A total of £40m will be available over the next three years to support grass-roots sport as part of the funder’s strategy to provide a lasting sporting legacy from last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This year, a total of £12.5m will be available from the fund, in the shape of grants of between £50,000 and £250,000.
Bidding is open for the first pot of £5m until 4 February. Sport England said that for this first round it would invest in only a small number of strong, well-developed projects that would be able to begin delivery by 1 June this year.
Organisations will be able to bid for a share of the remaining £7.5m from 7 May until 1 July.
Sport England said it would seek projects that demonstrated a focus on a defined geographical area and community and an understanding of what local people want from sport, planned to get more people involved and had strong local partnerships, including other funding sources.
Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport England, said: "We want to hear from sports groups across the country that have innovative ideas to get more people involved in sport."
The rest of the fund will be available in 2014 and 2015.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson said: "I encourage clubs, councils and sports groups to put bids in and help increase sporting opportunities for people in their local areas. We have already seen more people participating in sport since the games, and we want grass-roots sport to continue to grow."