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Active Thames Fund

About Active Thames

Active Thames is a partnership programme in place to support the development of watersports on the tidal Thames and inland waterways in London, Kent and Essex. With over 15,000 football pitches worth of blue space, the tidal Thames is a fantastic place to get active. There is also an extensive network of inland waterways, which provide even more space for people to enjoy, and perfect locations to gain the skills and confidence needed to take on the tidal river.

The following organisations are working together to better serve the watersports community; Active Essex, Kent Sport, London Sport, British Canoeing, British Rowing, RYA, Canal & River Trust, Thames Path National Trail and PLA. You can find a copy of the partnership agreement and shared objectives located at the bottom of this page.

About the Fund

The Active Thames Grant Fund, running from 20 September 2021-31 October 2022, is provided in response to findings from the recent Active Thames survey. We do not wish to be too prescriptive about sport, location or delivery, but the application should link to at least one of the objectives below:

  • Improve diversity of participation, particularly among under-represented groups including:
    • People with disabilities;
    • People with long term health conditions;
    • People from lower socio-economic groups;
    • Ethnically diverse communities.
  • Develop the workforce (coaches, volunteers and administrative support);
  • Provide new opportunities; perhaps funding the addition of a new sport, working with new audiences, or supporting a pilot programme.

The recent Active Thames survey highlights barriers to participation and, with responses from 942 individuals, it provides a vast amount of insight. The summary and full report are available at the bottom of this page. We recommend that you read the report and reference the findings within your application.

We are particularly keen to welcome applications that will boost participation east of Tower Bridge through to Kent and Essex, and applications that show organisations working in partnership with others. In addition, paddlesports have grown over the past 18 months and we are interested in working with organisations to develop community activators for paddlesports.

We welcome grant applications seeking funding up to £5000. Grants over this amount may be possible if the application meets multiple objectives, and if the applicant has a strong background in delivering projects successfully.

Eligibility and Monitoring

You will need to complete our online form providing detailed information about how you intend to use the funding and who the intended beneficiaries are. Please note the following:

  1. Beneficiaries and activities provided should be based on waterways in Greater London, Kent and Essex. This includes docks, basins, reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers that feed participation into the tidal Thames and its Estuary.
  2. The grant is available for any formally constituted, not-for-profit or statutory organisation providing physical activity opportunities on or beside the water.
  3. Delivery should be underway by the end of March 2022.
  4. Successful applicants are required to work with the grant manager to evidence how the grant has been spent within six months of receiving funding. A further report will be required at twelve months.
  5. Applications will be scored against the following criteria:
    1. meeting the needs identified by the recent Active Thames research;
    2. a clear delivery outline;
    3. sustainability- how the investment will be maximised and have continued impact in the long term.

Applying

We have a simple application form which will be open until 31 October 2021. You can view the form ahead of completing the questions, but please note that the form will not ‘save’ automatically so you may be best preparing your response in a Word document, and then submitting it.

Applications can only be made online and the decision on your application will be made by 22 November 2021.

Your application will be shared with the Active Thames partners, who will form the grant review panel: Active Essex, Kent Sport, London Sport, British Canoeing, British Rowing, RYA, Canal & River Trust, Thames Path National Trail and the PLA.

If you require guidance with your application or wish to know more about the Active Thames programme please contact Jenny Cooper, Sports Manager at jenny.cooper@pla.co.uk.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What area does Active Thames focus on? Waterways in Greater London, Kent and Essex. This includes docks, basins, reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers that feed participation into the tidal Thames and its Estuary.

2. What won’t this fund? We won’t fund retrospective costs, marketing costs, or organisations known to be acting unsafely or harming the environment.

3. Who is providing the funding? Contributions from PLA, London Sport, British Canoeing and Canal & River Trust have kick-started this fund and it may grow, pending the review of applications.

4. Can I apply as an individual or a friendship group? We can only give grants to constituted organisations with a bank account.

5. Can I delay start of my delivery until the warmer months (spring/summer)? Funding will be awarded in December with delivery expected to commence by the end of March. If this is not possible, please make this clear within your application.

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