Skip to content

Active Thames Fund

2023 - 2024

Active Thames is a partnership programme supporting physical activity on the tidal Thames and inland waterways in London, Kent and Essex.

Active Essex, Active Kent & Medway, London Sport, British Canoeing, British Rowing, RYA, Canal & River Trust, Thames Path National Trail and PLA are working in partnership to support growth, diversity and inclusion. You can find a copy of their partnership agreement and shared objectives  at the bottom of this page. 

Find out more about Active Thames.

The application period has now closed.

Grant Recipient: Phoenix Canoe Club
Grant Recipient Phoenix Canoe Club
Laburnum Boat Club
Grant Recipient Laburnum Boat Club

About the Fund

The Active Thames Fund supports growth in watersports and use of the Thames Path National Trail. It enhances access, diversity and inclusion and raises awareness of the benefits of blue space and physical activity.

With over 15,000 football pitches worth of blue space, the tidal Thames is a fantastic place to get active. There is also an extensive network of inland waterways, which provide even more space for people to enjoy, and perfect locations to gain the skills and confidence needed to take on the tidal river. This is why the fund is also open to inland waterways in London, Kent and Essex.

The application period closed on 5 November. As with grants provided  over the past two years, this fund links to the recommendations of the Active Thames participation and workforce survey conducted in 2021, which is available here.

Applications should deliver on at least one of the following objectives:

  • Improve diversity of participation, particularly among under-represented groups including:
    • People with disabilities;
    • People with long term health conditions;
    • People from lower socio-economic groups;
    • Ethnically diverse communities.
  • Develop the workforce (coaches, volunteers and administrative support);

We are particularly keen to welcome applications that will:

We welcome grant applications seeking funding up to £5000, or higher if working in partnership or if the organisation applying has a strong background in delivering projects successfully.

Previous beneficiaries of Active Thames grants are welcome to apply again.

Eligibility and Monitoring

You will need to complete our online form providing detailed information about how you intend to use the funding and who the intended beneficiaries are. Please note the following:

  1. Beneficiaries and activities provided should be based on or alongside waterways in Greater London, Kent or Essex. This includes docks, basins, reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers that feed participation into the tidal Thames and its Estuary.
  2. The grant is available for any formally constituted, not-for-profit or statutory organisation providing physical activity opportunities on or beside the water.
  3.  The bulk of the project should be delivered by Autumn 2024.
  4. One of the objectives of Active Thames is to raise awareness of how people can use waterways for physical activity. Successful applicants are required to work with the sports manager to help promote walking and watersports. They are also required to evidence how the grant has been spent and notify the Sports Manager of any issues. A full report will be required when the project has concluded. Here’s an example of a monitoring and evaluation form, which last year’s recipients completed.
  5. Applications will be scored against the following criteria:
    • meeting the needs identified by the Active Thames research;
    • having a clear delivery outline and timeframe in place;
    • sustainability- how the investment will be maximised and have continued impact in the long term.
  6. All activities which are open to the public must also be digitally accessible and compliant with Open Active standards. More information about Open Active is available here. If you are not familiar with Open Active, please contact Sports Manager Jenny Cooper-Low to find out more at [email protected].
  7. You must have safeguarding and equal opportunities policies in place. If you do not have them, Club Matters has suitable templates which you can use. An Active Thames partner may visit your activity and ask for proof of your safeguarding policy and/or equal opportunities policy at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What area does Active Thames focus on?

Waterways in Greater London, Kent and Essex. This includes docks, basins, reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers that feed participation into the tidal Thames and its Estuary. 

  1. What won’t this fund? 

We won’t fund retrospective costs, marketing costs, or organisations known to be acting unsafely or harming the environment. Organisations must have policies in place for safeguarding and equal opportunities. We are very unlikely to fund private schools or elite sport.

  1. Can I apply as an individual or a friendship group?

We can only give grants to constituted organisations with a bank account. 

  1. What if I don’t know when coach development courses are running? Can I delay the start of my delivery?

Funding will be awarded in December and the bulk of your project should be delivered by Autumn 2024. Please make delivery timings clear in your application.

  1. I have received funding in the past. Can I apply again?

Yes, you can apply again. Please ensure that the sports manager has received a complete update on projects, including the monitoring and evaluation form.


The application period closed on 5 November 2023.

Applications can only be made online via the following form. You will be updated on the outcome of your application by 30 November 2023.

Your application will be shared with the Active Thames partners who will form the grant review panel: Active Essex, Kent Sport, London Sport, British Canoeing, British Rowing, RYA, Canal & River Trust, Thames Path National Trail and the PLA. Your application may be shared with other potential funders at the discretion of the Sports Manager Jenny Cooper-Low — if you object to this, please contact her.

If you have questions about the grant, you are welcome to join one of our online drop-in session on the following dates: 

Tuesday 10 October: 18:00-18:30

Thursday 12 October: 12:00-12:30

Active Thames Application Form

Contact Information

Please begin this application when you have gathered all your information and have time to complete it. You will not be able to save and update this form. A copy of your application will be automatically sent back to the email address used, once you have submitted your application.

Project Information

Note that 1 person attending 6 sessions = 1 participant. 5 different people attending 5 sessions = 25 participants.

We expect that activities will be safe, and that they will not harm the environment.

Finding places to get active should be as easy as booking a hotel.

We are supporting Open Active, a free marketing platform. More information here . Any organisation wishing to receive funding for community sessions (e.g. to run open days, Learn To courses, events) will need to use an Open Active platform, such as Open Sessions. If you intend to use the funding to support community sessions. Please set up an account and learn more about the system before submitting your application. You can do so here:

Your Data

Port of London Authority (Privacy Policy) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. By submitting this application you agree the PLA may use your infomation to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us.


Related Documentation

Black Girls Hike UK
Grant Recipient Black Girls Hike UK
Herne Bay Sailing Club
Grant Recipient Herne Bay Sailing Club
Thames Barbarians Pilot Gig Club
Grant Recipient Thames Barbarians Pilot Gig Club
Tower Hamlets Canoe Club
Grant Recipient Tower Hamlets Canoe Club
Skip to content