Funding for schools: How to finance a multi-use games area

A multi-use games area (MUGA) is a space that makes daily outdoor play, sport and physical activity in schools a year-round possibility.

While there a number of reasons for schools to install a MUGA, capital funding is often a challenge. MUGAs are usually fixed assets, and are not normally eligible for funding through options such as an operating lease.

However, because we replace traditional base methods with a unique panel system, we can create a MUGA that meets the lending and warranty criteria for this type of funding.

To find out how your school could access funding to create somewhere fun and engaging for children to play at lunchtime, during PE lessons and out-of-hours, continue reading.

How does lease funding work?

To make a MUGA a possibility for your school, we’ll help you source funding through an operating lease provider. It’s an increasingly popular approach, used by schools to fund the purchase of non-fixed assets (such as computers), as it converts the capital cost into an ongoing revenue liability.

MUGAs are typically classed as fixed assets, which means they’re not normally eligible for financing through an operating lease. However, because we replace traditional base methods with a modular panel system, we can create MUGAs that meet the lending and warranty criteria for an operating lease.

We can support your school to access an operating lease through one of our partners, or you can choose a financing partner that you’re already working with.

What does the process look like?

After you’ve contacted us about starting a project, we’ll create a design that meets the needs of your school. How big you’d like your MUGA to be, where you want to put it, and what you want it to look like.

When that’s done, we’ll put together a quote for your project, and you can use this to get approval from your preferred financing partner.

Depending on the size and location of your project, you may need permission from Sport England and your local planning office. If planning approval is required – we’ll guide support you through this part of the process.

Once we’ve collected your finance approval, planning approval and any other relevant permissions, we’ll be able to start installing your new facility.

Once the finance and appropriate approvals are in place, the MUGA build could be done in as little as two weeks.

Why install a MUGA?

A MUGA in your school provides a high-quality environment to enable your school to engage children in active play on a daily basis. Besides improving fitness, there are many benefits to children being more active, including:

  • Better socialisation

  • Increased concentration in the classroom

  • Improved self-esteem

  • Lower stress levels

  • Better sleep

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If you think a MUGA is something that would work for your school, click here to talk to us about your possibilities.

Mile Tracks: What are they and how could one benefit you?

After finding out that a third of primary school children in the UK do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, Sport England decided to do something about it. View the full report here.

A £1.5 million investment, The Daily Mile organisation aims to increase the activity levels of children all over the country. The money is used to recruit national and local coordinators who will encourage schools to sign up, with the final aim of all 20,000 primary schools in the country taking part in an active mile every day - which is where we can help.

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What is a Mile Track?

A designated area where children can complete their Daily Mile or similar time-based challenges. They are typically installed around a sports field or the perimeter of school grounds, and are wide enough to fit two or three children side by side. A Mile Track doesn’t always have to be a mile long. It can be made shorter to be used to do laps that add up to the mile.

Why invest in a Mile Track?

Whether it’s running, walking, jogging or skipping, there are lots of benefits to being more active – especially for school children.

- A Mile Track can be used whether it’s snowing, raining or the sun is shining

- It will help significantly improve fitness levels

- Children with higher fitness levels are reported to concentrate better in class, eat properly, sleep well, and develop stronger relationships with their classmates and teachers, enriching their life in and out of school

- Mile Tracks are versatile; they can be used for curricular and extra-curricular sport, such as cross country or warming up before PE lessons, or in other subjects like Maths or Science

- A dedicated Mile Track will make it easy for you to contribute to Sport England’s pledge to tackle the obesity crisis

How PlayPitch can create dedicated Mile Tracks

Rather than using traditional stone bases for our projects, we use a unique panel system, combined with high-quality synthetic turf, which allows us to create an all-weather Mile Track that can be used year-round. The panel system replaces the need for deep ground excavation and is a more environmentally-friendly, cost-effective and flexible option. To find out more about this impressive system and the panel best for a Mile Track project, read our in depth blog post here.

Mile Tracks can be designed especially for your space and budget, and you could have one for your school in less than two weeks after securing funding. The panels have a warranty of 20 years – which makes them a durable solution that will last for many school terms to come.

The recycled plastic panels that we place under our turf provide are long-lasting, hard-wearing and require minimal disturbance to the surrounding area. We can install them within your existing sports fields or play areas, or as part of a bigger sports area project with us. We can accommodate any ground type, including gradients.

Special funding for schools

The cost of a Mile Track for schools can be covered with an operating lease from a leasing advisor with experience in the education sector. We can manage this relationship for you, and funding could be secured in as little as five days.

After you’ve secured funding and planning approval for a Mile Track, the installation process can be completed in less than two weeks.

To chat more about starting a project, you can find our contact details here.

"To panel or not to panel?" That is the question.

"To panel or not to panel?" That is the question.

To complete a quality synthetic grass installation you first need a solid and stable foundation on which the grass can be installed. Traditionally this is done by excavating the natural soil, laying down a geotextile and importing tons of stone, but there are alternatives. One alternative is a specially designed plastic panel.