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Places and Spaces

A £3.5 million pot with up to £10,000 available in match funding for Crowdfunder projects, as part of a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games package to help community sport and physical activity groups improve places and spaces in the West Midlands.

About the fund

This fund makes awards using National Lottery funding, of between £1 and £10,000 from an initial pot of £3.5m, to help community sport and physical activity groups create or improve facilities in their local area.

With a focus on projects solely within the West Midlands region, Places and Spaces is a match-funding initiative, delivered in partnership with Crowdfunder. 

We launched, and continue to run, a similar national fund in May 2020 – Return to Play: Active Together. So far, we’ve seen some incredible campaigns that really help to activate a community and ease the burden that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had across our sector.

As such, the aim of Places and Spaces is to use a similar model to unite communities and leave a legacy from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Key information

  • Awards (or ‘pledges’) of between £1 and £10,000 are possible.
  • You must set up a crowdfunding campaign before we’ll consider a pledge towards that campaign.
  • All campaigns should be a celebration of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, providing information on how the place or space is going to provide a legacy and unite your community.
  • We anticipate the fund will remain open until December 2022.
  • Applications can be made by not-for-profit organisations for the benefit of people and communities within the West Midlands region.

A girl runs with a rugby ball as a group of girls play rugby in a park.

Why consider crowdfunding?

Running a crowdfunding campaign isn’t only a great way to raise essential funds, but also offers many additional benefits – such as:

  • raising the awareness of what you do in the wider community
  • improving the understanding among current members or supporters about the financial pressure of keeping things going
  • encouraging new members, supporters and volunteers
  • learning skills and building confidence in areas like social media, marketing, content writing and video creation
  • creating new connections and relationships with local businesses and experts.

We are very happy, we of course benefitted financially from the campaign but more importantly we really have brought about new interest from the wider community, which we did not anticipate.

Successfully supported campaign owner

Crowdfunding can be hard work, it’s sometimes a little daunting, but we can help support you as much or as little as you need.

We have some fantastic, free support on hand to help you on your crowdfunding journey, including:

  • 1-2-1 coaching by crowdfunding experts
  • advice and guidance on campaign improvements
  • access to online courses
  • 30-minute monthly webinars
  • social media hints and tips.

We've also created a handy guide with all the details, which can be downloaded from the link below.

We were hesitant at the start but the support we have received has been fantastic. The online information and webinars were really helpful in constructing our project.

Successfully supported campaign owner

Crowdfunder host regular free webinars where you can hear from other organisations who've successfully run crowdfunding campaigns, with Q&As and lots of useful hints and tips about your own campaign.

Book your place

Recent examples

To help give you an idea of what a crowdfunding campaign can achieve, we've collated some stats and examples from successful campaigns we've already supported under our other initiatives with Crowdfunder.

Launched in May 2020, our Return to Play: Active Together fund has, to November 2021:

  • Supported 505 campaigns
  • Seen £2.5m invested by us
  • Seen an additional £5.06m raised by supporters
  • Seen an average of £15,608 raised by each campaign
  • Seen a return of £2.06 raised by the crowd for every £1 of Sport England investment

Ripon Tennis Centre

They needed to build two padel courts to help introduce a new and exciting facility to their community.

Find out more

Warkworth Cricket Club

They wanted to make their facilities more welcoming and appealing to their community.

Find out more

Green Croft Arts

They wanted to provide an inclusive, accessible space promoting and supporting physical and mental wellbeing in their rural community.

Find out more

Indirock Bouldering Wall

Part of Southend's town revival, this project brought a new sport to their community.

Find out more

Core judo coaching

This community dojo revitalised their area, providing a sports hub for the whole community.

Find out more

The Chapel Gym

This project plans to convert a disused church into an accessible, community gym.

Find out more

Byrne Avenue baths

A project to rescue, restore and re-open a much-loved historic building into a space for the whole community.

Find out more

Brixton BMX Club

They wanted to protect their track for future generations of young people in their community.

Find out more

The experience has been a real learning curve and your advice and support has been invaluable...applying for a grant is very often a couple of frustrated people ploughing through paperwork in isolation, whereas crowdfunding absolutely energised our club. It brought members from different parts of the club together, got the community involved, and sparked a whole range of very positive conversations for the future.

Successfully supported campaign owner

Application process

What will we support?

This funding is for community sport and physical activity groups looking to create, improve or change a space or place that will provide opportunities for people to be more active in their local community. 

The places and spaces in which people play sport and get active are important. Whether it’s the canal tow path you walk or jog along, the village hall you do keep fit classes in or the pitch you play on, welcoming and accessible spaces have a big impact on a person’s experience, as well as their likelihood of getting active and coming back.

Places and Spaces is a facility-based development programme – so it’s focused around a specific place or space. Appropriate ownership of the facility or space will be a requirement before you start your project.

If you’re planning to change a space, for example adding signage or a more substantial redevelopment of a building, it’s likely you’ll need permission to make any changes legal.

As well as being assured of permission, we need to ensure the long-term benefit for our investment we’re making.

Applicants will therefore need to own the space or facility, through the freehold or leasehold, for a minimum period.

If you’re working towards having appropriate ownership, please apply and tell us where you’re up to.

If you don’t own the facility or space but want to discuss your situation, please call us on 03458 508 508 or email funding@sportengland.org.

Your project may just be an idea, or you may be much further along, but ideally you should be able to be on site and starting your project within three months of your campaign closing.

How long will it take?

Campaigns typically run for 28 days but take a few weeks to create – so about six weeks in total.

Applications to ‘Places and Spaces’ are done through the Crowdfunder site and will take just a few minutes to complete and submit.

Once received, our decision on whether we support your campaign or not, will be made within a couple of days – leaving you to focus on running your campaign.

Whilst we can’t fund every campaign we see, those that make a good case, include a video and have engaging rewards that’ll incentivise a crowd wider than just an existing membership, typically succeed.

We’ll support you throughout, to help you develop and deliver the best possible campaign you can.

Crowdfunding can be a great way to achieve a fundraise in a relatively short period of time, so why not give it a try?

Start your campaign

Apply now to begin your crowdfunding process and see how much you can raise.

Places and Spaces

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