Protecting Playing Fields

Playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England but many of them become waterlogged or in a state of disrepair, so we are investing £25 million of National Lottery funding into improving community sports fields.

This project will make a significant contribution to address the long standing drainage issues at the club and address the issues identified in the Craven Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy.

Mel Mason, President of Skipton Rugby Football Club which received £50,000


 The Protecting Playing Fields funding programme is part of Sport England’s strategy which is focused on helping more people acquire lifelong sporting habits. It will invest in capital projects to either create new natural turf pitches or improve existing ones that need levelling or drainage works. 

The programme is being delivered via funding rounds with approximately £3 million allocated to Round 8. The first seven rounds of funding have benefited 414 projects. Initial decisions on applications received for Round 8 were made in February 2016. 

We are currently developing our new strategy to support grassroots sport for 2016-2021. As such, we are considering the future of the Protecting Playing Fields programme and a decision on whether there will be another programme round will be made as part of the new strategy. We are committed to creating more opportunities to participate in sport through improving and creating new facilities. If another funding round is agreed, an announcement will be made on this page.

Sport England requires a legal charge (or restriction on title for local authorities) over the playing pitch land as a form of security for 25 years on the investment on successful projects BEFORE work starts on site.

This means that the charge must be in place and registered at HM Land Registry (and where relevant, at Companies House) before any physical work can begin on your pitch(es).

To enable the charge or restriction to be in place and registered in time for your project to start at the earliest time, successful projects will need to instruct their solicitor to carry out this work as soon as the award offer is accepted. It is advised that you check your lease or freehold document to ensure there is no reason why the charge or restriction cannot be put in place.  You may also want to check your organisation will consent to this requirement.

Further information about grant security is provided in our FAQs.