Playground Equipment Finance Options for Schools NI

Here are several funding schemes available for schools, communities, and individuals:

1. Big Lottery Awards for All

this grant scheme offers different funding options in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Eligible applicants include schools, town/parish councils, health bodies, and non-profit groups. Grants are available for up to £10,000.

2. ASDA Foundation

this grant is open to schools, charities, and community groups in local areas. The grant ranges from £5,000 to £10,000.

3. Children in Need

the grant has three deadlines throughout the year, with eligibility open to non-profit groups and registered charities that work with disadvantaged children and people under 18 years old. There are two types of grants available, namely small grants up to £10,000 and main grants over £10,000.

4. Aviva

the Aviva Community Fund supports local communities by offering funding for inspirational causes. The average grant awarded is around £25,000, and the fund is open to community groups and non-profit organizations.

5. Comic Relief Local Communities

managed by UK Community Foundations, this grant is open to organizations and individuals that want to invest in their local communities where it is most needed. The average grant awarded is approximately £3,200.

6. Tesco Bags of Help

This is Tesco’s community grant scheme, and the money raised from the sale of carrier bags is used to fund local projects across the UK. Eligible applicants include voluntary or community organizations, schools, health bodies, parish/town councils, local authorities, and social housing providers. Grants range from £1,000 to £4,000.

7. Ernest Cook Trust

this grant aims to help children learn about their environment and the countryside. Eligible applicants are non-profit groups, schools, and registered charities. There are two types of grants available, namely small grants up to £4,000 and larger grants over £4,000.

8. Heritage Lottery Fund

this fund invests in projects that will have a lasting impact on people, heritage, and communities. Eligible applicants include those who help people learn about, look after, and celebrate heritage in a fun and enjoyable way. Various grants are available, ranging from £3,000 to £5m.

9. Big Society Capital

this funding scheme connects social investment to charities and social enterprises, improving the lives of people in the UK. Eligible applicants are charities and social enterprises that can repay an investment through generated income. Various grants are available.

10. WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental)

WREN offers tax credits to help benefit people living close to landfill sites. Eligible applicants are community groups, heritage groups, and conservation groups. Grants range from £2,000 to £100,000.

11. Biffa Award

the Biffa Award gives grants to community projects near landfill sites, building communities and transforming lives. Eligible applicants include community groups and environmental projects. There are two types of grants available, namely small grants up to £5,000 and larger grants up to £50,000.

12. Santander Foundation

this grant plays a crucial role in Santander UK’s flagship community programme, the Discovery Project. Eligible applicants are UK registered charities, community interest companies, and credit unions that fund small, local projects helping disadvantaged people. The grant offered is Discovery Grants of up to £5,000.

Additionally, there are funding schemes available for individuals, such as the Family Fund, which supports families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people by providing grants for a wide range of items such as washing machines.

Other Funding Options for Schools in Northern Ireland

When it comes to acquiring new playground equipment for schools in Northern Ireland, funding can be a major challenge. While there are many benefits to having updated playground equipment, from encouraging physical activity to fostering social skills, the costs associated with purchasing and installing this equipment can be prohibitive for many schools. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different sources of funding that schools in Northern Ireland can turn to when seeking to acquire new playground equipment.

Government Grants

One of the most obvious sources of funding for schools looking to purchase new playground equipment is government grants. The Department of Education in Northern Ireland offers a range of grants that can be used to support schools in a variety of ways, including funding for playground equipment. These grants are often awarded on a competitive basis, and schools will need to submit detailed applications outlining their plans for the new equipment, as well as demonstrating a need for it. It’s important to note that government grants may not cover the full cost of the equipment, so schools may need to look to other sources of funding to make up the difference.

Community Fundraising

Another option for schools looking to acquire new playground equipment is to engage in community fundraising. This can take many different forms, from sponsored walks or runs to bake sales or raffles. The key is to get the local community involved in supporting the school’s efforts to provide a safe and engaging playground environment for its students. Many local businesses and organizations may also be willing to contribute to these efforts, either through monetary donations or by providing materials or services at a reduced cost.

Corporate Sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship is another potential source of funding for schools seeking to purchase new playground equipment. Many businesses and organizations are interested in supporting local schools and may be willing to contribute financially in exchange for naming rights or other forms of recognition. Schools may need to put together a detailed sponsorship proposal outlining the benefits of partnering with the school, as well as what the sponsor will receive in exchange for their contribution.


Another option for schools looking to acquire new playground equipment is crowdfunding. This involves creating a fundraising campaign on a platform like GoFundMe or Kickstarter and soliciting donations from individuals and organizations online. Crowdfunding can be a highly effective way to raise funds quickly and easily, as it allows schools to tap into a global network of potential supporters. However, it’s important to note that successful crowdfunding campaigns require a significant amount of planning and promotion, and may not be a viable option for all schools.

Charitable Trusts and Foundations

Finally, schools in Northern Ireland can turn to charitable trusts and foundations for funding support. These organizations exist to support a variety of causes, including education, and may be willing to contribute financially to support schools in their efforts to acquire new playground equipment. To be successful in securing funding from a charitable trust or foundation, schools will need to research potential grant opportunities and submit detailed applications outlining their plans for the new equipment, as well as demonstrating a need for it.


In conclusion, acquiring new playground equipment can be a challenge for schools in Northern Ireland. However, by exploring the various sources of funding available, schools can increase their chances of securing the financial support they need to create a safe and engaging playground environment for their students. From government grants to community fundraising, corporate sponsorship, crowdfunding, and charitable trusts and foundations, there are many different options for schools to consider. By working with their local communities and tapping into these various funding sources, schools can ensure that their students have access to the high-quality playground equipment they need to thrive both physically and socially.