The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust) has today announced new grants totalling £603,800 to improve facilities that will enable thousands of people in London and Surrey to participate in physical activity.

The Trust, which has now awarded more than £89 million since its founding in 1981, is committed to helping inspire activity across the UK.

Many of the facilities awarded funding in this latest round of grants provide opportunities to participate in outdoor activities, which are of heightened relevance given the impact the current Covid-19 pandemic is having on physical activity provision.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The Trust, said: “The Trust has a vision of a society in which everyone is physically active which contributes to their health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic is a great threat to this vision but during these difficult and troubling times for us all, physical activity has never been so important. Not just for our physical health, but for our mental health, too.

“We are proud of the work we do to provide funds to encourage activity and this latest round of grants will enable more communities to enjoy physical activity.”

Twelve organisations have been awarded grants through The Trust’s Facilities Grants Programme, including:

  • £150,000 to Folio Education Trust towards two floodlit outdoor netball courts in an accessible sports and community facility at the new Coombe Wood School in South Croydon, which will provide opportunities for women and girls of all ages and abilities to play netball.
  • £100,000 to Addlestone Canoe Club towards a new building and headquarters for the club in Surrey which will include modern and accessible changing facilities, enabling existing programmes to be extended so more people, including under-represented groups, can participate in paddling and canoeing opportunities all year round.
  • £20,000 to Wheels for Wellbeing to purchase adapted cycles and the additional equipment needed to hold inclusive cycling sessions in the London Borough of Croydon for people of all ages and abilities.
  • £18,500 to Socco Cheta Community Hub towards renovating the main hall at this new community hub in the London Borough of Croydon, which will provide a new affordable and inclusive sports and exercise facility with a wide range of activities for the local community.

For the full list of grants, see the table below.

Jonathan Wilden, CEO at Folio Education Trust, said: "We are thrilled that The London Marathon Charitable Trust has chosen to support our new school build, Coombe Wood School. The funding of two new netball courts will not only provide outstanding facilities for our students but working with Roundwood Netball Club we will be able to raise participation of netball in the local community for all ages and abilities.”

Carol Reeves, Chairperson at Addlestone Canoe Club, said: "Addlestone Canoe Club is delighted The London Marathon Charitable Trust has been able to support our project, enabling us to engage more participants in Paddlesport activities, with an emphasis of a fun, healthy, active lifestyle for all. This grant will secure the future of the club and its community outreach for many years to come."

Isabelle Clement, Director at Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “Wheels for Wellbeing is extremely grateful to have been awarded a grant which will enable us to welcome more participants, in particular people who cannot transfer out of their wheelchairs or who need the support of someone else in order to feel the wind in their hair. Ultimately, this grant means that more disabled people in South London will be able experience the joy of cycling.”

Laura Whittall, Project Lead for Socco Cheta Community Hub, said: “We are very thankful to The London Marathon Charitable Trust for awarding us this funding. This is a vital project in our community that will enable local people to access an inclusive and diverse range of sports and physical activities to support their health and wellbeing.”

The full list of Facilities Grants announced by The Trust:

Location Grantee Description Award
London Boroughs Croydon Folio Education Trust Towards two newly built floodlit outdoor netball courts which will be part of the new Coombe Wood School in South Croydon opening in 2020. The new courts are part of an accessible sports and community facility that will support an increase in female pupils participating in netball, and the school will work with local clubs to support community activity programmes encouraging more women and girls to become and remain physically active through playing netball. £150,000.00
London Boroughs Newham Mary Ward Settlement Towards a dedicated teaching room for fitness activities and a flexible dance/performance space at Queensway House in Stratford (the new home of the Mary Ward Settlement from 2021). The large, fully accessible spaces will enable an increase in the number and range of classes to encourage people from the local community, particularly those from under-represented groups including women and girls, BAME groups, disabled people, the over 60s and people with long term health conditions, to take part in dance and movement classes and become physically active. £147,000.00
Surrey Runnymede Borough Council Addlestone Canoe Club Towards a new building and headquarters for Addlestone Canoe Club that will provide modern, accessible facilities for use by the local community, with The Trust funding new separate changing facilities, accessible toilets and the kitchen refurbishment. The new facilities will enable the club to: improve their indoor space, provide canoeing and paddling opportunities all year round, and build on existing programmes to encourage more people from under-represented groups, including women and girls and disabled people, to participate and become physically active. £100,000.00
Surrey Elmbridge Elmbridge Active Towards facility improvements at Cobham Centre, Lower Green Centre, Molesey Centre and Walton Centre to encourage older people, people with a learning disability and carers to participate in outdoor activities to improve their health, wellbeing, independence and social connectedness. £50,000.00
Surrey Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Girls' Learning Trust (formerly Nonsuch & Wallington Education Trust) T/A Nonsuch High School for Girls Towards the refurbishment of the sand dressed all weather hockey pitch at Nonsuch High School (part of the Girls’ Learning Trust). The project will provide an up-to-date surface to develop and expand its community use; additional renewal of the facilities will also see a new team shelter erected, new hockey and football goals added and installation of a new security fence to help contain ball play. £50,000.00
London Boroughs Croydon Wheels for Wellbeing Towards adapted cycles and additional equipment required for Wheels for Wellbeing to provide inclusive cycling sessions for people of all ages and abilities.

£20,000.00

London Boroughs Croydon Socco Cheta Community Hub Towards renovating the main hall at the Socco Cheta Community Hub including installing new flooring and doors, improving accessibility and purchasing fixed equipment such as basketball hoops and exercise chairs, to provide a new affordable and inclusive sports and exercise facility with a wide range of activities for the local community.  £18,500.00
London Boroughs Tower Hamlets Poplar HARCA Towards installing new play equipment to develop the Burdett Play Garden including a nest swing, climbing equipment and a loop for riding bikes round, creating new safe play opportunities for children aged 3 – 13 years, living in or going to school near the Burdett Estate in Mile End. 

£18,000.00

London Boroughs Redbridge ELHAP Adventure Playground Towards refurbishing the indoor soft play facility at ELHAP Adventure Playground, to enable children and young people with disabilities to have all-year round access to play opportunities in a stimulating and safe environment. £15,300.00
London Boroughs Bromley Petts Wood Football Club Towards dressing, levelling and reseeding the grass pitches at Petts Wood Football Club bringing numerous pitches back into use and providing opportunities for people of all ages to participate in physical activity. £15,000.00
London Boroughs Islington Islington Boat Club Towards renewing the fleet at Islington Boat Club by purchasing new kayaks/canoes, allowing the Club to continue their work in reducing barriers to participating in water-based activities, particularly amongst target groups including isolated people over 50 and children and young people with learning disabilities. £15,000.00
London Boroughs Southwark Coin Street Centre Trust Towards refurbishing the community studio at the Colombo Street Sports and Community Centre, to enable a wide range of activities, including free youth gym sessions, to be held in a modern space with a greater capacity. £5,000.00

This round of funding was awarded in early March 2020. Since then, the significant uncertainty brought about by the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic has meant The Trust has made the difficult decision to not accept any new applications to the Facilities Grants Programme for the time being. This is a temporary measure and it is hoped the Programme will be re-open again to new applications soon. For further details visit lmct.org.uk which will be updated regularly with any new information.