The Places Programme

A new revenue-based programme funded by Sport England and delivered by the Football Foundation.

The place-based investment is aimed at getting people more active through football.


£10 million of targeted lottery funding will be invested into 10-15 Places over the next five years, with the specific aim of increasing activity in people from low socio-economic groups (LSEGs).  As one of the key stakeholders in our shortlist of 50 target areas, we would like to provide you with an overview of the programme and invite you to attend one of our upcoming Workshops to find out more.

Places programme

£10m revenue investment will be targeted in 10 – 15 selected places across the country

50 shortlisted areas

Barnsley Birmingham
Blackburn with Darwen Blackpool
Bolton  Bradford
Bristol, City Of Cheshire West and Chester
Cornwall County Durham
Derby Doncaster
Dudley Gateshead
Halton Kingston upon Hull, City of
Kirklees Knowsley
Leeds Leicester
Liverpool London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
London Borough of Enfield Manchester
Middlesbrough Newcastle upon Tyne
North East Lincolnshire Northumberland
Nottingham Oldham
Peterborough Plymouth
Rochdale Rotherham
Salford Sandwell
Sefton Sheffield
South Tyneside  Southampton
St. Helens Stockton-On-Tees
Stoke on Trent Sunderland
Tameside Wakefield
Walsall Wigan
Wirral Wolverhampton


Workshops - confirmed dates, times and venues below:

Date Time Meeting location
Tue 28th April 10.30am - 1.30pm Downhill Hub, Kingsway Rd, Sunderland SR5 4BB
Weds 29th April 1-4pm Aston Villa FC, Villa Park, Trinity Rd, Birmingham B6 6HE
Tue 5th May 10.30am - 1.30pm SGP Thorncliffe, Pack Horse Ln, High Green, Sheffield S35 3HY
Thurs 7th May 1-4pm Curzon Ashton Football Club, Tameside Stadium, Richmond St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL7 9HG
Mon 11th May 1-4pm SportPark, Oakwood Dr, Loughborough LE11 3QF
Weds 13th May 1-4pm Simpson Ground Football Hub, Simpson Playing Fields, Hillfoot Road, Liverpool, L25 7UJ
Thurs 14th May 10.30am - 1.30pm West Riding County FA, Fleet Lane, Leeds LS26 8NX
Mon 18th May 1-4pm Sport England, Bloomsbury St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3HF
Thurs 21st May 10.30am - 1.30pm St James Park, Stadium Way, Exeter EX4 6PX 


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we will continue to monitor guidance on coronavirus and if that should change to advising against in person workshops, then we will look to alter the way in which each of these workshops delivered on the days and times listed above.

Programme Overview

The Football Foundation is committed to helping people within LSEGs be more active. We believe it’s important to understand the differing motivations and barriers for specific audiences when it comes to sport and physical activity, rather than a one size fits all approach. 
We want to understand the challenges and complexities within each place and support local plans that will change people’s behaviour and support them becoming more active through football.  
We don’t want you to think of our target audience as one homogenous group of people. We know that a complex backdrop of economic and health inequalities magnifies the impact of barriers to getting active felt by all, such as confidence or knowing where to go, through to cost, lack of time and appropriate opportunity. 
We want to invest in places where plans are centred around the local community, so community engagement is key to ensuring local people can co-design activities and feel ownership.  
Within each local authority area, we want key local stakeholders to come together as a consortium to identify a ‘place’ and create a plan based on community engagement. A local consortium could include the Local Authority, Community Groups, County Football Association, Professional Club Community Organisations, Active Partnership, Grassroots Football Clubs, Housing Associations, key sites/operators and many more. 
A ‘place’ is a targeted area, which could be a neighbourhood, a collection of wards or another area that defines a community; a place is more specific than an entire Local Authority area and wider than a single street. We want stakeholders to work together, using their local knowledge and experience to define their place.  

We anticipate that the football activities will be focussed around small-sided/recreational football, as our research and insight tells us that these are the most appealing formats of the game for our audience. Local consortiums plans must be based on community engagement and include activation of key settings. 
Working with a longer-term 5-year focus, we also aim to lever future capital facility investment towards each place to provide a local infrastructure underpinned by community ownership which will support the behaviour change.

Links to facility priorities identified in the new Local Football Facility Plans will be important, but we also want plans to work with existing assets, such as parks and existing Football Foundation-funded sites, to ensure that they benefit all parts of their community. 

Targeted Revenue Investment

£10m revenue investment will be targeted in 10 – 15 selected places and could for example be used to support: 

  • A Project Manager to coordinate community engagement and bring together key stakeholders to shape the local delivery plan and activation across key settings 
  • Community Engagement using trusted partners to target LSEG audiences to increase activity levels through football. We have developed a Community Engagement Toolkit to help support this work   
  • Activation and delivery of activities 
  • Development of Local Activators to support with the long-term sustainability of activities 

Selecting the Places

We have used a strategic mapping tool with key data inputs (deprivation, inactivity and level of employment) to identify locations containing the highest concentrations of our target audience. We have shortlisted 50 areas which we think provides the best opportunity to reach our target audience and used Local Authority boundaries to enable us to map the data inputs and identify key stakeholders.  However, we are not expecting to support authority wide plans and expect stakeholders to collectively agree a target place(s) within each area.

Regional Workshops

Invitations to attend workshops have been sent to representatives from; Local Authorities, Active Partnerships, Professional Club Community Organisations and County Football Associations within each of our shortlisted areas.

We expect that a range of stakeholders wider than those listed above will form consortium groups within each of our shortlisted areas but recognise that our knowledge of local stakeholders only stretches so far. We are therefore wanting representatives from the organisations listed above to attend the workshops and then engage and facilitate discussions with other key stakeholders that can help reach the LSEG audience within their area on a local level. 

The workshops will be delivered by the Football Foundation and Sport England representatives and include interactive sessions that provide an overview of the programme and a chance to network with other stakeholders. We hope that the workshops will provoke thoughts and start discussions that will then be further developed on a local level. 

As we are expecting demand for the workshops to be high, attendance is limited to two   representatives per organisation, with the exception of Local Authorities, where places are limited to two per department (e.g. Public Health, Neighbourhoods, Sport & Leisure, Parks & Green Spaces etc.).

Ready to book?

Come and find out more about the programme by booking onto one of our workshops today

Book now