The FA National League
Find out how FSIF funding can help teams playing in The FA National League System
The FSIF provides money for clubs in The FA National League System who want to improve their facilities for players, officials and spectators.
The FA National League System steps
The eligibility of projects and grant limits available are dependant on the step of The FA National League System your club plays at. If you do not know which step your club fits into, contact us. Alternatively you can find listings on various websites:
Grants and eligiblity
Grant limits for The FA National League System clubs (applies to any five year period)
|Clubs in The FA National League System||Maximum cumulative grant value*||Maximum percentage grant|
|Steps 3 and 4||£150,000||70%|
|Steps 5 and 6||£100,000||70%|
* This is the maximum grant available, less any previous grants awarded by the FSIF whilst at any other level over the previous five years.
** Maximum grant value can go up to £50,000 if works included changing room facilities
Whilst we will not automatically provide funding for work you need to undertake to meet the requirements of The FA National Ground Grading Criteria, the table below indicates the types of project that are eligible under FSIF policy.
We have included safety categories based on the ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’. Where appropriate, the guide provides detailed guidance to help you assess the safe capacity of a sports ground. The guide can be found here:
You are eligible to apply for grant aid to meet the membership conditions of your current league. If you are promoted, you are eligible to apply for grant aid to meet the membership conditions of the new league, but only after your promotion has been confirmed by the league.
We base grants on the league you were in at the time you submitted your application, and our Board retains full discretion regarding what they consider appropriate.
|Project||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3 & 4||Step 5 & 6||Step 7|
|New covered seating||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New open seating||No||No||No||No||No|
|New open or covered safe terracing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Upgrading open safe terracing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Covert terrace to open seating||No||No||No||No||No|
|Pitch perimeter hardstanding||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Covert terrace to covered seating||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|First aid rooms||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Secure boundary fencing and gates||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pitch perimeter rails, barriers and infill1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Players and officials safe walkway||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|PA systems (initial provision only)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
CCTV (initial provision only)
|Mains service connections||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Crush barrier installations||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New floodlights and upgrades3||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Eligibility criteria (cont)
|Project||Step 1||Step 2||Steps 3 & 4||Steps 5 & 6||Step 7|
|Emergency lighting (initial provision only)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Turnstile and pay kiosks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Car and coach parking7||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stewards radios (initial provision)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Hospitality areas (incl. tea bars)8||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Viewing for disabled spectators||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|All facilities for disabled spectators||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pitch maintenance equipment9||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ball stop netting10||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- 1Perimeter barrier infill panels will only be considered eligible for Clubs at Step 4 or above
- 2Only after securing promotion to the Football League
- 3 If you need to provide floodlights to meet the membership conditions of your league, you are eligible to apply for a grant towards installing the floodlights or towards improving the floodlights if this is necessary because your club has been promoted. Replacement of bulbs and other maintenance operations are not eligible for support. The FSIF will only consider applications for the replacement of existing floodlight systems with a new LED system once the existing has reached the end of its ‘usable-life’. The FSIF considers the end of ‘usable life’ to be when a system is deemed to have failed via independent testing and replacement parts can no longer be economically sourced. Applications to the FSIF for replacement floodlights must provide a condition report from a suitably qualified independent lighting consultant confirming system failure. Mobile floodlights are not eligible.
- 4Ceiling grant for changing rooms is £50,000
- 5Maximum £20,000
- 6Maximum 50%
- 7Car and coach parking/access roads will only be considered eligible if the works are required to improve access to the ground for disabled spectators, to satisfy statutory requirements imposed by the local planning authority/Highways Authority or to resolve a specific issue relating to health and safety.
- 8Permanent buildings only with planning permission. Players' and directors' exclusive bars are not eligible.
- 9Eligible provided there is safe storage provision on site, insurance for theft, user instruction (including health and safety) and demonstrating sufficient, reliable voluntary labour to undertake the work.
- 10Eligible subject to appropriate justification (e.g. close proximity to a busy road, railway line or causing a nuisance to neighbours).
- Director's areas
- Land/site purchase
- Routine maintenance i.e. decorations, repairs, annual operations such as boiler servicing, pitch decompaction etc.
- Artificial pitches
Security of tenure
To be eligible for funding, your club must be a member of the English National League and either own the freehold of the site you want to develop or have a lease with at least ten years or 21 years unexpired as appropriate i.e. 10 years for clubs applying for up to £150,000 and 21 years for clubs applying for £150,000 and over.
Any grant over £100,000 (or less if there is a particular concern) will require a legal restriction or charge placed on the land title. Associated legal fees for setting-up would be included as part of the eligible cost.
The FSIF reserves the right to demand repayment if a grant aided facility is not in use for a minimum period of time. For any grants less than £150,000 this would be for 10 years. Above £150,000 the period would be 21 years on a sliding scale. For example, 100% would be taken back during the first 10 years but reducing to 50% by year 15 and just 10% by year 19. The minimum unexpired lease would need to correspond with the restriction/charge duration.
All clubs are required to submit accounts for the previous three years and a copy of the club’s most recent bank statement.
A five year income and expenditure forecast should be provided with the application, if:
- the application is for works to develop the club's hospitality facilities or for clubhouse improvement work which would either:
- provide substantial changes to the operational practise when generating additional revenue
- the development could have a material effect on liabilities such as utilities, business rates, staff costs, maintenance etc.
- the application is to support the club moving to a new site
- the grant request is over £100,000
- some or all partnership funding is in the form of a loan, whereby the club will be required to demonstrate its ability to meet the repayment terms.
Please note the above is only applicable for funding requests over £20,000.
At the point of application all applicants are required to submit the following documents:
- Governing documents
- Past three years accounts
- Copy of the club’s most recent bank statement
- Evidence of partnership funding
Ground grading report
It is beneficial to have a ground grading report from your league before proceeding with a FSIF application.
Ready to apply?
Following pre-application advice, if your club is eligible to apply for grant aid you can now submit an application.
The FSIF Officers are on hand to support clubs through the application process and will offer step by step advice on planning the project and ensuring the club provides the requisite information required for the specific type of project you are applying for.