North Area Football

North Area Football - Funding

It costs money to play organised football in a League so this page will hopefully give you some ideas for where you can obtain funding for developing your club. My personal experience is that it costs about £2,000 a season to run a single team playing in the Intermediate Divisions of the North Devon League. This would be a team playing on a Local Authority pitch. Kit costs can be anything from £500 to £1000 depending on quality. The advice is that low prices may not mean the best quality, a kit can last a few seasons. Balls and equipment can be sourced locally or online, by sourcing locally you may be able to negotiate a discount. The funding sources below are more suitable to developing clubs, especially those providing a community element. Clubs in North Devon have received very large sums of money to develop their facilities probably the finest example being Braunton FC at Lobb Field.

Funding is crucial to development.

However, the processes involved in identifying the best funding pools to apply for and completing lengthy application forms can prevent groups from attaining much needed funds. Here are just a few of the funding opportunities that are available. If you require any further assistance, Devon FA have a full time Development Section who can offer help and advice. Their up to date contact details can be found on the Devon FA Development page. External website link

Football Foundation

Football Foundation External website link
The Football Foundation is not only the largest sports charity in the UK but a unique partnership between The Football Association, Premier League and Sport England that aims to improve grassroots facilities around the country. The Football Association has committed a massive £15m per annum to the project over the next three years and YOUR club, school or Local Authority could benefit. Formed in 2000, the Football Foundation has contributed £204m into projects costing £402m with a further 200 applications being worked up by The FA to be assessed for possible investment. With 75% of all Football Foundation money ploughed into grassroots facilities, The FA’s National Facilities Manager, Steve Williams, explained more about the application process: “From the time applications arrive at the Foundation, small projects tend to take up to eight weeks before they gain approval while you’re looking at double that time for the larger projects.

“We have 38,000 affiliated clubs across all levels of football in England but, with circa 80% of these clubs playing on public sector land, most applications tend to be from local authorities, town and parish councils or schools who are looking to build facilities that can be used by the wider community,” said Steve.

Research recently revealed that providing better changing rooms was seen as a priority by 34% of players across all levels of football in England but Foundation applications can range from a set of team kit through to state of the art clubhouses. With The FA having invested £50m into the charity since the turn of the millennium, Local Authorities are relying on the Football Foundation more than ever as Steve explained: “The demands for community and public services, provided by Local Authorities, is increasing all the time so the Foundation play a vital role when it comes to providing sport facilities for clubs.

“With so few clubs actually owning their own ground, be it freehold or leasehold, and with most based in rural locations, there’s a lot of work to be done in urban areas especially.” added Steve.

We provide grants for a number of different things:

Our facilities scheme External website link provides money to develop new or improve facilities for community benefit. These include changing rooms or clubhouses, grass or artificial pitches and multi-use games areas. 

Small grants for small facilities projects are available via the build the game scheme External website link.  We aim to assess applications to this scheme much more quickly than applications for large facility grants.

We also provide money via grow the game for small projects that aim to increase participation by both players and volunteers in grass roots football by supporting the costs associated with providing new activity. 

Reading the game External website link is a football programme to promote literacy and to raise reading motivation for all ages.

Our corporate partner programmes External website link work with organisations that share our aims and objectives to deliver government targets across areas such as crime, social regeneration, health, participation, education and drugs.

The football stadia improvement fund External website link provides money for clubs in the Football League and the National League System down to step 7 and below who want to improve their facilities.

Extra time External website link is a two year pilot scheme that uses the power of football to target older people age 55 plus, and delivers social inclusion and physical activity projects nationwide.

Ahead of the game External website link aims to raise awareness through the power of football to increase the knowledge of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of bowel, lung and prostate cancer amongst older men.

For more information on how the Football Foundation can help your club, school or local authority initially log onto External website link

Community Development Foundation

Community development foundation External website link
Faiths in Action
Faith in Action programme is a £4 million grants programme open to faith, inter faith, voluntary and community sector organisations at national, regional and local levels in England. Sponsored by Communities and Local Government (CLG) and administered by the Community Development Foundation (CDF), Faiths in Action supports the Government’s aspiration to help faith communities and others to promote understanding, dialogue and develop strong and sustainable partnerships.

Grassroots Grants programme
Grassroots Grants is a £120 million programme that aims to invest in a thriving community sector. It is funded by Office of the Third Sector (OTS) External website link and delivered by the Community Development Foundation (CDF). The programme, which will run from 2008-2011 is divided into two parts: an £80 million small grants fund for community organisations; and a £50 million endowments programme to enable local funders to generate additional donations on a matched basis and invest them in endowments, thereby building their capacity to provide long-term funding for frontline community organisations. Local community groups should apply directly to their local funder, whose contact details can be found by clicking the link below.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund External website link
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is responsible for delivering around half of all funds raised for good causes (14 pence of every pound spent on a Lottery Ticket) by The National Lottery. Since June 2004, BIG has awarded over £3.6bn to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes. They give grants from £300 to over £500,000 to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities. Most of their funding is awarded to voluntary and community sector organisations. They deliver funding throughout the UK, mostly through programmes tailored specifically to the needs of communities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as well as some programmes that cover the whole UK. BIG is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport External website link (DCMS).

Awards For All

Awards for All External website link
Awards for All is a Lottery grants scheme aimed at local communities.  Projects need to meet national and regional aims which broadly speaking are about:  promoting education and health in the local community, widening participation, increasing skill base and improving quality of life. Grants awards are between £300 and £10,000


Sportsmatch External website link
Sportsmatch is the government's grass roots sports sponsorship incentive scheme. They are funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through grant aid from Sport England. Sport England is committed to the creation of a world-leading community sport environment. This means focusing our investment on organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport. In addition to our investment in key partners to deliver specific objectives, we are launching funding programmes open to a wide range of organisations. These include sports clubs, voluntary or community organisations, local authorities, schools, colleges and universities.

Local Authority Community Grants
North Devon Council North Devon Council External website link
Community groups and voluntary organisations are able to use the North Devon 4 Community External website link database to track down funding for all projects. The grants' strategy was reviewed in 2006 and a new process of awarding grants was introduced. Community Councillor Grants External website link are available to support voluntary organisations and projects that benefit the community. We have assisted many projects to achieve Lottery funding External website link. You may find it useful to look through our list of external funding agencies External website link to find out what is on offer.

For more information please contact North Devon Council for funding advice External website link.

Torridge District Council

Torridge District Council External website link
The Community Development Team provide a diverse range of support to local communities, financially and through the provision of information, advice and guidance. The Community Development Team work includes: supporting local community partnerships, advising and promoting local Parish Plan groups, working with the voluntary sector and the provision of community grants.

Councillor Community Grants Scheme
Voluntary or community groups serving residents in the Torridge District area are eligible and are encouraged to apply for this grant, which is in addition to the Community Grants Scheme launched by the Council earlier this year. The Councillor Community Grants Scheme will enable Councillors to support projects benefiting residents in their ward, and each Councillor has been allocated a budget of £2,000. Councillors are able to join up with other ward Councillors to support a wider project, and can offer up to 100% of the total project costs. Councillors may choose to award the whole of their £2,000 budget to one project, or break the fund down into smaller grants to a number of different projects. If you are interested in applying to the Scheme please contact the appropriate ward Councillor in the first instance.If you are unsure which Councillor represents your area please contact the Community Development Team on 01237 428756 or e-mail