NIFL recognise the need to support our clubs in the pursuit of funding to improve facilities, develop volunteers and build club capacity. Through our Club Development Manager we aim to keep clubs up to date with funding opportunities and offer practical support and guidance. Clubs will be regularly informed about latest opportunities but below are a few key bodies to be aware of:-


DCAL aim to go out to public consultation on this £36.2m programme at the end of November (12 weeks) on the 4 strands to ensure that the funding programme addresses the strategic needs of football. 

To address the strategic needs of football 4 strands are currently proposed; 

1. National Training Centre, 2. Major capital intervention to renovate or rebuild stadia and facilities, 3. Upgrading of club grounds under the Safety at Sports Ground Order, 4. Club and community facilities 


Estimated £160m due to open to applications in Jan 2016.

4 key themes;

1. Shared Education, 2. Children & Young People, 3. Shared Spaces and Services, 4. Building Positive Relations at a Local Level (see handout)


Many local authorities are working up plans to improve rural community facilities under the £70m Rural Development Programme. Each area will have their priorities so it is worthwhile speaking to the Local Action Group to see if there is an opportunity for your club.


Tasked with sustaining and increasing participation, plus improving performance sport, Sport NI invests in a range of projects throughout Northern Ireland. Sport NI is a Lottery award distributor and also provides exchequer funding.

Local councils often offer funding support both large and small. Each operation in their own way so it is advisable to make contact with their Sports Development team.

Also, through the recent reform of local government many councils are hosting Community Planning events and this could be a good opportunity for you to highlight the local impact and future needs of your club. Each council area will have their own Community Plan and it could be a great way for your club to gain support and resources in the future, especially if you have plans to develop capital facilities. For further information contact your local Community Planning Officer. 


Some of the funding programmes for Northern Ireland include:

  • Awards for All Northern Ireland
  • Building Change Trust
  • Heroes Return
  • International Communities
  • Realising Ambition
  • Village SOS


Sported. is a national charity that provides support to community sport organisations that work with young people in disadvantaged areas. They do this by providing business resources and financial assistance, so that these organisations can concentrate on doing what they do best - improving the lives of disadvantaged young people through sport. This is made possible thanks to the network of volunteers, mentors and experts, who provide their services to members of sported for free. If you run a community sport organisation, find out more about how you can become a member yourself.


The Community Relations Council provides grant aid and advice to voluntary and community groups in support of projects which have a community relations purpose or value. 

The Council has a variety of funding schemes each tailored to promote certain aspects of community relations.


Since 1979, the Community Foundation has supported excellent community based activity through targeted grant funding. Community Foundation for Northern Ireland manage funding from a variety of sources enabling community organisations to make a real difference in people’s lives. They link and match your application to the most appropriate fund behind the scenes so that you need not worry about which fund is right for you.

Applications to grant programmes should be made online, which is a quick and easy way to make an application.


The overall aim of the organisation is to support charitable organisations within Northern Ireland to enable people, who are disadvantaged or with special needs, to participate actively in their communities.

The Foundation has two main target areas to which it seeks to allocate funds:

  • Social and Community needs
  • Education and Training

For any support please contact Club Development Manager – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.