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Funded by Premier League
The FA National League System

The FA National League System

The FSIF provides money for clubs in The FA National League System who want to improve their facilities for players, officials and spectators.

The FA National League System steps

The eligibility of projects and grant limits available are dependant on the step of The FA National League System your club plays at. If you do not know which step your club fits into, contact us. Alternatively you can find listings on various websites:    

 

Grant limits

Grant limits for The FA National League System clubs (applies to any five year period)
Clubs in The FA National League System Maximum cumulative grant value* Maximum percentage grant
Step 1 £400,000 50%
Step 2 £250,000 50%
Step 3 and 4 £150,000 50%
Step 5 £100,000 50%
Step 6 £100,000 70%
Step 7 £20,000 (but up to £50,000 for applications including changing rooms) 70%

* This is the maximum grant available, less any previous grants awarded by the FSIF whilst at any other level over the previous five years.

Clubs promoted from the National League to the Football League

A total of £200,000 of the FSIF annual budget will be ring-fenced each year to support the two clubs promoted from the National League to the Football League to cover the costs of required safety installations, such as computerised turnstiles, CCTV, stadium control rooms, etc.

If your club is being promoted from Step 1 into the Football League, you have 12 months after promotion to meet the Football League’s conditions for increased safe capacity at your ground.

Football League clubs relegated from the Football League who have received maximum funding as a Football League club have to wait five years before being able to reapply as a FA National League System club.

Eligible projects

Whilst we will not automatically provide funding for work you need to undertake to meet the requirements of The FA National Ground Grading Criteria, the table below indicates the types of project that are eligible under FSIF policy. Details of The FA National Ground Grading Criteria can be found here:

 

We have included safety categories based on the ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’. Where appropriate, the guide provides detailed guidance to help you assess the safe capacity of a sports ground. The guide can be found here:

 

You are eligible to apply for grant aid to meet the membership conditions of your current league. If you are promoted, you are eligible to apply for grant aid to meet the membership conditions of the new league, but only after your promotion has been confirmed by the league.

We base grants on the league you were in at the time you submitted your application, and our Board retains full discretion regarding what they consider appropriate. 

FSIF eligibility criteria

Step 1 Step 2 Steps 3 & 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
Maximum grant value £400k £250k £150k £100k £100k £20k
Maximum grant percentage  50% 50% 50% 50% 70% 70%
             
Project            
New covered seating Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New open seating No No No No No No
New open or covered safe terracing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Upgrading open safe terracing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Convert terrace to open seating No No No No No No
Convert terrace to covered seating Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
First aid rooms Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Secure boundary fencing and gates Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch perimeter rails, barriers + infill Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Players and officials safe walkway Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch perimeter hardstanding Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PA systems (initial provision only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CCTV (initial provision only) Yes1 No No No No No
Computerised turnstiles Yes1 No No No No No
Control rooms Yes1 No No No No No
Mains service connections Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Crush barrier installations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New floodlights and upgrades2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Emergency lighting (initial provision only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spectator toilets Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Press seating Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Turnstile and pay kiosks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Changing rooms Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes3
Pitch drainage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch irrigation4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes5 Yes5
Car and coach parking6 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access roads6 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stewards radios (initial provision) Yes Yes No No No No
Hospitality areas (incl. tea bars)7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Artificial pitches No No No No No No
Viewing for disabled spectators Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
All facilities for disabled spectators Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dug-outs/technical areas Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pitch maintenance equipment8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ball stop netting9 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
  • 1 Only after securing promotion to the Football League
  • 2 If you need to provide floodlights to meet the membership conditions of your league, you are eligible to apply for a grant towards installing the floodlights or towards improving the floodlights if this is necessary because your club has been promoted. Replacement of bulbs and other maintenance operations are not eligible for support but the replacement of very old, defective systems would be considered. Second-hand systems might be considered subject to independent structural and electrical reports. Mobile floodlights are not eligible.
  • 3 Ceiling grant for changing rooms is £50,000
  • 4 Maximum £20,000
  • 5 Maximum 50%
  • 6 Car and coach parking/access roads will only be considered eligible if the works are required to improve access to the ground for disabled spectators, to satisfy statutory requirements imposed by the local planning authority/Highways Authority or to resolve a specific issue relating to health and safety.
  • 7 Permanent buildings only with planning permission. Players' and directors' exclusive bars are not eligible.
  • 8 Eligible provided there is safe storage provision on site, insurance for theft, user instruction (including health and safety) and demonstrating sufficient, reliable voluntary labour to undertake the work. Maximum £10,000
  • 9 Eligible subject to appropriate justification (e.g. close proximity to a busy road, railway line or causing a nuisance to neighbours).

 

Ineligible work

  • Director's areas
  • Land/site purchase
  • Routine maintenance i.e. decorations, repairs, annual operations such as boiler servicing, pitch decompaction etc.
  • Artificial pitches
  • Goalposts

Step 2 and Step 5 clubs

Step 2

The FA National Ground Grading Criteria requires clubs at Step 2 to have 250 seats. Whilst it is acknowledged that the National League requires Step 2 clubs to have 500 seats to be eligible to participate in the “play-offs”, the additional 250 seats would not be eligible unless there was a demonstrable need in terms of average attendance.

Step 5

The FSIF will accept applications from Step 5 clubs to meet the requirements of both Grades E and F of The FA National Ground Grading Criteria.

Applying for funding

This area of the website is split into seven sections to provide support on every step of your project, from pre-application advice to the opening of your facilities. Use the navigation on the right to move between sections.

We recommend reading through all of the sections before proceeding with your project.

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