SPORTS clubs and community groups in and around Chard and Ilminster are being urged to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to support new exercise and sporting initiatives in their area.

The £500,000 fund has been launched by National Grid Electricity Distribution to empower communities, improve health and widen participation in local sports and physical activity.

It offers a maximum grant of £10,000 to registered companies and charities, or £2,000 for unregistered organisations, giving grassroots organisations an opportunity to make a lasting impact in their communities.

The ‘Active Communities’ scheme is the latest phase of the Community Matters Fund run by National Grid’s distribution business which has awarded almost £5 million to good causes since 2021.

Applications are encouraged from sports clubs and other groups looking to run physical activities, including both recognised sports and non-traditional forms of exercise.

Projects could include anything from sitting exercise classes to walking clubs or new community basketball clubs.

The fund welcomes diversity and applications that meet community needs, particularly from organisations in economically disadvantaged areas or serving underrepresented and marginalised groups.

Graham Halladay, operations director at National Grid, said: "The ‘Active Communities’ fund represents our commitment to promoting wellbeing and physical health for people of all ages across our regions.

“We want to create a legacy of delivering positive and sustainable change by bringing people together through physical activity to improve individual and community wellbeing – and having fun along the way.

“We welcome applications from groups of all sizes who are using sport or exercise to unlock physical and social benefits.

“With this fund, we want to help groups foster new community connections and promote social good through increased physical activity.

“From chair aerobics and walking football to establishing a new girls’ rugby team, we’re looking forward to receiving their ideas and applications.”

Applications for the ‘Active Communities’ fund could include (but are not limited to) the following:

• Support for the setup of new active groups or new and extended activities within existing clubs and associations, aiming to bring diverse communities and groups together.

• Training programmes for volunteers to become coaches and mentors supporting people with mental or physical health conditions.

• Minor facility alterations to remove accessibility barriers for people with mobility impairments.

• Innovative approaches to increasing participation and engagement with physical activity and exercise in your community.

The closing date for applications is Friday, July 28.

For more information about the ‘Active Communities’ fund and to apply, please visit