Charities are being invited to apply for grants of up to £2,000 from a new £3m fund aimed at organisations making football more accessible at a grassroots level.
Sported, a charity that supports grassroots sports groups in the UK, and the bank Barclays are working in partnership to deliver the new fund over the next three years.
A total of 50 grants worth £2,000 and 1,800 grants of £500 will be awarded each year, equating to £1m every 12 months.
Charities will be able to register their interest in the Barclays Community Football Fund from the end of this month.
The bank has partnered Sported to make these small grants available for groups wishing to start offering football, those keen to expand their existing provision to new audiences, or those already delivering football to under-represented groups.
The fund will primarily support young people in deprived or under-represented areas through local organisations, many of whom are not yet benefitting from wider football support.
The programme’s engagement will focus on girls and young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: culturally diverse communities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community.
The fund will welcome applications from not-for-profit organisations including community groups, youth groups and traditional football clubs.
Nicola Walker, chief executive of Sported, said: “We know that there is a huge difference between the number of boys and girls who are currently benefitting from the game of football and this project seeks to address that.
“Sadly, there are other groups who are also under-represented at football groups – culturally diverse communities, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community and those from lower socio-economic groups – and Sported’s aim is to tackle these existing inequalities, so that every young person has the same opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Potential applicants can register their interest on the charity’s website from the end of this month.