Oct. 5, 2023

Our Expert Guide on How to Get Playground Funding for Schools UK

With budget cuts and limited funding, we know it can be challenging for schools to afford playground equipment. But our guide to playground funding for schools helps to break down the process and provides you with useful tips and information on how to secure financial support.

From working on many school playground projects across the UK over the last 20 years, we've seen and heard of many schools struggling to find the finance and resources needed to provide safe, engaging outdoor play areas for their students.

Luckily, there are organisations, charities and government initiatives that offer grants and funding programmes specifically for the development of school playgrounds to help improve and enhance children's play experiences.

In this guide, you'll find lots of useful information on the funding options available, what factors you should consider before applying for funding and how to do it.

Read Our Guide to 2023 Playground Equipment Grants & Funding

 Playground Funding

School Playground Funding Available in the UK

There are lots of school funding programmes available across the UK that vary depending on the budget available, geographical location and specific criteria. However, they all share the same goal of supporting schools in providing beneficial and high-quality outdoor play areas for their students.

These opportunities are available for schools in:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

We'll break down some of the most popular options to help you understand what's available to you.

Funding Provider Who They Are & What They Do How Much Can Be Applied For Where in the UK is the Funding Available
Big Lottery Awards For All Part of the Big Lottery Fund grant scheme available for local communities Up to £10,000 England


Wales (grants up to £5,000)

Northern Ireland

Asda Foundation Supports schools, charities & community groups in local areas From £5,000 - £10,000 England



Northern Ireland

Tesco Bags Of Help/Stronger Starts Local community grant scheme funding thousands of local projects across the UK Between £1,000 and £4,000 England



Northern Ireland

Ernest Cook Trust A UK educational charity aiming to help children learn about their environment Small grants up to £4,000

Larger grants over £4,000




Northern Ireland


Types of Playground Funding for Schools

When it comes to funding for playground equipment and development, there are typically three main types of funding options available:

  1. Government Grants – funded by government or government agencies and can be accessed through various programmes specific to schools, such as the Big Lottery Awards For All.
  2. Charitable Grants – provided by charities or non-profit organisations and often have specific requirements or criteria your school must meet to be eligible for funding. Some examples of charitable grants include the Asda Foundation and Tesco Bags Of Help.
  3. Fundraising and Community Support – this can include a range of activities, from hosting bake sales and fun runs to organising charity events and seeking donations from local businesses. This type of funding relies on the support and generosity of your school's community.

The amount of funding you can receive from these programmes can vary depending on the specific criteria and budget limitations, so it's important to delve into each option more thoroughly and see which is the best fit for your school.

 Types of Playground Funding

What Do You Need to Do Before Applying for School Playground Funding?

Before you get started on filling out your playground funding application, you'll need to consider a few factors and put things in place.

Some of these are necessities for the application process, while others will help improve your chances of securing funding.

Step 1: Get Together a Project Team

You'll need to put together a dedicated team or group who will work on the playground process. For schools, this is likely to be school governors, council, staff and local community members.

The people in your project team will be responsible for helping to plan and oversee the funding application and the playground project itself. They'll need to set out their ideas and purpose for the playground to communicate this effectively in their application.

Answer questions like:

  • What is the need for a playground at the school?
  • Who will use the playground?
  • What are the benefits of installing playground equipment?
  • Are there any land restrictions or safety considerations?
  • Do we need permission from any other authority to install playground equipment?

The more thoroughly thought out and detailed your answers are, the better.

 Types of Playground Projects

Step 2: Make a List of Project Funding Opportunities

Now that you have your team together, it's time to research and compile a list of playground funding opportunities available in your area.

You can use our table above as a starting point, but there may be more specific and localised options which could increase your chances of securing funding.

Don't apply for these schemes yet; just make a comprehensive list to refer to later on.

Step 3: Create a Detailed Plan and Budget

One of the most important elements when applying for playground funding is having a detailed plan and budget in place. The funding providers will want to know how much money you need and how it will be spent.

At this point, it'll be beneficial to work with a playground provider to identify how much a playground is likely to cost. We offer site surveys and project quotes to schools to help them get an accurate idea of the costs involved. Your project team can then use this information to create a detailed and realistic budget.

Ask Us About a Site Survey for Your School Playground

Your plan will also need to include the answers to some of the questions we asked earlier, such as safety considerations and land restrictions.

 Types of Playground Funding Plan

Applying for Your School Playground Funding

Once you have a solid team, a detailed plan and an accurate budget, it's time to apply for your playground funding.

Refer back to the list of funding opportunities you compiled earlier and decide which ones to apply for. Some tips to keep in mind when filling out your application include:

  • Read the application instructions carefully – Make sure you understand the requirements and criteria before filling out the application. This will help you tailor your answers to meet the specific needs of each funding provider.
  • Be clear, concise and detailed – Provide as much information as possible in your answers to showcase why your school is deserving of the funding. Use data and statistics, if available, to support your claims.
  • Highlight the benefits – Emphasise the positive impact that the playground will have on your students and their learning experiences. This can include physical, mental, and social benefits.
  • Submit all required documents – Double-check to ensure you've included all necessary documents, such as detailed plans and budgets, in your application.
  • Be persistent –Don't give up if your first application is unsuccessful. Keep exploring other funding options and consider revising your application to strengthen it for future submissions.

 Types of Apply Playground Funding Plan

Getting Started on Your School Playground Project With Huck Play

When your funding has been approved, it's time to get started on your playground project! At this point, you'll need to work with a playground provider who can design, manufacture and install your equipment.

The quote you received earlier in your planning process will come in handy now, as it can serve as a starting point for designing and choosing the right equipment for your playground.

At Huck Play, we have over 20 years of experience working with schools to create safe, engaging and inclusive playgrounds – all within budget. As the UK's leading rope-based playground equipment supplier, we offer a range of innovative and durable playground equipment for schools of all sizes, from Early Years to Secondary.

Our team of experts can provide design consultations, site surveys and full project services to ensure your playground project is a success from start to finish.

Check Out Your School Playground Equipment Options

Get in Touch Today!

Whether you're after a site survey and installation quote, or you want to get started on your playground project, our friendly team at Huck Play is here to help.

We understand the importance of outdoor play in schools and are committed to helping you find the best funding options and equipment for your school playground.

Don't hesitate to contact us today and see how we can assist you with creating a safe and fun outdoor play area for your students.

Get Started On Your School Playground Project



What Funding is Available for School Playgrounds?

Depending on your location and the size of the project, there are government grants and charitable grants available for school playgrounds in the UK. Some popular options include Big Lottery Awards For All, Asda Foundation, Tesco Bags Of Help, and Ernest Cook Trust.

How Do You Apply for School Playground Funding?

The exact application process for playground funding may vary depending on the specific programme or organisation you are applying to. However, it generally requires you to fill out the application either on the organisation's website or through a physical form, ensuring you enclose all necessary documents and answer any questions clearly and accurately. You'll need to have a detailed plan and budget in place before applying.

How Much Funding Can I Get for a School Playground?

The amount of funding you can receive for your school playground project depends on the specific criteria and budget limitations of the programme or organisation you are applying to. For example, Big Lottery Awards For All offers grants up to £10,000, while the Asda Foundation offers between £5,000-£10,000.