Facilities Fund

Overview

BaseballSoftballUK's Two Sports One Ambition strategic plan was launched in August 2020, with one of the key strategic priorities to support to grassroots organisations by making them stronger, safer and sustainable. Two key features of the strategy are:

  • Helping teams/clubs/leagues integrate into, and become, an important part of the local community
  • Taking a lead role in enabling the creation and improvement of appropriate local facilities across the UK.

BaseballSoftballUK has dedicated £50,000 over the next five years to enable clubs and leagues to build and upgrade local facilities across the UK through a new Facilities Fund.

This page contains information and guidance on the Fund, the application process, and how to get started.


Where to start:

If your organisation is looking to create or improve its facilities and would like to be considered for a Facilities Fund grant, please get in touch with your relationship manager or send us an Expression of Interest to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).Your relationship manager will help you assess whether your plan meets funding criteria.

The Expression of Interest can be as simple as an email, but must be done to start the process. This will be passed on to the appropriate relationship manager, who will assist you with any questions you may have throughout the process.

Your relationship manager will ensure your team and application are eligible. They will then complete a pre-application checklist with you and discuss your plans before advising you on how best to submit an application.

Who can apply?

BaseballSoftballUK's Facilities Fund is open to any baseball and softball not-for-profit club, league or association in the UK officially registered to the BSUK Development Charter. A complete list of Chartered organisations can be found here, and all members of the British Baseball Federation and British Softball Federation are automatically enrolled. 

BaseballSoftballUK cannot fund individuals (including sole traders), or organisations established to make a profit. For further eligibility clarity, please contact your relationship manager.

What we can fund:

The BaseballSoftballUK Facilities Fund is specifically designed to help clubs improve the fixed assets of their facilities. 

The funds may be used for goods such as:

  • backstops
  • dirt
  • fencing
  • dugouts
  • pitching mounds
  • ‘permanent’ storage, i.e. on-site shipping containers

The funds may not be used for non-fixed assets such as:

  • L-screens or other portable training nets
  • rakes/landscaping equipment
  • portable infrastructure, i.e. portable benches or folding chairs
  • bases
  • vehicles

Please note, BSUK cannot fund any projects that are already in progress, and cannot apply funds to projects retroactively. If your club wants to apply for funding for a specific portion of an already in-progress project, please contact your relationship manager to discuss this as soon as possible.


Criteria

Match funding

The BaseballSoftballUK Facilities Fund requires organisations to match funding as part of their application. The match funding required is expected to be of equal or greater value than the amount of funding being applied for. 

A few scenarios to show how this might work:

  1. Your club wants to improve its facilities for a total cost of £6K. You may be able to access a Local Authority grant for £2K, you will be responsible for raising £2K either from club’s savings or fundraising, then apply for the BSUK Facilities Fund for the other £2K.
  2. Your club wants to improve its facilities for a total cost of £8K. You have £6K in your club’s account, then you apply for £2K from the BSUK Facilities Fund.
  3. Your club wants to improve its facilities for a total cost of £4K. You have either £2K in your club’s account or £2K from another grant/fundraising, then you apply for £2K from the BSUK Facilities Fund.

Alignment with BSUK’s Strategic Plan

Your project will have to be aligned with the priorities of the BSUK Two Sports One Ambition strategy announced in August.

For example, questions for your Committee to answer could include the following:

  1. In terms of facilities, what’s stopping our club from growing participation from a wider audience?
  2. What’s hindering our club from enabling and supporting home-grown talent from all communities?
  3. Can building/improving our facility help us better support our home-grown talent/community?

Your club is expected to work with your relationship manager in order to assess the alignment of your facilities plan with the sports’ priorities - see page 6 of the Strategic Plan 2020-24 for further details.

Time frame for your project

If successful, funds will be delivered to your club after 1st April 2021; once all criteria are met and the funding has been approved, the project must be completed within 12 months of the date your grant was awarded.

BSUK will work with you to help you make sure your project is completed. Please be aware that some or all of the funds will need to be returned to BSUK if the project is not completed.

Your organisation

We require your organisation to be financially stable and well organised. Your relationship manager will work with you to help you demonstrate this by asking you about:

  • Organisational adherence to BSUK Safeguarding procedures
  • Legal status of your organisation
  • Your organisation’s financial position
  • Your organisational governance (i.e. details of committees, financial controls, etc)
  • Details about your current/proposed playing ground (owned/leased and the details of any rental agreement)

How much can I apply for?

The maximum award from the BSUK Facilities Fund will be £5K per club per year, while the expected average award will be around £2K. At least two awards will be given out by BSUK each year for the first five years of the Fund's existence. Further awards may become available based on future funding.

How to apply:

If your organisation is looking to create or improve its facilities and would like to be considered for a Facilities Fund grant, please get in touch with your relationship manager or send us an Expression of Interest to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).Your relationship manager will help you assess whether your plan meets funding criteria.

They will help you improve your project and bring partners on board, as well as help with ideas on fundraising, etc., if needed.

Once you and your relationship manager are confident that the project meets all criteria, you will be asked to submit an application form and documents required to be assessed by the Facilities Fund panel in March.


Information required in your application

Project details and need:

Describe how your project will grow and sustain participation as well as increase satisfaction among participants. This should align with BaseballSoftballUK's strategic plan. Be clear in the number of participants who will benefit from your project and the age and demographic information of the participants as best as possible. Furthermore, we also require:

  • Proof of planning permission for your project (if needed)
  • Project delivery plan with milestones and targets
  • Information on any consultation you have done

Costs and estimates

BaseballSoftballUK wants to ensure that money from the Facilities Fund will be used to impact as many participants as possible in a positive manner. You will need to provide a full project budget, with details on what you intend to spend the award money on. All Facilities Fund grants will require professional estimates.

Documents to include with your application

  • Application form
  • Your organisation's constitution/set of rules
  • Your organisation's most recent annual accounts signed and dated by your chair, secretary, or treasurer and by your auditor where appropriate
  • Copies of your organisation's last three bank statements
  • Copy of your lease or community use agreement

If you are a new organisation - less than one year old - you may still apply for the BaseballSoftballUK Facilities Fund. We require all new organisations to submit an income and expenditure projection and evidence you have an established bank account.


If your application is successful

If you are awarded a grant, BaseballSoftballUK will issue you with an award letter, detailing the amount of the award and what the award will be spent on. The terms and conditions of the award will also be included with the award letter. You must complete this document and return it to BaseballSoftballUK via your relationship manager to formally accept the award within four weeks of the award letter's date.

As you begin your project, you are reminded that receipts and invoices MUST be kept and submitted at the end of the project for monitoring purposes. Projects must be completed within 12 months of the award.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your project is unsuccessful, BaseballSoftballUK will write to you, via your relationship manager, explaining why your project was not selected. We will also inform you if we believe you could be funded in the future and what you need to do to improve your chances should the opportunity arise again with BaseballSoftballUK or other organisations. Please note than an unsuccessful application has no bearing on future applications.


Help grow the fund

BaseballSoftballUK has committed £50,000 to the Facilities Fund over the next five years; however, we are always looking for commercial partners to help us grow the fund, and therefore the sports. The more funding we receive, the more projects we can support, and every pound earmarked for the Facilities Fund will be redistributed to local organisations. For more information on contributing to the fund, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Questions?

Any questions regarding the Facilities Fund should be directed to your relationship manager or to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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