BaseballSoftballUK launched the Facilities Fund in 2021; since then, more than £22,000 has been awarded to teams across the UK to improve their grassroots facilities. As the third round of Facilities Fund awards approaches in April, we'll be taking a look back at some of the funded projects, and how the Facilities Fund has helped change the game for grassroots clubs! Without further adieu...

Club Name: Bristol Baseball Club

Funding Awarded: 15 April 2021

Project applied for: Two dugouts, a backstop for their second field, and dead ball fencing which extends to the infield circle along the first and third base lines. Bristol is also building two batting cages behind the existing main field backstop.

How did your club match funding for the Facilities Fund?

The club's match funding included a Crowdfunder campaign, a financial contribution from the club and a successful grant bid from Keynsham Town Council.

Did you spend all of the funding? How did you spend it?

Yes - all the award funding went into the field improvements, excluding the batting cages. We had one cage donated that had been weather damaged and we will be fixing it. We spoke to BSUK about utilising the remaining funds for a more permanent outfield fence for the main field and/or a permanent mound for the second field. The latter is subject to permission from Somerdale.

Has your project helped grow and sustain participation as well as increased satisfaction among participants?

We have increased club membership by 22% this year - from 105 to 136 - and have also added a regular session for under-16s. In terms of satisfaction, we will be carrying out a members survey next month and will provide an update!

What has the Facilities Fund award meant to the club?

The BSUK award has meant that the club has been able to meet key aims outlined in its own five-year plan. These include improvements to the second field with a permanent backstop and improvements to the main field with the dugouts, new backstop and out-of-bounds fencing.

If your club or team is interested in finding out more about the Facilities Fund, click here.