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UK Shared Prosperity Fund Application Guidance Sports and Leisure Projects


People warming up on sport court

Aim of the Sports and Leisure Fund

Download a copy of the  UKSPF application guidance for sports and leisure projects. (PDF) [392KB] .

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) programme to support the delivery of Preston's investment plan, which will require the development and delivery of a wide range of work streams across the Council's directorates.

The Prospectus for the UKSPF identified a set of interventions to be delivered at a local level. These were grouped by the three core priorities of the UKSPF which are

(i) People and Place

(ii) Business and Innovation and

(iii) Employment and Skills.

The UKSPF Sports and Leisure Fund will contribute to the People and Place priority area and provides a competitive community grants scheme that will be made available to voluntary and community groups to encourage greater participation in sports in the city, parks, and green spaces.

The investment is split evenly between capital and revenue projects and will be in place until March 2025.

Sports and Leisure Objectives

a)  To develop or improve sports and leisure opportunities for the local communities based on identified gaps and need.

b) To assist local teams and clubs to develop to their full potential, ensuring an inclusive provision is available.

c) Delivering on the wider determinants of health and wellbeing in some of our most deprived inner-city wards utilising our parks and green spaces to increase access to activities.

d) To use this fund as match to draw in other funding from potential partners.

Eligibility Criteria

Preston City Council would like to work alongside clubs and organisations who meet the following criteria:

  • Are based in any ward within the City of Preston.
  • Has the ability to provide benefit to areas of deprivation and/or to deprived populations, through the development of sports and leisure activities.
  • Must demonstrate that the investment can provide an opportunity for the development of not-for-profit sports and leisure activities.
  • Has an active business bank account and the club or organisation can provide end of year financial accounts, or 3 months bank statements.
  • Has public liability insurance, and employers' liability cover (where relevant.)

What can the funding be used for?

Capital projects to improve sports and leisure facilities.

  • Projects must be able to demonstrate how a capital investment will increase use of facilities and participation in sports and leisure activities (forecasted figures must be provided at application stage and actual figures post-investment are required.)
  • The UKSPF Sports and Leisure fund will not consider any applications that ask for a financial contribution of more than £20,000 for any capital project (This does not include match funding from external partners).

Revenue based projects to support tournaments.

  • Projects must be able to demonstrate how a revenue investment will increase participation in sports and leisure tournaments (forecasted engagement figures at application stage and actual figures post-investment are required.)
  • The UKSPF Sports and Leisure fund will not consider any applications that ask for a financial contribution of more than £10,000 for any revenue project (This does not include match funding from external partners).

Please note: You must select either a capital or revenue project. You'll be unable to apply for both revenue and capital in a single funding application.

Applications should only bid for the amount that is necessary to deliver the project.

Application Process

To apply for funding, clubs and organisations must read this guidance document and complete the online expression of Interest form.

Apply for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Sports and Leisure Projects

If you wish to complete the application form manually, please download the UKSPF application form for sports and leisure projects. (PDF) [392KB] and return via email to Robert Larcombe, Leisure Development Officer, Preston City Council via email:

There are three funding windows open for the 2024/25 period, which close on:

  • 1 May 2024
  • 1 August 2024
  • 1 November 2024.

Clubs and organisations are encouraged to apply for the UKSPF Sports and Leisure Fund at their earliest opportunity.

Preston City Council reserves the right to close the funding window before the deadline if an adequate number of projects have received funding from the UKSPF Sports and Leisure Fund's total investment amount.

Evaluation and post-application

Once an expression of interest form has been received, Preston City Council will shortlist all projects that meet the funding criteria for sports and leisure activities.

Preston City Council will evaluate your application based on the below criteria:

Benefit to the local community (Weighted 50%).

A good answer would be of optimal benefit to every citizen in Preston, available all year round, contributing to all of Preston City's Sports and Leisure targets.

Financial investment required (value for money) (Weighted 30%).

A good answer would clearly demonstrate an efficient return on investment e.g.. the £10k application will benefit 800 club members per year for the 10 year life of the upgraded facility or the £5k application will benefit 600 individuals by hosting 4 sports tournaments across the year.

Commitment from match funding partners (Weighted 20%).

A good answer would match the investment request.

Applications must achieve a minimum score of 40% for your project to be considered, otherwise the project will be deemed as unsuccessful. Preston City Council may offer to fund a smaller percentage of your requested amount for certain projects.

We may seek to contact your club or organisation to discuss your project in more detail, where relevant. Preston City Council will then assign your project a result and notify your organisation of the decision within a reasonable timeframe.

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