06/01/17: Groups invited to bid for a share of £114k outdoor sport and play fund

6 January 2017

Outdoor sport and play fund Breckland Council is again inviting applications for a share of its Outdoor Sport and Play Fund, in a bid to allocate the £114,000 currently in the pot.

Town and parish councils, sports clubs, community groups and charities are being invited to apply for the money, which will be used to improve the provision of outdoor sports and children's play areas across the district.

Working in partnership with the Norfolk Community Foundation, the council is looking to distribute money from its Outdoor Sport and Play Fund to help provide either brand new free-to-access children's play areas and outdoor sports provision, or enhance existing facilities. This may include slides and swings, multi-use games areas, sports pitches, changing facilities, or parking related to these facilities.

The latest invitation to apply for a slice of the fund follows a previous round of applications, which was held last year, after which Breckland gave the green light to 27 bids totalling £195,000. This will enable the delivery of a range of projects in the district, from the installation of play equipment, adult fitness kit and a multi-use games area, to updating a clubhouse and providing a new bike shelter. Some projects have already been delivered by the applicants, with remaining projects expected to reach fruition over the course of this year.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Breckland's Executive Member for Growth, commented: "We are delighted to have already allocated so much money to support a vast range of excellent projects across the district. There is still £114,000 left in the pot and we would love to receive even more bids during this new application window so we can see even more money used to support suitable outdoor sport or play projects in Breckland."

The money has been received by Breckland over the last few years from housing developers who, as part of their planning permission, are often required to make funding available to help improve local play and outdoor sports facilities.

It has been ring-fenced for use in the parish or surrounding area from which the original contribution was sourced. There is funding available across much of the district, though some areas may have already spent funding for their parish cluster during the last application window. Information about clusters and available funding is available online (see below).

The majority (£96k) of the £114k remaining in the fund has been identified as being for outdoor sports provision, while almost £18k has been allocated for children's play area provision. Applicants may request combined funding from both pots, if they will be used to deliver outdoor sport and play provision.

More information about the fund, the money available in each parish cluster area, and how to apply is available at: www.norfolkfoundation.com/funds/breckland-outdoor-sport-and-play-fund. You can also read about previously approved bids.

The application process will be managed on Breckland Council's behalf by Norfolk Community Foundation. Project proposals must be received by 5pm on 1 March 2017. Applications are expected to be assessed during April.