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Our Grants Programme

The Racing Foundation offers three funding rounds a year and accepts applications organisations whose charitable projects directly benefit the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry.

Three types of grants are offered:

Small Grants – of up to £20,000

Open Grants – from £20,000 upwards

Equine Science Research Grants

All applications are to be submitted via an online system and further information on what we do and don’t fund; what will be involved in the application process and what the deadline dates are, can be found below.

Areas of Interest

Through our Open Grants Programme (including small grants of less than £20,000), we consider applications from organisations whose charitable activities are associated with the UK Thoroughbred horseracing and breeding industries for projects and activities that fit within the criteria of our current strategy*. We can only do so where outcomes are deemed to be charitable by nature. 

Our current strategy focuses on 4 key areas:

  1. People (including social welfare and training & education)

  2. Equine Welfare

  3. Community Engagement 

  4. Environment and Emerging Issues  

We prefer to support projects that:

  •  will involve, or lead to, collaboration with other industry stakeholders

  • are aligned with industry strategies (where appropriate)

  • will help build understanding

  • have the potential to achieve a substantial impact.

*You can read more about what areas we are looking to fund in the Racing Foundation 2021-2023 strategy.

We will support work on the people agenda that directly supports the stated aims of the industry's strategy and in the following areas:

Social Welfare

  • The improvement in the health or the rehabilitation from injury of current or former members of the horseracing industry.
  • The prevention or relief of poverty among current or former members of the horseracing industry and their dependents.
  • Community development work in areas particularly connected with the horseracing industry (provided it is clear how such grant will benefit current or former members of the horseracing industry).

Education, Training & Participation

  • The promotion of education and training connected with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry.

We will support work on the equine agenda that directly supports the stated aims of the industry's strategy and in the following areas:

Thoroughbred Horse Welfare

  • The improvement of the welfare of current or former Thoroughbred racehorses.

Equine Science Research (Thoroughbred horses)

  • Veterinary research into the Thoroughbred horse that will benefit both the breed and the sport.

We will support community engagement projects that align with the creation of an overarching industry strategy.  

We will support projects focusing on environmental awareness and sustainability to increase understanding and cultivate an industry response. 

We will consider funding activities and projects that respond to emerging issues being faced by the racing and breeding industries. 

We will support work on the development and strengthening of those charities and organisations working to deliver charitable activities across the industry:

  • Research to better understand risks and issues faced by the industry.
  • Work to develop organisations' capacity and capability to better support the industry.
  • Work to develop and strengthen organisational governance.

What We Will Fund

We accept applications for:

Project costs, research costs and capital projects:

This may include funding for overheads and staff salaries (applications for staffing costs primarily associated with fundraising will only be accepted for a limited grant period and on condition that applicants can demonstrate how the proposed role fits within their wider fundraising strategy).

Core Costs:

We will accept applications for core costs if they will have a positive long-term impact on the organisation or industry.

Items of Equipment:

We will accept applications for items of equipment under our Small Grants Programme (less than £20,000) where welfare-related need and impact can be demonstrated, although we will not fund basic stable management equipment.

Multi-year funding:

We will fund multi-year grants, usually up to a maximum of three years (although longer periods may be considered in exceptional circumstances ie the nature of the project, its likely impact and its longer-term funding options).

Innovative or risky projects:

We will fund innovative or risky projects if it can be shown that the work has the potential to achieve a substantial impact.

Joint applications:

We encourage applications for joint projects that involve organisations working in collaboration and for projects where efforts are being made to secure match-funding.

Loan funding:

We accept applications for loan financing of capital projects whereby the Racing Foundation can maintain the real value of its endowment and make a return on its investment.

Other Considerations

We accept applications from charities – ie an institution established for exclusively charitable purposes. As well as charities registered with the Charity Commission, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, this may include unregistered charities with an annual income of less than £5,000 or charities regulated by another body including universities and higher education corporations, registered Industrial and Provident Societies and registered Friendly Societies. 

We also accept applications from non-charitable organisations as long as proposed projects have a defined charitable purpose associated with the Thoroughbred horseracing and breeding industries.

We expect to make the majority of our grants to organisations with objects that are directly associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industries. However, we may fund organisations that do not work exclusively within the industry when the work is of exceptional quality and can be shown to directly impact industry participants.

When assessing applications, we will consider the ability of an applicant to self-fund (including a consideration of its reserves position) or to fund from alternative sources.

Guidance notes are available in a printable pdf format here>. These include an overview of what the Racing Foundation’s Trustees will focus on when allocating grant awards.

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