In this short blog, I’m going to focus on the types of funding available to help improve football floodlighting. I’ll be looking at UK’s Football Association (FA) and Premier League Stadium Fund (PLSF) grants in particular.
Firstly, one of the main points I want to get across is you don’t have to face the arduous task of sourcing funding yourself. We’re experts at doing it and are here to help. We’ve done it for lots of our clients around the world. We can do it for you too – get in touch.
What funding do the Football Association and The Premier League Stadium Fund offer?
The Football Association – along with its funding partners the Premier League and Sport England – has invested substantial sums into football through the Football Foundation.
A charity dedicated to improving the facilities infrastructure across grassroots football, it has delivered more than £800m towards facility improvements across 60,000 applications over the last 20 or so years. A wide range of grants are available, covering everything from on-pitch fixtures like goalposts through to enhanced mobile network coverage.
The Premier League Stadium Fund (PLSF), meanwhile – formerly the Football Stadium Improvement Fund – awards capital grants to clubs stretching from the Football League down to the lower levels of the National League system. PLSF funding offers assistance for a wide range of projects, including the construction of stands, installation of floodlights, and even relocation to a new ground.
In addition to the PLSF, the Football Foundation has also launched a brand new funding programme designed specifically to help grassroots clubs make the switch to LED floodlights. The Floodlight Fund is part of a £6m programme encouraging clubs to be more energy efficient, and offers funding of 75% for floodlighting projects, up to a maximum value of £25,000.
* NB: The deadline date for applications to the Floodlight Fund was the 13th April 2023 and has now closed for new applications *
Funding isn’t just available from sport’s various governing bodies, either. If your project as a whole – including your lighting upgrade or new build – can be shown to have a significant positive impact on your community, then it may be eligible for either a local or national government grant. The focus here needs to be on demonstrating the wider benefit that your plans will deliver.
One other option to explore when looking to raise money is crowdsourcing. The rise and rise of social media opens the door to a potential audience of billions. And while crowdsourcing may not be able to fund your whole project, most funding bodies seek initiative and look favourably on applications that have local community input and matched contributions.
Other sources of funding
While the PLSF provides what is typically the most relevant funding option for most clubs, alternative sources do exist. Some of the most prominent include:
Section 106 funding
Section 106 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 specifies that property developers may be required to provide a financial contribution to the cost of community facilities as part of a new housing development. As well as recreational spaces, allotments, and natural habitats, projects covered under Section 106 also include outdoor sports facilities.
Naturally, Section 106 funding is aimed at grassroots clubs and community facilities. As a result, applications are limited to voluntary, community, and not-for-profit organisations, as well as town and parish councils, charities, and schools that offer the use of their facilities to the local area. Nonetheless, this can be a strong option to explore under the right circumstances.
The Community and Environment Fund (CEF)
The CEF is another very specific source of funding, this time aimed at those communities that have been “demonstrably” disrupted by the construction work resulting from the high-speed HS2 railway line. Phases One (London to the West Midlands) and 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) are covered by the CEF.
Included within the CEF funding parameters is the “enhancement or replacement of sports and recreational facilities”, with not-for-profit, charitable, and community-centric facilities once again being the primary focus here. Two sources of funding are available through the CEF, Local and Strategic, with the first of those being most relevant for community clubs.
Founded in 2013, this sports-focused social enterprise offers a wide range of services, from feasibility studies through to business development. Sporting Assets also helps communities to raise and combine different forms of finance, including social investment, community shares, grants, bank finance, donations, and crowdfunding.
The Landfill Communities Fund
Technically, the Landfill Communities Fund is a tax credit scheme that enables operators of landfill sites to contribute donations to “Environmental Bodies”. What that means in practice, however, is that funding for community improvement projects is available through waste management companies such as Suez and Veolia.
Each individual communities fund comes with its own criteria, though the grants on offer tend to be generous. The Veolia Environmental Trust currently provides between £10,000 and £75,000 for the creation or improvement of outside spaces, for instance.
Applying for funding
Once you’ve decided what grants you’ll be applying for comes the task of making the application itself. As you’d expect, you can’t just go to a funding body and ask for money. You need to put together a solid business case to show why your project should be given an award. The easiest way of going about this is to talk to us.
Our Design and Engineering teams will carry out an assessment of your current lighting – if you have any. They’ll produce a free lighting design that will achieve your objectives. Together with this, we’ll help complete your whole application to include, where needed:
- Payback times.
- Local environmental impact information.
- Help to identify which planning applications you’ll need to gain.
- Case studies that can help your business case.
- Details of how our 10-Year Sports Lighting Warranty will protect their investment for years to come.
- We can also give you information about how you can part-fund your project with our financing plans.
- And more…
Finally, why should you consider LED floodlighting for your venue?
Upgrading your club’s lighting to a Midstream LED solution doesn’t just give you much better lighting, and that’s not all:
- LED floodlighting can save you upwards of 70% on your energy bills.
- Our products are UK manufactured for the best quality – saving you money on maintenance costs and downtime as well.
- We even offer a 10-Year Warranty to cover your club against the unlikely event of something going wrong.
- You’ll be guaranteed world-class lighting for years to come. How? Our LED football floodlighting designs and solutions always factor in the need for any changes that may occur – such as being promoted to a new league with extra lighting regulations. So there’s never a need to ‘scrap’ everything and start all over.
- With virtually zero light spill, you’ll be doing your bit for your environment and neighbours as well.
- The list goes on.
Interested? Get in touch today and we’ll kick things off with a no-obligation chat.