Grant Awarding Bodies That Can Help Croquet Clubs
The Development Committee through your local Federation Development Officer can often assist with advice on how to obtain grants for development projects. Your club can, of course, apply to the CA for development funds but an award will not be made for more than half the project cost. The Committee, in common with other grant awarding bodies, will also expect your application to show evidence of seeking funding elsewhere. Some may only make awards on a matching basis. So most clubs will have to look for a source of funding from several bodies.
Your Local Authority, District/Borough Council, Parish Council, and County/ Metropolitan Council can all be located through direct.gov.uk if you do not already know their address, and you will be surprised how many small funds are available. Many Councils refer to a local fund sometimes called Community Chest or Neighbourhood Fund, for instance, but each one has slightly different approaches. Your County may have appointed a Regional Development Officer who will also be able to give advice on small local funds. 'Commuted Funds' may be available as a result of a deal by the Planning Office with a major local development which is close to your club (e.g. a housing estate or supermarket).
Field in Trust (www.fieldsintrust.org 0207 2642400) is not a source of funds but is dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor sports and offers useful advice itself on making an application, and gives links to other organisations offering free on-line advice.
The Community Foundation Network (communityfoundations.org.uk 0207 7139326) administers funds established by local people, often for specific purposes. Each area has its own local Foundation but the national office will put you in touch with your local foundation.
Regrettably many national organisations which the Committee used to suggest have now ceased to have funds available. One which is still operating is Biffaward (www.biffa-award.org) which is worth approaching but you must be within 10 miles of a Biffa operation and a landfill site. Funding is between £5,000 and £50,000; or £250 and £5,000 under their Small Grants Scheme.
The FCC Communities Foundation (formerly WREN Foundation) administers the FCC Community Action Fund. This is designed to deliver amenity projects within 10 miles of an FCC Environment landfill site. A CASC Registered Sports Club can apply for a grant of between £2,000 and £100,000 for a project involving the provision, maintenance or improvement of a sports and/or recreation ground, including pavilions and clubhouses, with full public access.
The Lottery funded awards are no longer appropriate for croquet clubs. You should now apply to The Sport England Small Grants Programme (www,sportengland.org 0845 8508508). It has been set up to support local community sport projects which seek to increase participation, sustain participation or develop opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport. See the Lottery Grant article on the CA website at Advice for Clubs.
It may seem tiresome to make a great many applications but it can amount to substantial funds being made available. You are much more likely to be successful if it can be seen that you are determined to raise the funds and prepared to put in the effort. Once you have one 'in the bag' others are encouraged. Good luck.
See also the article on obtaining Lottery Grants.
For more information, please contact the CA Office.