The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust) has today announced new grants totalling £314,680 for facility improvements in London and Surrey that will provide local communities with improved access to physical activity and sport. Since its founding in 1981, The Trust has awarded more than £92million to projects that inspire activity, contributing to the health and wellbeing of the nation.

The Trust's latest grants support many physical activity facilities that have been central in helping communities address the challenges posed by Covid-19. This includes Livability, a national disability and community engagement charity, that has been awarded a grant of £100,000 towards the renovation of the sports hall at Kingsley Hall on the Becontree Estate in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Kingsley Hall has played a vital role in supporting vulnerable members of the local community throughout the pandemic with doorstep deliveries, prescription pick ups and telephone support services. The £100,000 grant will support the renovation of its sports hall, improving accessibility and enabling more people with physical disabilities and people of all ages to participate in a range of activities and sports.

Chris Kapnisis, Kingsley Hall Director, said: “This award will provide much-needed community celebration, inclusion and promotion of fitness to the public, and a schedule of recreational activities ready for when community sports are resumed. Through this redevelopment we will be able to support up to 150,000 people every year. The renovation of the sports hall will lift spirits and contribute towards stronger and healthier communities in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.”

The redevelopment works are due to start shortly in readiness for 2021, which is the centenary year of the Becontree Estate.

The past few months have also given many people a renewed appreciation of being able to be active outdoors. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has been awarded a grant of £20,000 towards installing an outdoor gym at St Paul’s Shadwell Church, providing opportunities for the whole community to participate in year-round physical activity free of charge.

Michael Traynor, Young Life and Community Manager at St Paul’s Shadwell, said: “Creating this new exercise area, thanks to the support of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, has enabled us to completely transform the area providing an incredible resource for hundreds of regular exercisers, as well as to run free fitness classes for our community.”

This new, free, outdoor facility is nearly complete, and will soon be available for use by the local community.

Elmbridge Canoe Club in Surrey (pictured above) has also received a £13,000 grant towards renovating its toilet and changing facilities, to provide modern facilities that will encourage more people to participate in the club’s outdoor water-based activities all-year round.

Scott Hynds, Talent Club Partnership Manager at Elmbridge Canoe Club, said: “Through The Trust’s generous grant we have been able to grow the club and offer a wider range of physical activities to meet the growing demand of our increasingly active local community.

“We have doubled the capacity for female participants, and (Covid-19 guidelines permitting) can now offer a more varied programme of activity, including: women-only personal training sessions, a greater volume of family taster days including Stand Up Paddles (SUPs), kayaks and toddler Canadian canoe sessions, dedicated school holiday SUP lessons, open water swimming and kids beginner courses.”

The full list of grants announced by The Trust:

Location Grantee Description Award
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Livability Towards the refurbishment of the sports hall at Kingsley Hall including the renewal of changing room facilities, installation of a Changing Places bathroom and improvements to disabled access into the hall. The transformation means the hall will be able to support more people with physical disabilities and will enable people of all ages to participate in sports and exercise classes and become physically active. £100,000.00
London Borough of Bromley London Borough of Bromley Towards delivering a Making Trax Scheme, the creation of Bromley Bike Track and a new community club; and the delivery of an activity programme that engages physically inactive people and under-represented groups. £75,000.00
Elmbridge, Surrey Silvermere Gymnastics Academy Towards the refurbishment and fit-out of the new premises for Silvermere Gymnastics Academy, enabling the organisation to double its’ teaching capacity and provide more opportunities for both children and adults, including those with Special Educations Needs and Disability, to take part in gymnastics. £30,000.00
London Borough of Tower Hamlets London Borough of Tower Hamlets Towards an outdoor gym based at St Paul’s, Shadwell Basin, providing opportunities for the whole community to participate in year-round physical activity free of charge. £20,000.00
Tandridge District Council, Surrey National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Towards the renovation of an existing woodland shelter and path improvements enabling the space to be wheelchair accessible. The project at St Piers School and College will enhance outdoor learning for children and young people with epilepsy that have complex support needs, enabling them to increase their physical activity using the woods in a supportive and accessible environment. £16,500.00
London Borough of Lambeth London Borough of Lambeth Towards the refurbishment of the Rush Common Woodland Walk on the St Matthews Estate in Brixton that will double the size of the play area, restore swings and install a natural play trail with low impact balance stations. The improvements will support children of all ages,  increasing opportunities for outdoor play and learning and will encourage local families to use the surrounding green spaces for walking and other physical exercise. £15,848.00
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham The Barking Muslims Association Towards the fit-out of a new sensory room at Barking Muslims Association creating a community facility which will provide opportunities to those with special educational needs and disabilities to participate in play and physical activity, as well as providing carers and family members with specialist support. £14,000.00
Elmbridge, Surrey Elmbridge Canoe Club Towards upgrading the toilet and changing rooms to provide modern and appropriate facilities with an increased capacity, meeting demand from the growing membership base and encouraging more people to participate in the Club’s outdoor water-based activities all-year round. £13,000.00
London Borough of Ealing London Borough of Ealing Towards the repair and refurbishment of the sports hall floor at Featherstone High School providing new sporting opportunities, including volleyball, basketball and short mat bowls, to the community. £10,000.00
London Borough of Brent Welsh Harp Sailing Club Towards two powerboat engines for safety boats at the Welsh Harp Sailing Club at Brent Reservoir to improve reliability, safety and ease of training and enable wider local community to discover water-based activities. £8,000.00
London Borough of Harrow Roxeth Community Church Towards new acoustic panels for Roxeth Community Church hall that will improve the sound quality and enjoyment of indoor chair Pilates Gold classes for older, less mobile people with hearing difficulties enabling them to be and remain physically active. £7,332.00
London Borough of Greenwich Metrogas Amateur Sports Association Ltd Towards addressing drainage issues to improve the condition and availability of the pitches, enabling more people to use them for outdoors physical activity and for Metrogas Amateur Sports Association to seek a community partner to develop a girl’s football programme, enhancing the activities available at the site.

£5,000.00

The applications for these awarded Facilities Grants were received before April 2020. Since then, the continued uncertainty created by Covid-19 has meant The Trust has made the difficult decision to not accept any new applications to its grants programmes. The Trustees are taking the opportunity to review the existing grants programmes, and for further details please visit lmct.org.uk which will be updated regularly with any new information.