What funding is available for lighting upgrade projects at sports clubs?
Sports clubs, like any other organisation, are subject to fluctuations in the economy. And in uncertain times like these, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that access to some of the sector’s many funding initiatives might be starting to dry up.
That couldn’t be further from the reality, however. While applications may continue to be subject to rigorous scrutiny, clubs and venues still have a wide range of ways to apply for – and secure – the investment they need to make significant improvements to their facilities.
Just recently, for example, England Athletics received a five-year investment of £7.3 million from Sport England to support its work in making athletics more accessible for all. England Athletics was among the first group of more than 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to receive funding, with its Facilities Improvement Fund now offering grants of up to £5,000.
Funding for Football clubs
Elsewhere, 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 awards capital grants to football 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.
Funding for other sports
Clearly, FA and PLSF grants are only available for football clubs – but similar schemes are available for other sports governing bodies such as the Lawn Tennis Association, the Rugby Football Union, and from Sports England as a whole. Local and national government grants can apply to almost any sport too as long as there’s a compelling reason for them being awarded.
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.
Funding the path to a brighter future
No matter the sport, and no matter the level of ability, good lighting is now a significant consideration for stadiums of all kinds. To ensure you arrive at the 'good' solution, there are three crucial factors to address when evaluating stadium lighting needs.
- Is the solution you’re using going to be sufficient for your athletes or players? Will they be able to operate at the same kind of level that they would in natural daylight?
- Does that system give spectators what they need in terms of visibility? Can they see what’s happening on the track or field clearly, no matter where they’re sat?
- Is your stadium well-lit enough to ensure the safety of competing professionals? This is particularly important for fast-moving and contact sports.
If you’re not sure that your existing lighting system delivers the kind of performance that you need, you may be interested to know that we offer a free-of-charge “lighting health check” – one that can even help you find appropriate sources of funding and make a next-generation lighting system a reality for your venue.
As part of that health check, we’ll:
- Review your current lighting infrastructure, planning and site requirements.
- Provide a full economic impact report, including expected cost reductions.
- Investigate and identify any available funding options on your behalf, and complete an application (with your approval).
We’ve already helped a number of our sports customers around the world apply for and secure funding for their Sports LED lighting upgrades, so if you’re looking to take your venue to the next level, why not find out more about what we can do for you?