Multisport Pitch Improvement Fund

A new targeted fund aimed at tackling inequalities and supporting the return to play by improving the quality of rugby union, rugby league and cricket pitches.

Funded by Sport England (using National Lottery funding), this £3m fund will provide grants of up to £150k for major pitch capital and renovation works

Grass Pitch

About the fund

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Grass pitch quality is one of the biggest challenges facing sports clubs and organisations.

Funded by Sport England (using National Lottery funding) and in partnership with the RFU, RFL and ECB, the Pitch Improvement Fund aims to improve the quality of cricket and rugby pitches for the people and communities that need it most, creating new and better opportunities to play and grow the game. 

The fund aims to tackle inequalities in physical activity levels by creating opportunities to play sport for lower socio-economic groups, culturally diverse communities, disabled people and those with long-term health conditions. 

What grants are available?

This fund will provide grants of up to £150k for major grass pitch capital and renovation works to improve grass pitch quality. These grants will support:

  • the return to play as the nation continues its recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
  • the development of a diverse workforce of volunteer groundspeople who maintain grass pitches.

What is the fund trying to achieve?

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We want to improve the quality of grass pitches and tackle inequalities by proving opportunities for priority groups to play sport

This could be increasing the number of women and girls or disability teams or making players and volunteers at your club more representative of your local community. 

We want to support an increased, more diverse and educated workforce of volunteer groundspeople.

Without volunteers to help maintain grass pitches the quality will quickly deteriorate no matter the starting point. The work that will be required to keep the standard of the pitches high provides a real opportunity to recruit and educate more volunteers and we can help you do this.
 

Are we eligible?

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This fund is open to clubs and local authorities who have been approached by the ECB, RFU or RFL. If pitches have been identified as requiring major capital and/or renovation works, the responsible organisations will be invited to complete a full application.

This is a targeted fund and only those organisations who have been approached and identified as requiring major capital and renovation works will be eligible to submit a full application.

Kids playing cricket whilst people watch on

Improved grass pitches mean more opportunities to play for your local community

Engaging with priority groups

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Our evidence shows that the best community projects are designed and delivered in partnership with the community. Communities are more likely to take part in activities and use facilities if they’ve been included in the development.

Community engagement is about talking, listening and working with communities to understand their needs and build trust. By doing this you will development activities and facilities which meet the needs of the community and create a greater level of community ownership. 

We’ve developed a Community Engagement Toolkit to support the development of your project.  

What can we fund

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What can we fund

Grants of up to £150k for:

  • Major capital works
  • Major renovation works
  • Maintenance equipment
  • Equipment banks (single sport and multi-sport)

What we can't fund

  • Revenue only works such as routine end of season maintenance
  • Revenue projects like facility hire and running costs

Application process

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How do we apply?

Your local NGB facility officer will be in contact to discuss your site as one of the priorities. If your site has been identified as a priority, the pitches will be inspected and recommendations made on the best course of action for improvements. 

Full applications will then be assessed and if successful, a grant offer will be made.

What will I need to complete a full application?

If you're invited to complete a full grant application, you'll need the following:

  • Match funding
  • Governance document/constitution and a safeguarding policy
  • Bank account in the club/organisation's name and accounts for the last 12 months
  • Security of tenure - freehold, leasehold or permission from landowner
  • Public liability insurance
  • Sport Development Plan - demonstrating how the grant will help meet objectives of the programme. Template will be provided.
  • Sustainable maintenance plan/budget for future maintenance post award 
  • Evidence of safe storage (if grant includes machinery or tools)
  • Three tenders for the capital works and planning permission where required

What is the assessment criteria?

Applications will be assessed on how well projects deliver our objectives based on:

  • Why the project is needed
  • How the project will help tackle inequalities and support a more diverse workforce

What happens if my application is successful?

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If your project is successful then congratulations are in order! We want to make the process as simple as possible so post award we don’t ask for a lot. We just want to make sure that our investment will be safeguarded therefore we ask that:

1) Your pitch standard remains at ‘good’ and is sustained at this level

2) You complete two PitchPower assessments each year so we can monitor pitch quality

3) Two current members of the organisation complete the GMA Level 1 in pitch maintenance so that there is good knowledge within the club on how to maintain the standard of the pitches

 

You'll receive ongoing support from your Regional Pitch Adviser at the GMA to help maintain a high standard of pitch quality.
 

FAQs

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