Building Sport is the new capital programme from the Sports Council for Northern Ireland’s Lottery Fund.  This programme aims to provide partnership funding for major capital projects that will increase access to opportunities for sporting development and participation for as many people as possible.


Projects that demonstrate their potential to contribute to the delivery of one or more of the following strategic objectives, may be eligible for substantial partnership funding from this programme:



•           Increase participation in sport


•           Be sustainable


•           Address the factors of social need


•           Tackle social exclusion

•           Promote equality of opportunity and good

            community relations


•           Promote sporting excellence


•           Address health inequalities


•           Provide the structures for long term athlete



Your proposal must demonstrate sports development need and financial need along with a number of other criteria.



A wide range of groups and partnerships are eligible to apply to this programme for funding.  These include amongst others: voluntary sports clubs, community associations, statutory bodies, schools and charities.  Any applicant organisation must have the appropriate legal, financial and operational status required by the SCNI (such as appropriate child protection measures and suitable financial history).




Most capital projects with a focus on sport will have eligible elements for funding.  This programme is sports development led, not facility driven, and to that end we will seek evidence of how your proposal will require lottery funding for developing your sports facilities.  Some types of eligible projects may be:


•           Indoor facilities, such as sports halls and
             associated changing facilities

•           Outdoor facilities, such as: playing surfaces/areas
             and associated changing facilities

•           Specialist facilities, such as: climbing walls, ski
             slopes, gymnastic pits and slipways

•           Fitness training facilities, where this is the main
            sporting activity

•           Purchase of land for immediate development or
            purchase of sporting rights

•           Purchase of major items of sports equipment


For other types of projects that may be considered, please contact us for more detailed information.





For the projects that are successful in gaining funding, up to 85% of eligible capital costs may be awarded through this programme.  For those applicants whose project is eligible under the ‘priority areas initiative’ up to 95% of eligible capital costs may be awarded, and you may also apply for a Multi-Sports Development Officer post to be co-funded by the SCNI (also up to 95% of eligible costs).  The maximum award available is £600,000 but it should be noted that projects securing this level of award are likely to be of major regional or national significance, or provide multi-sport facilities likely to have a strategic impact on the factors that contribute to social exclusion and social need.  


It should be noted that awards are made on a ‘challenge fund’ principle and the projects that demonstrate the best all round proposal will be more likely to secure awards.




Developing a major capital project and seeking an award from the Building Sport programme takes time and although the potential awards may be substantial, the SCNI will only make awards to those projects that demonstrate the best possible sporting impact.  You may wish to seek assistance and further advice before applying.


The SCNI can offer you access to general workshops on the programme, one-to-one clinics for your specific proposal and support through the Sports Development Network and other partner agencies to assist you. 


We also provide detailed written resources for many aspects of developing your project on our website or through our offices.