Can I apply for funding from the Canoe Foundation for my project?

Are you looking to fund a project that will improve accessibility for paddlers, and/or protect waterways and oceans? Then you’re likely in the right place.

You might not have heard too much about the Canoe Foundation until you landed on this page looking for sources of funding, am I right? Especially if you’re new to paddling. But the Canoe Foundation has been around for a while now, helping fund projects to get more people on the water.

Previously, the sole focus of the Foundation was around funding accessibility points, making paddling more accessible for people with limited mobility. They also funded a few land purchases such as the purchase of British Canoeing land at Hoarwithy, so its members could enjoy access to the River Wye. But now the Foundation is heading in a new direction, on a clear mission to

“Improve places to paddle”

In 2021, the Canoe Foundation decided to take a different approach and was reborn with a new look and feel, as well as an emphasis on access and the environmental responsibilities of paddling. The Foundation now has very specific aims around helping to sustainably improve access on our waterways through launch points, steps, ramps and platforms to help people physically get on the waterways near to them. Highlighting the importance of access and protecting the natural environment of the waterways and oceans is key too.

Through infrastructure, we want to improve our enjoyment of the recreation we love, and protect the environment we care about too. With properly designed launch sites the banks, coasts, marshlands and other sensitive environments are protected, meaning minimal disturbance to wildlife while we enjoy our paddling.

So to help protect our environment and improve access for all, twice a year, applications open for funding for the following projects across the UK.

What projects can I apply for funding for?

  1. Public launch and landing platforms, steps, ramps or other physical access points
  2. Improvements to pathway and/or accessible routes to the water’s edge
  3. Signage or information that promotes positive behaviour (Countryside code, “Check, Clean, Dry”, take your litter home etc).
  4. Designated or additional parking for water users
  5. Works to address erosion and/or create more sustainable access points
  6. Helping protect the waterway environment
  7. Multi user projects that can benefit more than one user group
  8.  Public projects rather than private members-only facilities

Who are applications open to?

  1. Clubs, community groups, Parish Councils, Local Authorities or anyone in the UK with an active interest in improving access to water for recreational users and protecting the environment.
  2. Organisations or partnerships with local paddlesport groups who will continue to support the use of the improvements on an ongoing basis.

How much can I apply for?

The Canoe Foundation is awarding grants of between £500 to £10,000 to projects that fit the criteria below. Exceptional projects over £10,000 will be considered.

It’s really important to note the things we don’t fund too. This will save you time applying for funding which doesn’t fit with our criteria, as these applications will not be considered.

What CAN’T I apply for funding for?

  1. Coaching / leadership education and/or training
  2. Purchase and/or hire of paddlesport equipment such as kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and accessories
  3. Staff or coaching costs/fees for paddlesport activities
  4. Costs that benefit an individual
  5. Facilities such as a club house or storage for equipment
  6. Private access or launch points not open to the public / recreational paddlers
  7. Environmental clean up equipment (litter pickers, etc) – if you’re a club, why not nominate a Clear Access Clear Waters Club Champion who can receive funding to purchase this equipment from their fund?
  8.  Clearing of Non-Native Invasive Species

If you don’t fund my project, where else can I look for funding?

Looking to fund one of the projects we don’t fund? We’ve made a list of places you can apply for alternative funding or match funding here.

That all sounds great, where do I apply?

When you’re sure you fit with the criteria, click here and get your application started.

We rely on donations to improve places to paddle across the UK.  Please consider donating a one off or regular amount to our Foundation to help us continue with our work and ensure everyone has sustainable, effective access to our waterways and coastline. Thank you. Donate here >

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