GLL launches £260,000 fund to get Welwyn Hatfield active

PUBLISHED: 11:42 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:55 20 March 2019

Badminton players using the courts at Gosling sports hall. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Badminton players using the courts at Gosling sports hall. Picture: Mia Jankowicz


The leisure provider behind Gosling Sports Park, Hatfield Leisure Centre and several others has teamed up with the council and former provider Finesse to launch a £260,000 fund for projects to get Welwyn Hatfield active.

Primary school children taking part in fencing at Gosling Sports Park. Picture: Danny LooPrimary school children taking part in fencing at Gosling Sports Park. Picture: Danny Loo

The goal of the Welwyn Hatfield Community Fund is to fund projects that encourage participation in sport, leisure and recreational activities.

Through the fund, organisers want to help improve mental and physical health, and promote local illness-prevention initiatives.

Charities, not-for-profits, educational organisations and community groups can apply on a rolling basis for grants between £250 and £50,000.

To apply, you’ll have to be a formally set-up organisation wanting to start a new activity.

The sorts of projects suggested in detailed application guidance from GLL are pilot projects, equipment or team kit costs for new groups, or refurbishments of existing facilities.

But the fund won’t support a number of types of project, such as covering general organisational running costs, things that are eligible to be funded elsewhere, projects that only benefit one person or existing activities.

The cash comes from a legacy fund left over from the merger between Finesse Leisure and GLL, and will be topped up every year with £45,000 from GLL.

Robin Loader, former Finesse Leisure chair, said: “This community fund was a key element of the merger of Finesse with GLL and I am delighted it is now launched.

“It will give real help to support and encourage sport and leisure activities for the future in Welwyn Hatfield.”

Councillor Terry Mitchinson, executive member for leisure, culture and communications, said: “This fund will be a great help in supporting inactive people of all ages to become more active, with all the health and other benefits this brings.”

The grant board will be made up of GLL executives Matt Perren, Steve Heard, and Emily Nicholls; Welwyn Hatfield Council executive director for resources, environment and cultural services Ka Ng; ex-Finesse board member Chris Andrews; John O’Callaghan from Herts Sports Partnership, and sports teacher Cherie Wiper.

Matt Perren from GLL said: “GLL exists to improve lives across the areas in which it operates, with the aim of getting more people more active, more often.

“We are proud to be able to administer this fund to deliver a lasting legacy to improve participation in local sport and leisure. We hope many will take up this opportunity and apply for funding.”

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