Opening School Facilities Funding

Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport are pleased to offer support for schools in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to open up their facilities for extra-curricular and community use.

Funding is available to help schools deliver extra-curricular activities and open their facilities outside of the school day during evenings, weekends and school holidays. This is intended to help provide more sporting opportunity to children and the wider community to help them stay physically active.

It is anticipated that the main beneficiaries will be secondary schools that meet some or all of the following three key criteria, however applications are encouraged from all schools who feel this funding can provide significant opportunities to support physical activity, and will be assessed on their own merits.

Key criteria:

  1. Have a high percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals,
  2. Are located in areas with high levels of physical inactivity,
  3. Are able to provide opportunities for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

Funding will be distributed through two routes, available to schools via short application and expression of interest processes. Further information relating to each route is provided below.

Please note: schools are eligible to apply for both of the funding routes.

Reactivate Grants

Schools can apply to receive small grants by identifying specific measures, and associated costs, that will help provide opportunities for children and/or their wider communities to get active.

The Reactivate Grants are being provided to assist in 'Return to Play' - enabling activities to return that otherwise would not be able to do so in the current climate.

We are looking for applications in the region of £1,000 - £2,000 to assist with measures identified by the school. In exceptional circumstances applications for funding in excess of this range may be considered, however schools are encouraged to contact us in the first instance to discuss your application.

Whilst we don't want to be too prescriptive on what the funding can and can't be used for, we expect funding to be used to help schools offer extra-curricular opportunities including opening facilities in a COVID-19 secure manner. Examples may include:

  • Helping schools to safely open their pool – including for water testing kits and plant servicing.
  • Helping schools to meet COVID-19 measures by purchasing additional signage, touch-free entry points, perspex screens or additional cleaning equipment.
  • Purchase of additional sports, activity, and storage equipment.
  • To improve the accessibility of school sports facilities, especially for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This may include buying adaptive sports equipment.
  • Where relevant, funding to cover additional short-term staffing challenges which prevent schools from opening facilities or delivering sessions.

The following items are ineligible to receive funding:

  • Large scale capital / building works.
  • Loss of revenue because of facilities being closed during the period of restrictions.

Please note: schools must commit to allocating the funding to deliver their proposed measure by the end of August 2021.


Application Window: 30th March - 21st April 2021

Funding Outcome Announcement: 03rd May 2021

Access to Community Facilities Survey

We also encourage all applicants to complete the Access to Community Facilities Survey. This survey will allow us to add your school's facilities to our facility finder, helping to share with potential hirers when you anticipate that your facilities will be available for use.

Launchpad Grants

Launchpad Grants allow schools to apply for up to £20,000 to deliver new physical activity and wellbeing opportunities to children & young people, and the wider community.

The grants are designed to enable schools to provide additional capacity, alongside delivery funding, to develop an offer over summer and at the beginning of the next academic year to help our communities return to engaging in physical activity.

The capacity and delivery funding provided will help to:

  • Provide keyholder access to facilities (where not already provided at the school) outside of core school hours.
  • Provide staff capacity to deliver and facilitate a range of activities.
  • Deliver engagement with internal stakeholders – including school leadership, heads of PE, school sport and physical activity networks, pupils and the local community.
  • Support external partner engagement – such as with the local community, local authority, clubs, national governing bodies and other activity providers.
  • Develop a broad and varied sport, physical activity and wellbeing offer – ensuring a planned and developmental approach to providing opportunities at the school.

In addition to the grant awards, additional central support and coordination will be provided by officers within the LRS team to help schools maximise the benefit for their school and local communities.

Key points to consider prior to submitting an expression of interest:

  • Schools must meet the key criteria for Opening School Facilities Funding, identified above.
  • Schools will be required to demonstrate senior leadership commitment and support for the role, such as via the school head and/or governors.
  • It is expected that a significant proportion of the funding requested by schools will be for capacity, to ensure that a broad programme of activity can be planned and delivered within the project timescales (see below).
  • All funding provided to schools must be committed to by the end of August 2021. It is anticipated that activity will take place through the summer period, however some activity can commence from September.
  • Ongoing support and coordination will be provided throughout the project by members of the LRS team to support schools in delivering a successful programme of activity.
  • Although partnerships with external clubs, organisations and providers is encouraged as part of the broad offer to be developed, funding cannot be utilised to pay external providers to deliver activities.
  • Schools will be encouraged to consider and propose if/how they may look to sustain any elements of the offer beyond the funding period, and to identify any support that may be required to do so.


Expression of Interest Window: 30th March - 21st April 2021

Follow-up and Clarification Period: 22nd - 30th April 2021

Funding Outcome Announcement: 03rd May 2021

Access to Community Facilities Survey

We also encourage all applicants to complete the Access to Community Facilities Survey. This survey will allow us to add your school's facilities to our facility finder, helping to share with potential hirers when you anticipate that your facilities will be available for use.

For more information please contact:

Joe Hall

Joe Hall

Sports Facilities Development Officer

Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport

I am currently remote working, so please contact me via email/mobile phone (where provided).

  • Sports Facilities Development
  • Active Environments
  • School and College community access
  • Facilities Strategy Support
01509 564865


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