share this webpage so they can find out more and join the webinar.

Community Engagement - Active Through Football

Community Engagement

Communities are more likely to take part in activities and use facilities if they’ve been included in the development of projects. This is why Community Engagement is central to the Active Through Football Programme. We’ve developed a Toolkit to support your Community Engagement.

The application process - key dates

Full application (Deadline: 7 May 2021)



Submission must include the following: 

  • Definition/Confirmation of the Place
  • A costed Delivery Plan for the Place
  • A summary of findings from the Community Engagement process to date
  • List of consortium representatives
  • Grant request

Assessment (May - June 2021)



Assessment criteria will be shared with all consortia that progress beyond EOI stage. 

Applications will be determined by the Football Foundation Grants Panel.

Decision (July 2021)



Applicants will be informed of the Football Foundation Grants Panel decision within two weeks of the panel meeting.

Programme Commencement (August 2021 onwards)



Following a formal grant offer, a kick-start meeting will be arranged with each selected consortium to agree next steps. A national induction programme for Project Managers and their Line Managers will be arranged by the Football Foundation.


These timescales may be subject to change in light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Early submissions can be made and will be reviewed

** This stage can commence once EOI is submitted and approved

Still have a question?

Click below to contact a member of the team.

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