Potential Funding Sources
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Potential Funding Sources

Below are a list of potential funding sources for your programmes to support people learning and developing through the outdoors.

This is by no means exhaustive, please use the grant finding search options in the side bar for more options. Should you come across other funding streams to support our network of members, please do let us know.

  Funding Sources

Another chance for schools to access funding for outdoor sports 

Funding boost for schools helping pupils develop character. Schools that are using a wide range of activities to help broaden children’s learning experiences and boost character can now receive a share of £6 million to boost that work and share it with others, Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson announced on 26 May 2016.
This year’s character grants - a scheme that began in 2015 to fund schools and organisations promoting traits such as resilience and respect - are aimed at schools that use activities such as sports, debating or music to provide a rounded learning experience for children. Schools, colleges and organisations can apply for a share of the £6 million fund.
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£90 million for the Great British Coast

Businesses and communities across the Great British Coast could be sailing towards a cash windfall, ministers announced 23 May 2016. Creative coastal entrepreneurs can from today bid for a share of £90 million government funding available UK-wide over the next 4 years to support their plans to reel in jobs and revitalise our much-loved seaside areas. This latest cash boost for coastal communities is all part of the government’s efforts to rebalance the economy and help all areas of the country thrive.
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Funding available for projects with 14-25 year olds

Sportivate is a Sport England funded programme, managed by the County Sport Partnership Network across England, aimed at getting more 14-25 year olds more active more of the time. The programme provides 6-8 weeks of subsidised, or free, sessions with the aim of then retaining the young people within their chosen activity.  Sportivate is in its final year of funding and for many areas the final windows for applications will only be open over the next few months.  In most cases the funding has a particular focus on engaging women and girls, people with a disability and black, Asian, minority ethnic communities (BAME). 
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Funding to tackle social isolation and loneliness
Small to medium-sized charities and community groups are being urged to apply to a fund to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Applications can now be made to the Scottish Government's £500,000 Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund, which is being managed by Voluntary Action Fund.
The Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund is not prescriptive about what can be funded and will support different types of interventions to tackle social isolation including the continuation or expansion of existing activity as well as new activity.
Applications can be made for up to £20,000 to carry out activities over a 12-month period. To be eligible charities and community groups have to work in Scotland, have charitable purposes and have an annual income of under £250,000. The deadline for applications is Friday 20 May 2016, with the funding period running from July 2016 to June 2017.
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Veolia Environmental Trust: grants for environmental or community-based projects

Not-for-profit organisations that are constituted, hold annual elections and have a bank account can apply for grants of up to £75,000 to support their environmental or community-based projects.  Applicants must be based within five miles of a Veolia site. Applicants can check whether or not their project is in an eligible location on the Veolia website postcode location checker, which is constantly updated to reflect Veolia’s operating plans.  There will be a new application process from April 2016.
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Lloyds Bank Foundation: Grants to support people experiencing multiple disadvantage

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is currently accepting initial applications to its Invest and Enable grants programmes.  The Foundation has recently moved from a rolling grants programme to a grant rounds approach and is currently open for Round 2 with a deadline of 4 March 2016.  Organisations are expected to be working with people who are 17 years or older experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the critical points in their life.  Funding is available under two programmes:  Invest gives up to £25k for two to three years covering core costs, and Enable offers up to £15k over two years to organisations with clear development needs.
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Heart Research UK (HRUK) Healthy Heart Grants
Medical charity Heart Research UK (HRUK) provides the Healthy Heart Grants scheme to enable community organisations to carry out new, original and innovative projects that actively promote heart health and help to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease in specific groups or communities.
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Grants to Support Disadvantaged Children and Young People
The Ironmongers Company wishes to support projects that provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to fulfil their potential. Grants are only given to registered charities.
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Geographical Fieldwork Grants

The Geographical Fieldwork Grant is the Royal Geographical Society's longest running grant scheme. Every year, they help upwards of 20 teams of students and researchers get into the field, through this grant scheme. Several grants are available up to £3,000. Read more....

Funding and Grant sources for Scotland

Various possible sources of grants and funding for Scotland. Read more.....

BBC Children in Need grants programmes

BBC Children in Need is currently accepting applications from registered charities, voluntary organisations, schools, churches and community interest groups. They can apply for either a Small Grant of up to £10,000 (for projects of one year) or a Main Grant exceeding £10,000 (for projects of up to three years).
Projects must benefit children and young people (aged 18 years and younger) who are experiencing disadvantage.  Organisations must be working to combat this disadvantage and to make a real difference to children and young people's lives.
The Small Grants programme is looking for projects where a relatively small amount of money can make a big difference for children and young people.
Although applications are accepted throughout the year, there are specific deadlines and award dates.

  • The deadlines for Small Grant applications are March, June, September and December.
  • The latest published deadline for Main Grant applications is 13 January 2016 (awaiting updates). The contact email address is now pudseygrants@bbc.co.uk

Full details can be found on the BBC website

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Youth Fund
The Youth Fund will provide core funding to organisations within the youth sector and outside. The Foundation has launched the Fund in direct response to what they heard in their strategy consultation – that in order to achieve greatest positive impact in the lives of young people you work with or for, you need to achieve a balance of stability, continuity and flexibility. You can apply for between £10,000 and £60,000 for up to two years.  Applications are through a two-stage open process.  More information

BIFFA Awards - Rebuilding Biodiversity

Main grants are available for projects that create, restore and manage biodiversity, community spaces, cultural facilities, and places for outdoor recreation. Project must be within 7-15 miles of licensed landfill sites (see the website for more info)

Sport England - Small Grants Scheme

Small grants use Lottery Funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sport.


National Youth Social Action Fund - Expressions of Interest closed

The new £1 million Youth Social Action Fund has now closed its expressions of interest. There were a very large number of applications. Keep us informed of any successful Outdoor Learning projects.


Foyer Foundation and SITA Trust - West Midlands and North East

Teams of young people aged 14-25 have the opportunity to create and deliver projects that will enhance community leisure facilities in the West Midlands North East of England thanks to funding from the Foyer Federation and SITA Trust’s Community Upgrade Challenge.


The People's Postcode Trust - South West, South East and East of England, Scotland, Wales

The People’s Postcode Trust applications are currently closed. The next round will open in September 2016.


Andy Fanshawe Trust

For charitable organisations, schools and youth groups. Projects that allow young people to experience outdoor recreation. The grant aims to support specific projects that encourage young people to further their existing skills and gain new experiences. Eligible expenditure includes equipment, course fees and trips.


Big Lottery Fund

Grants from £300 to over £500,000 to organisations ranging from small local groups to major national charities. Big Lottery fund a variety of programmes for small, community-based projects across the UK through the Awards for all programme in all areas of the UK.



Heritage Lottery Fund

Heritage Lottery Fund From £3000 to millions; HLF has a range of grant programmes for not-for profit organisations that want to deliver heritage projects. A couple of options are below:

Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots

Innovative and creative projects that target directly the needs and interests of young people 13 – 25 years old. Specifically designed to promote the involvement of young people in preservation of their heritage through; 1. Increasing opportunities for learning about heritage, and 2. Promoting a greater awareness and appreciation of the value of heritage for our future sense of identity. No application deadlines. £10,000-£50,000


Heritage Lottery Fund – Our Heritage

Suitable for any constituted group or organisation. Projects must either; Enhance and conserve heritage, Encourage communities to identify, Look after and celebrate their local heritage. Must increase opportunities for learning and open up heritage resources and sites to the widest possible audiences. No application deadlines. £10,000 - £100,000


The Canoe Foundation

Grants specifically relating to Young People and Disability (Equality) in line with our Application Guidelines and Criteria.  The Small Grants Panel has a budget of £25,000 per annum therefore the usual grant awarded is up to £1,000.  However, in exceptional circumstances the Small Grants Panel may award up to a maximum of £2,000. Has been closed for some time, await to see if reopens.


Francis C Scott Trust

Support charities working in Cumbria and North Lancs. The priority is for projects that support 0-21 year olds from our most deprived communities. Capital and revenue for up to 3 years from £500 - £15,000 p.a. Grants below £4,000 are considered monthly.


South Yorkshire Community Foundation

Small grants available to support young people engaging in outdoor learning amongst other priorities.


Wellcome Trust – Engaging Science Programme

Funding for projects in the field of biomedical science which aim to make a significant impact on public engagement with science and its related issues. Funding is provided through the People/Society Award, Arts Award, Broadcast Development Award, International Engagement Award, Science Media Studentships, Engagement Fellowships and Capital Funding schemes. Max value: Discretionary.


DM Thomas Foundation for Young People

The Hilton in the Community Foundation has been renamed the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People and aims to make a real difference to those most in need. It supports projects within the UK and Ireland that focus on Young People and Education, and Young People and Health. Max value: £30,000.


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

For registered charities or properly constituted organisations. Supports work that focuses on the UK’s cultural life, education, the natural environment and enabling people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully in society. No maximum grant size.


The Garfield Weston Foundation

For registered charities. UK wide Education initiatives involving the arts, health, environment, community, youth, religion or welfare. Takes 3 to 4 months to process applications. Regular grants £1,000 - £100,000 and Major grants £100,000 +


Peoples Postcode Trust

For small organisations and community groups. Aimed at Poverty Prevention, Advancement of Health (not research), Community Development, Public Sports, Human Rights and Environmental Protection. All applications for under £2000 are assessed on a monthly basis. £500 - £10,000


Gannochy Trust (Scotland only)

For Scottish charitable organisations. For projects promoting access to the countryside and natural environment, including paths, cycleways and waterways. Educational projects connected with countryside and heritage-related activities. Projects promoting training and volunteering in conservation, restoration and preservation work. Green spaces in urban areas and community woodlands.



Funding Search Tools

Links to free online funding search tools that may support your specific project Free links for Businesses

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