Any organisation in the Essex County Council footprint can apply for this funding and the money can be used to start up new activities or increase the numbers attending existing activities, all with the aim of getting more people active. If you are a group or organisation in Southend and Thurrock, please submit a request using the form here.

Please note that grants over £3,000 will be an exception. Most of the grants will be for projects that can start quickly, requiring money for coaches, instructors, venue hire, equipment, and promotion. In light of the growing cost-of-living crisis, we’re offering this funding to clubs and groups who can help get residents to be active in these challenging times and welcome organisations to inform us of the support they need. We cannot fund major capital projects such as facilities, floodlighting, gyms, or multi-use games areas.

Funding is currently closed

We were overwhelmed with applications for our first window, the project is still paused as we continue to process current applications and understand if we are able to reopen with any remaining funds.

We would welcome the opportunity to explore other funding opportunities should you so wish. Complete the expression of interest form below, to let the team know what funding and/or support you currently need.

Let us know what you need here

In addition to the Find Your Active Small Grants fund, we’re also offering support for places and spaces. This is allowing us to offer an exciting funding opportunity to support organisations who want to improve facilities and assets to make spaces fit for purpose and encourage our priority audiences to access more physical activity opportunities.

Read more here.
Explore LMF funded initiatives so far

Find more information about the Small Grants Programme below.

Funding Priorities

We will prioritise applications that reach inactive people from the following communities to enable them to lead active lives:

  • Older residents
  • Children and young people
  • Residents living with a disability or long-term health conditions
  • Women and girls
  • Ethnically diverse communities
  • People from lower socio-economic groups
  • Residents who are experiencing difficulties due to the cost of living crisis.
Who and what we will fund?

We can fund any organisation that can offer appropriate physical activity and sport activities for people who want to become more active and who meet our minimum standard operations.

We can fund a wide range of costs including instructors, premises, equipment, marketing and promotion. Active Essex and The London Marathon Foundation encourage you to source materials with consideration for sustainability, for example avoiding single use materials where possible and working towards Carbon Neutral initiatives. Please make sure you provide all of this detail in your application.

Every organisation receiving an award will need to use the Find Your Active branding, collect simple information about the participants using the participant data form and complete an end of project partner survey on our online impact tool. We welcome at any time inspirational stories about people who are benefitting from the fund, and we may want to showcase these stories in our marketing and communications.

All funded activities will need to be started by May 2024.

After you’ve applied:

We will acknowledge receipt of your application and let you know the outcome as soon as possible. This will usually take up to two weeks. We will contact you should we need any further information about your application.

If you are successful, you’ll receive a simple award agreement clarifying the purpose of the award, the amount, and the conditions of the award. Once the agreement has been signed and processed, you will receive your funding within 30 days.


Please complete the short and simple online application. We welcome a short video to support your application but this is not essential.  We don’t require any supporting documents to be submitted with your application, however, we may ask for these at a later date ahead of approval. Delivery partners must comply to our Standard Operating Conditions.

To ensure we are working with safe, inclusive and reputable organisations and activities, Active Essex requires funding recipients to adhere to our Standard Operating Conditions outlined in this short video here.

Any organisations applying for delivery to u5s must be registered with the ECC Early Years Charter.

Please relate your application to our funding priorities, and let us know who your project will support and how many inactive people you plan to engage. Please tell us how much money you need and what it will be spent on. If you have any questions before you apply, please contact the relevant Active Essex Relationship Manager for your area.

We have produced an online paper copy and prompt sheet for you to access ahead of proceeding with your application, should you wish to plan this ahead of submission. This can be accessed here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do you mean by people who are physically inactive?

Anyone who is currently undertaking less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week.


Can I apply as an individual or a friendship group?

We can only give grants to constituted organisations with a bank account.


How much funding can I request?

We hope to receive applications that range between £500 and £3000. On the odd occasion and where a real need is demonstrated we can extend the funding allocated to a maximum of £5000.


When does my project need to start and what is the minimum length of time it needs to run for? 

Projects need to be able to kick off in the next 6 weeks (include the time needed to process the funding) and run for a minimum of 6 weeks in total. Projects should look to continue after the funding period ceases.


What costs are eligible for funding?

Supporting residents to lead active lives through the cost of living crisis is important to both Active Essex and The London Marathon Foundation. Therefore, we are willing to be very flexible and fund a broad range of costs associated with getting people active. We also understand that inflation is affecting the cost of delivering projects and items you need to buy and pay for may be more expensive now. 

In your application form please provide details on what additional support you may need to deliver your project, how it will help get people active and what it will cost.

Active Essex
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