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:    

The FA: Leagues - Steps 1 to 7
Wikipedia: The FA National League System
 

Grants and eligiblity

Grant limits

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
Step 1 £400,000  70%
Step 2 £250,000 70%
Steps 3 and 4 £150,000 70%
Steps 5 and 6 £100,000 70%
Step 7  £20,000** 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

Eligible projects

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:

Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds

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)

Yes2 No No No No
Computerised turnstiles Yes2 No No No No
Control rooms Yes2 No No No No
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

 

Hanwell Town FC
Hanwell Town FC

Hanwell Town FC

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
Spectator toilets Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Press seating Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Turnstile and pay kiosks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Changing rooms Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch drainage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch irrigation5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Car and coach parking7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access roads7 No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stewards radios (initial provision) Yes Yes No No No
Hospitality areas (incl. tea bars)8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Artificial pitches No No No No No
Viewing for disabled spectators Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
All facilities for disabled spectators Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dug-outs/technical areas 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
  • 3If 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 but the replacement of very old, defective systems would be considered. Second-hand systems might be considered subject to independent structural and electrical reports. 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).

Ineligible work

  • Director's areas
  • Land/site purchase
  • Routine maintenance i.e. decorations, repairs, annual operations such as boiler servicing, pitch decompaction etc.
  • Artificial pitches
  • Goalposts

Pre application

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.
 

Financial information

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.
 

Supporting documents

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.

Apply now