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1. Pre-application advice

1. Pre-application advice

1. Pre-application advice

The FSIF Technical Project Managers are on hand to give advice on all aspects of the FSIF grant process. The team has a wealth of experience in facility development across all levels of the football pyramid – it’s unlikely that there is a scenario that they haven’t come across!

Before applying for a grant you must discuss your project with your FSIF Technical Project Manager.

Useful publications

We have published Accessible Stadia, a good practice guide to the design of facilities that meet the needs of disabled spectators and other users. This publication has been funded by the FSIF and the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA, formerly the Football Licensing Authority).

The SGSA have also published a Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCSM).

We have produced an income and expenditure forecast template to be used in support of applications for hospitality areas:

  • FSIF Terms and Conditions - Joint offer [pdf / 181KB] We would normally look at making a joint offer where an applicant does not actually have security of tenure for the site. This occurs when an applicant has a licence or they don't have a lease that is long enough for our requirements.

The FA has been working in consultation with leagues in the FA National League System to produce a standardised National Ground Grading Document covering ground grading requirements at each 'step' of the FA National League System. You can find the grading documents at the following page on The FA's website:

It is beneficial to have an ground grading report from your league before proceeding with a FSIF application.

Top tips for a successful FSIF grant application

  • It’s never too early to pick up the phone and seek advice from the FSIF staff. A quick phone call to make sure that you are progressing along the right lines can save a lot of unnecessary and potentially abortive work!
  • Never apply for planning permission until you have agreed the design with the FSIF Technical Advisor. It’s a timely and costly exercise to re-apply for planning permission if you need to make changes to your proposals to adhere to FSIF guidelines and criteria.
  • You should remember that you are not able to make a start with any of the works, or appoint a contractor, until you have received a formal written offer from the FSIF, which has been accepted and the pre-construction grant conditions discharged. Starting work without our permission will make you ineligible for any grant award. However, if we give you permission in writing beforehand, we may still be able to consider your application.

Security of tenure

To be eligible for funding, your club must be a member of the English National League and either own the freehold of the site you want to develop or have a lease with at least ten years or 21 years unexpired as appropriate i.e. 10 years for clubs applying for up to £150,000 and 21 years for clubs applying for £150,000 and over.

Any grant over £100,000 (or less if there is a particular concern) will require a legal restriction or charge placed on the land title. Associated legal fees for setting-up would be included as part of the eligible cost.

The FSIF reserves the right to demand repayment if a grant aided facility is not in use for a minimum period of time. For any grants less than £150,000 this would be for 10 years. Above £150,000 the period would be 21 years on a sliding scale. For example, 100% would be taken back during the first 10 years but reducing to 50% by year 15 and just 10% by year 19. The minimum unexpired lease would need to correspond with the restriction/charge duration.

Financial information

All clubs are required to submit accounts for the previous three years and a copy of the club’s most recent bank statement.

A five year income and expenditure forecast should be provided with the application, if:

  • the application is for works to develop the club's hospitality facilities or for clubhouse improvement work which would either:
    • provide substantial changes to the operational practise when generating additional revenue
    • the development could have a material effect on liabilities such as utilities, business rates, staff costs, maintenance etc.
  • the application is to support the club moving to a new site
  • the grant request is over £100,000
  • some or all partnership funding is in the form of a loan, whereby the club will be required to demonstrate its ability to meet the repayment terms.


Please note the above is only applicable for funding requests over £20,000.

The income and expenditure forecast template can be downloaded from the 'Useful publications' section above.

Supporting documents

At the point of application all applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  • Governing documents
  • Past three years accounts
  • Copy of the club’s most recent bank statement
  • Evidence of partnership funding


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