WNST is delighted to announce our first full round of community sports grant awards in LB Brent since before the pandemic. Indeed, it is the largest single distribution of funds the Trust has ever made. In all, we awarded 37 grants worth a total of £467,290.
Our new Anchor Programme
The highlight of the round was the establishment of our new Anchor Programme. This ground-breaking distribution is central to our ambition to help build the core strength of the sports sector in Brent and to invest longer term in some of the key deliverers across the borough. This programme will be providing two years unrestricted funding to seven organisations, in return for which we will be looking to work more closely with the groups, to understand better how the shape of the sector is developing and what the most pressing needs are. Whilst not wishing in any way to dictate how these funds are spent, our expectation is that groups will use the grants to help develop a more sustainable future for themselves and improve their all-round service delivery.
In total, we received 62 applications for funding in this round of which 37 were approved, a success rate of 59.7%. The total value of the requests was £732,449 with the total sum distributed being £467,290 (a very similar ‘success rate’ at 63.8%).
The breakdown of the grants awarded by programme is as follows:
Every grants round we run is oversubscribed. On this occasion, the total amount requested by groups was more than 50% above what we had available for distribution. Whilst, on one hand, this shows a real ambition to deliver sports activities locally, it also shows the level of financial need within the sector – many organisations highlighted the inability of local people to meet the full cost of the activities they wanted to attend.
All applications receive very careful consideration and the Trustees had some very difficult decisions to make. The most common rejection reasons were:
- Applications from schools, which were ineligible for consideration – something made clear in the criteria
- Organisations being unclear about the Brent benefit of their proposed project
- General applications for large capital projects
- Organisations having more than sufficient funds held in reserves
- Organisations not being constituted as not-for-profit and therefore ineligible for consideration
- Requests consistently being received for the same purpose, suggesting some level of reliance on our funding
WNST CEO, Stewart Goshawk told us, “We are so pleased to have been able to support such a large number of organisations in this grants round. The income generated by Wembley Stadium over the past year gave the WNST trustees the opportunity distribute the largest single round of funding in our history. I’m also really excited to launch the Anchor Programme, as a new way of supporting the development of some of the key local sports groups, without them having to keep coming back to us for funding. Offering unrestricted funding is a sign of our confidence in these organisations’ capacity to deliver. We also understand of course, that some organisations will be disappointed not to have received the funding they were hoping for. We know how difficult fundraising is, especially in the current climate and trust that all organisations are able to secure the funds they seek.“