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Press release18 March 2024

Merton Council teams up with Clarion Futures to launch new Borough of Sport grant fund

Merton Council is investing in its grassroots sports and physical activity sector through a new dedicated grant fund of £300,000.

The money will be distributed over the next three years, with £100,000 available in the first round of funding which opens in April 2024.

Grants of up to £5,000 will be available for clubs and organisations to help them make an impact for Merton residents and deliver more free and low-cost sport and activity in the borough. The fund will particularly seek to support getting more under 16s and over 65s active. There is no lower limit on the amount you can bid for, to help encourage smaller groups to apply.

The new fund will be distributed to successful bidders this summer and can be used for a range of things including equipment, training, facility hire costs or to run additional sessions.

Bidding and distribution of the fund will be delivered in partnership with Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Merton’s largest social housing provider, Clarion Housing Group. Clarion Futures will host the application process on their bespoke application platform.

Decisions about which bids are funded will be made by Merton Council in collaboration with the Borough of Sport Advisory Group: organisations from the local public, private, community and voluntary sectors that work with the council to shape the Borough of Sport programme.

This investment is the latest move in Merton’s Borough of Sport programme and furthers the council's mission to nurture a thriving sports and leisure economy that benefits the people who live and work in Merton.

Cllr Ross Garrod, leader of Merton Council, says:

“Becoming London’s Borough of Sport is something we can only achieve through partnership, and this fund, which we are pleased to be working with Clarion Futures to deliver, is one of the many ways we’re supporting our local sports sector to thrive and grow.

“Through this fund our grassroots organisations will supported to thrive and provide more free and low cost opportunities across the borough, especially for under 16s and over 65s. It will help organisations across Merton’s sporting landscape – who already have hundreds of classes, clubs, and exercise options on our activity finder – to do more in terms of purchasing equipment, hiring space, and providing training.”

Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, says:

“Working with like-minded partners we’re able to make a bigger difference for our residents, and that’s why we’re so excited to be working with Merton Council on this new Borough of Sport grant fund.

“Getting active can have a huge impact on mental and physical wellbeing, and this new grant fund is part of a major investment we’re making in grassroots sports nationwide through our network of partners. We look forward to seeing the ways that clubs and organisations across Merton make use of this additional funding to provide more opportunities for local people.”

Documents will be published when the fund opens, but interested groups are invited to join the Borough of Sport Community Forum on 3 April to find out more.

Register now