District Council Community Planning 23:24

Sport NI is delighted to be a statutory partner in Community Planning, across all 11 District Councils. At the heart of Sport NI’s corporate plan ‘The Power of Sport’, is increasing and sustaining participation in sport and physical activity through connected communities. Rates of participation in sport and physical activity vary with those most inactive coming from our most deprived communities and also many of our minority communities.

As part of Sport NI’s substantial investment in Sport, over the last two years, we have invested approximately £650,000 to support post-pandemic delivery of community sport and physical activityprojects throughout Northern Ireland. This ‘small grants’ investment has provided important financial support to hundreds of community groups and sports clubs over that time, enabling them to ‘Build Back Better’. We anticipate further investment in community sport and physical activity moving forward.

We recognise both the individual need of each district council and the opportunity to maximise impact by working towards addressing shared problems. Sport NI proposes investing funding in Sport and Physical Activity projects in district councils to support the delivery of shared community plans.

Sport NI now invites expressions of interest from district councils if this approach would work within your Community Planning partnership.

The core features of this investment are to:

  • Support the delivery of your Community Plan.
  • Support the delivery of Sport and Physical Activity within each district council area. (Projects MUST be delivered by 31st March 2024).
  • Share knowledge to help us understand more about who is physically active or taking part in sport in Northern Ireland and where this activity takes place.
  • Target (evidence based) support to cohorts of the population who we know, are generally those most inactive in Northern Ireland, including;

- Women & girls;

- People with disabilities;


- Children & young people (especially those aged between 11-18 years);

- Older people aged over 65;

- Ethnically diverse communities;

- People living in areas of greatest need (quartile1 – based on NISRA NI Multiple Deprivation Measures) and

- People living in rural areas (based on NISRA NI urban/rural classification).

As part of the Exchequer allocation made available to Sport NI from the Department of Communities, Sport NI has allocated initial funding of £120,000 in 2023/24 to Community Planning Partnerships. This sum will be subject to review with potential for uplift during the financial year. Your return will help us to maximise available funding where possible throughout the year ahead.

Sport NI is seeking to invest between £30,000 and £50,000 to a maximum of four district councils in the next few months.  The intention is that as more funds become available during the year, further awards would be made.  Sport NI will be seeking to make awards across all district councils, but this will be dependent on state of readiness of the projects, the level of partnership funding and the potential impact on the community through sport and physical activity.

Should your Council wish to proceed with involvement in this programme, I would be grateful if you could complete and return the following forms (attached) to sportdevelopment@sportni.net