Funding solutions for playground projects should try to be as inventive as possible. Some of the most successful playground projects have used several sources of funding – from section 106 payments to council match-funding and community-led fundraisers.
This list is not exhaustive, but will hopefully point you in the direction of the source of funding you are looking for. Click on the headings for the links to relevant websites.
The ACT Foundation (ACT) was formed in 1994. ACT provides grants to those who can demonstrate that through volunteering or community action they can enhance the lives of others. The trust aims to fund projects that use volunteering or community service to support young people, particularly the most marginalised. Applicants must be under the age of 30 and involved in volunteering or community action projects in the UK.
Charities, schools and community groups have the opportunity to apply for funding for local projects that require financial assistance to the ASDA Foundation. Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are available for good causes and community groups in your local area.
Aviva Community Fund
Aviva Community Fund offers support and project funding. Aviva have recently opened their funding for 2017. The scheme supports projects related to health and wellbeing, activities for children and young people and support for family life. If your project will have positive effects on your community have a look at the guidelines on the Aviva site.
Awards For All:UK
Part of the Big Lottery Fund, Awards For All funds projects that allow communities to take part in art, sport and community activities. They also fund projects that promote education, the environment and health within the local community. Applicants must be a voluntary, community or statutory organisation and have a governing body.
Bank of Scotland Foundation
Small, medium and large grants are available. The Bank of Scotland supports people and local communities across Scotland. Local, regional and national charities passing the eligibility test for selected grants may apply. All three grant levels are open in four stages throughout the year.
BBC Children In need
Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity. They provide grants to projects which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. Grant programmes are open all year and are awarded three to four times a year.
Biffaward is managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife trust. The programme supports as many projects across the UK as possible. It aims to enhance community spaces, cultural facilities and places for outdoor recreation. Eligible projects must benefit local people of all ages and must be no more that 10 miles away from either a Biffa site or any landfill site.
Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund aims to bring improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. Areas targeted include health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Organisations in the public, private and third party sectors can apply for funding.
Coastal Communities Fund
A Big Lottery Fund Scheme, the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) encourages the economic development of UK coastal communities. The fund will support private business, social enterprises, new business start-ups, charities and community projects. There are four rounds in a year.
Community Foundations manage and allocate funds donated by individuals, statutory bodies and charitable trusts. Funds are targeted at projects that make a genuine difference to local communities. Only local community groups and voluntary organisations can apply.
Comic Relief Local
Small, medium and large grants are available for different groups with different aims. Comic Relief aim to provide funding for groups looking to create and support social change in local areas across the UK and other parts of the world. Local, regional and national charities and community groups may apply.
Cory Environmental Trust
Supports a number of trusts through the Landfill Communities Fund in the areas of the country where Cory Environmental provides waste management services. Playing field and play area projects should be eligible under the Community Improvement funding stream.
A forum for finding out information for lots of disability grants.
FCC Communities Foundation
Local landfill companies are always worth checking as many contribute to funding programmes in return for claiming credit against their landfill tax liability. Once such scheme, formerly known as WREN and now FCC Communities Foundation operates in England and Scotland offering grants from £2,000 up to £100,000 in England and £40,000 in Scotland. You do need to be located within ten miles of an eligible facility in order to be eligible to apply,
Fields in Trust
Fields in Trust (FIT) is an independent UK-wide charity dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor sports and play spaces and protecting playing fields. Their aim is to improve the quality of life and health of everyone throughout the UK, through protecting and developing high quality, well-used local facilities. Applications for funding and other support are welcome by any organisation that seeks to improve their local sports and play facilities.
Foundation Scotland is an independent charity established in 1996 and has distributed over £50m across Scotland, providing funding for good causes, supporting innovation and community across Scotland. Companies, registered charities, individuals and community groups working in Scotland can apply, subject to guidelines.
The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant making trust that funds UK charities whose core work is in the areas of arts and learning. The foundation prioritises applications that cater for those with special educational needs and learning difficulties. The foundation also aims to support projects that have a long term strategic impact. Registered UK charities are eligible to apply and organisations must meet strict criteria to prove their projects will provide a direct benefit or service to the public.
A comprehensive funding information service available to the UK Education sector. Updated daily, Grants 4 Schools is a directory of all the grants available for your project from a variety of different sources. A subscription service, but with a free trial available.
Greggs Foundation Local Community Projects Fund helps organisations based in local communities to deliver projects or provide equipment to people in need. The Greggs Foundation tend to favour smaller groups and organisations and those who are disadvantaged. The local community projects fund is open in three stages throughout the year.
Groundwork is a UK environmental regeneration charity. It supports communities in need, working with partners to help improve the quality of people’s lives, their prospects and the places where they live, work and play. Their aims are to build safer and stronger communities, promote health and wellbeing, provide young people with something to do and promote environmental sustainability.
Heritage Lottery Fund
Run by the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery fund supports a wide range of projects which aim to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities in the UK. Organisations in the public, private and third sectors can apply for lottery funding. Applications applicable to play and parks have two deadlines.
Landfill Communities Fund
This innovative tax credit scheme enables operators of landfill sites to contribute money to enrolled Environmental objects contained in the Landfill Tax Regulations. The Government viewed the LCF as a way for Landfill Operators and Environmental Bodies to work in partnership to create significant environmental benefits and jobs and to undertake projects which improve the lives of communities living near landfill sites.
Learning Through Landscapes
Learning Through Landscapes is the national school grounds charity. They believe school grounds play a vital role in every child’s learning and development. The charity aims to help schools and early years settings make the most of their outdoor spaces for play and learning.
London Marathon Charitable Trust
The London Marathon Charitable Trust primarily provides capital funding for building or facilities projects that inspire increased participation in physical activity, sport or play. The trustees make decisions four times throughout the year.
The Lord’s Taverners provides grants to SEN schools to enable them to purchase a range of outdoor playground and gym equipment which caters for their needs. Applications will only be accepted from schools that cater for young people under the age of 25 who have a physical/sensory/learning disability.
The Morrisons Foundation is funded by a number of revenue streams and is the chief recipient of the money generated through the sale of carrier bags in Morrisons stores in England. Their aims are to make a positive difference to people living in England, Scotland and Wales through community groups, charities and other bodies committed to creating a positive difference to people in their community.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund, they fund projects which connect people and communities to local, regional and national heritage across the country. This could include nature, natural and designed landscapes, historic environments and more. A large range of funding amounts and timeframes are available
One Family Foundation
The One Family Foundation helps fund community projects that matter to their customers. It also lends a financial helping hand to customers or their loved ones in times of need, up to £25K (average £5K). School projects that have been successfully funded through the ‘Community Awards’ programme have included outdoor play spaces.
Peoples Health Trust
Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years.
People’s Postcode Trust
Funding for good causes in England, Scotland and Wales, including those that advance public participation in sport.
The PTA runs two grant schemes for schools – the LEAPP (Learning, Education and Parental Partnership) awards and the Gold Star rewards. The primary aim of the PTA is to get parents more involved with their children’s education.
Support community improvement projects through the Landfill Communities Fund. Enhancing Communities – provides funding for community leisure projects within a three mile radius of qualifying waste process sites owned by SITA UK. Funding is available in 100 core zones throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Sport England is committed to helping people and communities across the country create sporting habits for life. Various funding is available:
Tesco Community Grants
Tesco Community Grants fund thousands of local community projects across the UK, helping to fight holiday hunger, tackle mental health, support young people, host community events and much more.
The Robertson Trust
The Robertson Trust aims to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of people and communities in Scotland – inspired by the example of their founders, the Robertson Sisters.
The Trust House
A medium-sized grant making foundation giving grants to small, well-established organisations in the UK who address local issues in areas of extreme urban deprivation, or in remote and fragile rural communities.
Veolia Environmental Trust
Funds community projects across the UK, including restoring green spaces, improving community halls and creating new play areas and skate parks. Projects must be within proximity to a site owned by Veolia Trust.
Wooden Spoon is a charitable grant-giving organisation that funds projects across the UK and Ireland to support disadvantaged and disabled children.
WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental)
Awards grants to community projects that are eligible under the Landfill Communities Fund. WREN received the majority of its funding from landfill tax. Community projects are eligible within a 10 mile radius of landfill sites in the WREN operating area. Single sport projects will not be applicable, nor will the fabric of a building such as a pavilion. However, WREN will fund the internals of a pavilion or open community facilities such as a MUGA or play area.