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Office of Sport

Surf Club Facility Program

The Surf Club Facility Program aims to assist eligible Surf Life Saving Clubs throughout NSW to develop facilities that will enable increased participation in Surf Life Saving for all people, increased facility usage, and improved safety.

Applications closed 1PM Friday 4 November 2022. 


Potential applicants are encouraged to review our frequently asked questions to ensure that their application addresses the relevant requirements.

View the guidelines here. 

Register Your Interest

Keep up-to-date and notified when the 2023/24 Surf Club Facility Program opens.

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Important dates

  • Applications open – Tuesday, 4 October 2022
  • Applications close – 1pm, Friday 4 November 2022
  • Outcomes advised – February 2023 onwards
  • Funding agreements executed for successful projects – Within 2 months of notification
  • Construction must commence within 6 months of notification and be completed within 2 years of notification.

Key objectives

The Program aims to assist eligible Surf Life Saving Clubs throughout NSW to develop facilities that will enable increased participation in Surf Life Saving for all people, increased facility usage, and improved safety.  

The key objectives of the Program are:   

  • Provide inclusive and accessible multi-sport facilities that support participation in sport and increase opportunities for women and girls, people with disability, First Nations peoples and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities  

  • Increase the usage and/or participant numbers in Surf Life Saving 

  • Increase the use of Surf Life Saving facilities by community groups and/or the public 

  • Improve safety at Surf Life Saving facilities 

  • Improve the standard of Surf Club facilities incorporating best practice design principles

Funding availability

The NSW Government has allocated up to $5.2 million dollars for this Program in 2022/23.

The Surf Club Facility Program provides grants between $30,000 and $650,000 per project.

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants are: 

  • Surf Life Saving Clubs in NSW; or 

  • Surf Life Saving NSW Branch. Branches are able to apply for surf club related works e.g. storage sheds for emergency equipment. However, they will only be considered if all eligible applications from Surf Life Saving Clubs in the round receive funding.   

Applicants must have a Public Liability Insurance with a minimum $20 million cover. 

Ineligible applicants

Ineligible applicants are any organisation types not listed in the ‘Eligible Applicants’ section, and include (but are not limited to): 

  • Organisations not affiliated with Surf Life Saving NSW  

  • Individuals 

An eligible organisation will be deemed not eligible for funding under this program if they are an organisation named:

(i) by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse on its list of institutions that have not joined or signified their intent not to join the Scheme; or

(ii) by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that has not yet joined the National Redress Scheme.

Types of projects

To be considered eligible, the project must: 

  • Be on land within NSW  

  • Have landowner consent for the project on the land on which the facility is to be developed (including native title clearance where required) 

  • Have a current Development Application (if required)

For projects located on public land, a landowner consent form or signed letter of consent from the appropriate authorised delegate must be provided. For example, for projects located on public school land, a letter of support for the specific project must be provided from School Infrastructure NSW as part of the application.  

Additional information also sought includes evidence of applicant’s tenure and lease arrangements. 

Projects must have a current approved Development Application as part of their application or demonstrate that a Development Application is not required and should thereby be ready to be delivered (projects must be “shovel ready”).  

Applications that do not demonstrate Development Application approval or that a Development Application is not required may be set aside from further consideration. 

Examples of eligible project types and costs include: 

  • Construction of new Surf Life Saving Club facilities; and   

  • Capital enhancement of existing Surf Life Saving Club facilities.  

Priority will be given to Surf Club facilities identified as: 

  • Being in poor or unserviceable condition 

  • Addressing a demonstrated need for the community 

  • High urgency to address facility building compliance requirements

Eligible projects

Applications should be limited to constructing new or enhancing existing surf clubs that demonstrate inclusive and accessible design.

Projects must be on be on land within NSW.

All projects must provide a landowner consent form or signed letter of consent from the appropriate authorised delegate, for the project, on the land on which the facility is to be developed, including native title clearance where required. For example, for projects located on public or crown land, the local Council is often the landowner or land manager with delegation to provide owner’s consent.

If the applicant surf club is the landowner, a letter stating this will be sufficient.

It is not mandatory to have a current approved Development Application however applicants who can demonstrate the project is ready to be delivered by providing evidence of an approved Development Application or that development consent is not required will be prioritised.

Examples of eligible project types and costs include: 

  • New and upgraded provision of universally designed amenities that are beyond compliant with regard to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and provide dignified inclusion in sport participation, for example disability access, unisex toilets or change rooms designed to be female-friendly, including parent and child change spaces
  • Environmental and operational sustainable initiatives that support water, energy and financial savings
  • Digital technology uplift projects, including installation of WIFI, increased automation and other innovative smart technologies
  • Projects that improve the storage, security and safety capability of surf clubs
  • Non-fixed items that are part of a larger capital improvement project scope e.g. portable storage racks for rescue boards. The cost of non-fixed items cannot exceed 25% of the grant amount requested
  • Contingency calculated at 10% of the total project cost. Up to 20% maximum for more complex projects.

Priority will be given to Surf Club facilities identified as: 

  • Being in poor or unserviceable condition 
  • Addressing a demonstrated need for the community 
  • High urgency to address facility building compliance requirements e.g. safety, building standards, including the DDA.

Ineligible projects are any projects or project components that don’t meet “Eligible Projects” section, and include (but are not limited to): 

  • Facilities that are not used primarily for surf lifesaving activities
  • Purchase or lease of land/facility
  • Projects that involve the development of private or commercial ventures
  • Costs associated with preparing and submitting the funding application
  • Costs associated with feasibility, design, or development stages including feasibility studies, business cases and masterplans
  • Items that do not meet relevant Australian Standards
  • Retrospective funding, where projects have commenced construction or are completed prior to the execution of a funding agreement
  • Related primarily to operational expenditure, including but not limited to insurance
  • General maintenance or minor repairs required following normal wear and tear (e.g., painting)
  • Repair of facilities where the damage can be covered by insurance
  • Administration costs with the exception of direct external / independent project management costs, limited to 10% of the grant amount requested
  • Purchase of portable equipment including office equipment, rescue and training equipment such as surf boards, stop watches, sails on boats, flagpoles etc that are not part of a facility fit out
  • Projects that have already been funded by the NSW Government unless significant new and additional scope is identified.

Each application will be checked for eligibility by the Office of Sport. All applications, including those with uncertain eligibility assessments will be referred to the Grant Assessment Panel for a final determination on eligibility. 

Application process

Step 1: Check your eligibility

  • See Eligible Applicants section of these Guidelines to see which organisations can apply for funding.
  • If you are not eligible, you can partner with an eligible organisation, although they will need to be the applicant organisation and submit the application.

Step 2: Understand the requirements

  • Before you apply, please read these guidelines and related materials to make sure you understand all relevant requirements, including whether you are eligible to apply.
  • You can find the relevant information on the Office of Sport’s website: Surf Club Facility Program | NSW Government

Step 3: Prepare your application

  • Gather your evidence including letters of support, funding commitments, development approvals/exemptions, images/plans, quotes, participation data etc
  • To submit a complying application all mandatory fields must be completed, and mandatory support documents must be uploaded and submitted
  • For questions relating to the grants program or for specific assistance with the online system, email the Office of Sport Grants Unit at or call 13 13 02 during standard office hours.

Step 4: Submit your application

  • Applying for a grant is a simple process using the SmartyGrants platform[KB1] 
  • The Office of Sport recommends that applicants familiarise themselves with the online application form ahead of preparing the application and plan to submit ahead of the closing date to reduce the risk of missing the deadline. 
  • Complete your application by filling in each of the sections.
  • Upload all required supporting documentation.
  • Submit your application before the closing date and time.
  • Projects must be submitted through the SmartyGrants website to be considered eligible.
  • Successful submissions will be issued with a SmartyGrants system generated acknowledgement email containing a PDF copy of the application which will confirm the time the application was submitted
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