Game on: Football Foundation launches new funds

By Llara Munn on March 23rd, 2021 - comments

More than £16m made available for grassroots football to restart after restrictions are eased on March 29.

The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation has declared “Game on”, by releasing three funds to get the country ready for the return of grassroots football at the end of month.

One of the three funds is being specifically targeted at those whose participation was most badly affected by the health crisis. Prior to the second national lockdown, disability team affiliations were down by 29% when compared against the same time last season; there were also steep declines in participation among walking footballers and players in the country’s most deprived areas.

The “Return to Football Fund” delivered by the Football Foundation in partnership with the FA, and made possible with Sport England funding from the National Lottery, will target £2.1m at supporting people in low participation groups to start playing again. It will also fund initiatives aimed at bringing new players into the game and cover the cost of adapting to COVID-19 rules.

Three new funds for one big kick-off:

Return to Football Fund – £2.1m targeted to support clubs in the highest areas of deprivation in England, disability football and groups underrepresented in football, including women and girls, to support the return to football or activities aimed at bringing new players to the game. The Foundation has identified the groups most affected by the lockdown, where participation in football has decreased the most, and will seek to target funding towards them.

Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund – A £14m fund opening on 15 March will provide six year tapered grants to improve the quality of grass pitches. Thousands of football matches are cancelled every year because of problems with grass pitches and these grants form a key part of the Foundation’s overall Grass Pitch Programme which hopes to improve at least 5000 pitches by June 2024.

Small Grants – A fund to help clubs pay for essential equipment and machinery they need to start playing again. Clubs can apply for up to £25k to refurbish their changing rooms, pay for grass pitch drainage, new goalposts, pitch maintenance equipment and portable floodlights.

Please click here to read more about the funds and apply

To arrange an interview or for more information contact Sam Bunis at
Communications.Team@footballfoundation.org.uk or on 07810 021 377