Finding the Funding

Sports pitch construction – how to find the funding you need

After a frenetic Spring of UK sport now is a prime time for any venue owner to consider installing, enhancing or upgrading their sports pitch construction. From new tennis courts to all-weather pitches, clubs and venues across the country are recognising that state of the art facilities will attract professional and amateur sporting enthusiasts alike.

If you’re looking to undertake a new sports pitch construction, lay a new synthetic sports surface or enhance your MUGA with lighting and PA facilities there are a number of avenues you can pursue to secure the investment you’ll need. However these will vary according to your registered status, target budget and the types of sports you are catering for.

Before you seek funding for your sports pitch construction

Whether you’re looking for a statutory grant, charitable contribution or private investment for your facility it’s vital to be thoroughly prepared in order to win your bid. Of course you will have already planned a budget for your new MUGA, artificial pitch or rubber running track. But your prospective investor will want to know more than that.

Consult our guides to planning permission and disability access  to make sure you have a strategy in place to cover these all-important areas. If you are installing a new sports surface then make sure your installation will meet the relevant standards of play set out by the game’s governing body. For example, the Lawn Tennis Association will advise in standard sizes and marking for a tennis court surface – whereas the Football Association can tell you exactly what’s expected from a modern 3rd generation pitch.

It’s about more than just the facility though. Any investor – and that includes grant makers and charities – will expect to see a rock solid business plan that demonstrates why you deserve their money. This should at the very least include a market analysis and strategic plan for the next 3 years. You should outline your timeline for construction, plans for launching and marketing the venue and identify and address any key risks. Plus you should back your plan up with a sensibly calculated financial forecast that includes a projected profit and loss sheet, balance sheet and cash flow forecast.

Statutory and grant funding for sports pitch constructions

In the wake of Olympic fever there are a number of avenues you can pursue that have grants available for sporting facilities, synthetic sports surfaces, MUGAs and more. The most well-known are Sport England and the National Lottery – but these are highly competitive, so explore other more localised sources as well.

Your local authority is a good place to start. If you can show the community benefit of your facility then there may well be funds available to inject into your venture. You could approach sport specific organisations too. The Football Foundation is a good place to seek funding for facilities such as a new 3rd generation football pitch. England Hockey has just launched guidelines for hockey pitch construction that include a guide to seeking funding. Plus the Lawn Tennis Association provides numerous loans and grants, both in partnership with Sport England and independently.

Raising funds for your pitch or MUGA through your community

If you’re planning a sports pitch construction for a not for profit organisation such as a school or youth centre then as well as the avenues above don’t forget that old adage: charity begins at home. It’s never a bad idea to show prospective funders that others are also doing their bit to pitch in. Most funders will look favourably on matched contributions and community input.

When a community recognises the value of a new tennis court, sports hall or all-weather football pitch you may well be amazed by what they achieve. Coming together to raise funds for a facility can also help to publicise your plans and get users all fired up about the prospect of a new and exciting sporting venue.

With so many sources of investment out there for modern sports pitch construction you’re sure to find your ideal financial partner if you look closely and align your application with the criteria of your funder. Why not start by using our handy online designer for new tennis courts, MUGAs or football pitches to get you thinking about the possibilities?