28th November 2016

Outdoor Recreation Forum and sports funding opportunities

The Ring of Gullion Partnership are working with local outdoor recreation groups to develop an Outdoor Recreation Forum for the area.  The team are working with Sport NI to help facilitate this forum.  The forum has held three very successful workshops recently which have highlighted opportunities for funding and partnership development.  The last meeting of the group featured Richard Caplice who spoke about the development of Lough Muckno, Castleblaney to host top national and international fishing matches and festivals every year.

Sport NI also spoke about the eagerly awaited third strand of Sport Northern Ireland’s Everybody Active 2020 initiative: Outdoor Spaces, which will formally open in late October 2016.  Closing date for applications will be end of February 2017.

Outdoor Spaces, funded by the National Lottery, is targeted at small scale capital projects that deliver new or enhanced sustainable trails or facilities in the natural environment.  The aim is to encourage increased participation by local communities in sport and physical recreation through strong community engagement and “ownership” of the project developed.

Sport NI is aiming to have at least one new project in each of the 11 local council areas, and applications for funding will be open to community groups, local authorities and voluntary/charity organisations.

The maximum cost of the project should normally be no greater than £250,000 as the focus is on community level outdoor infrastructure and funding will be up to 75% depending on the scale of the project (see table below).

Total project cost

Maximum Sport NI funding Maximum grant
Over £100,000 50% £120,000
£100,000 and under 75%


Another grant opening is the Erasmus+ Programme for Sport – 2017, this is the European Programme for education, training, youth and sport.  The programme’s objectives are to:

  • Tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match fixing and violence, as well as all kinds of intolerance and discrimination.
  • Promote and support good governance in sport and dual careers of athletes.
  • Promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity, through increased participation in, and equal access to sport for all.

There is a total budget of €31.8 million and public institutions and non-profit organisations active in the field of sport and physical activity are eligible to apply for funding.  The deadline for applications is 6th April 2017.  Visit here for more information.


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