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The Complete Guide to Grants for Personal Trainers

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Whether you’re just starting as a PT, or looking to grow your business, there are plenty of grants for personal trainers that can help you! 

Our guide has everything you need to know so you can choose the perfect one for your business.

In this article we’ll cover:

Before we start, if you’re looking for additional qualifications to expand your range of services, why not enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition course?

You can find out more about this and all of our other courses by downloading our full course prospectus for free!

Why Personal Training Grants Matter for Your Business

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Grants for personal trainers are financial support for fitness professionals, often early in their career, that can be used to start or grow a business.

Most of the grants are funded by the government, often in partnership with independent organisations or sponsorship.

If you’re looking to start a personal trainer business, choosing a grant will often be a better option than a loan.

Essentially this is because a loan will have a repayment plan whereas a grant won’t have to be repaid.

A grant is an investment, from the body providing it, in your business. This may mean certain expectations have to be met or you have to show in your application how your business will serve the community.

You will usually go through an application process via the grant provider and go through several stages where you discuss your personal trainer business plan and how you’ll use the money.

This will then get looked at by a board and they will decide whether you’re suitable or eligible for the grant.

Also, depending on the stipulations of the grants you choose, you can go for several different ones to provide financial support from different sources!

 

Expand Your PT Skills!

By enrolling onto OriGym's Nutrition course!

The main benefit of grants for fitness businesses is that they can cover a range of the biggest costs so you can focus on growing your business and getting PT clients.

You will also be able to boast your association with the awarding body. This will increase the professionalism and trustworthiness of your brand, attracting more clients and increasing brand loyalty.

There’s plenty of grants for personal trainers who are newly qualified, with small or brand new businesses, so you can start getting support from day one with some of the biggest initial costs.

Other benefits of these grants for fitness businesses are that you may be more eligible for future opportunities and grants if you’ve fulfilled the requirements of the initial one!

You can apply for future help and opportunities at an earlier stage, often alerted to the help available before it opens fully to other applicants.

Now we’ll run through some of the things you can use a personal trainer grant for!

What Can Grants for Personal Trainers be Used for?

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Those awarding the grant will often want to see how you intend to spend it, often expecting you to detail this in your application.

As we’ve already mentioned though, you can use a grant for some of the bigger purchases that often prevent business owners from earning an income in the first year.

We’ll run through some of the key expenditures you could cover with grants for fitness instructors!

Hiring Staff With a Personal Trainer Grant

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One of the biggest costs of running a business is paying staff as your business grows and you need more people to cover different responsibilities.

You can use fitness business grants to cover this cost meaning that you can offer a decent wage for staff and attract great candidates!

It also means that you can start to expand sooner, hiring people for outsourcing certain responsibilities that you would normally have to cover yourself.

Some of the things you might hire staff for include:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Social media management
  • Other marketing tasks such as running email marketing campaigns 
  • Training and instructing classes

Maybe you want to expand your services and offer a new range of classes to your clients. Or maybe you’ve been doing all the social media yourself and it’s time to outsource to someone so you can focus on fitness business ideas.

Wherever you are in your journey, grants for personal trainers mean that you can start and grow your business far quicker, focusing on exactly what you want to and fostering a strong team of employees to help you!

Plenty of grants will actually specify as part of the stipulations that you create jobs through the application of the grant.

We’ll touch on this more when we look at the different grants individually but this is one of the best, and encouraged, ways you can spend grants for personal trainers!

Personal Trainer Grants Can Cover Equipment Costs 

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You can also use grants for fitness equipment, whether that’s machines for a gym you want to start or equipment to use with clients.

This may be when you’re just starting out, to provide the essentials, or equipment for a different style of training or class that you want to branch out into.

Grants for personal trainers could cover any of the following equipment:

  • Machines
  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Resistance bands
  • Free weights
  • Exercise mats
  • Boxing gloves and pads
  • Towels

There’s plenty more that could be on this list and, so long as it’s going to be directly used in your business, you’ll be able to cover a huge range of equipment with fitness equipment grants!

This will mean you can get the best equipment without worrying about it being too big of a chunk of your budget, meaning you can focus on growing other aspects of your business.

Renting Gym or Studio Space Can Be Covering by a PT Grant

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If you want to start your own gym or have a hub that you work out of as a personal trainer, you can apply for several grants to help you with the cost of running the space.

Some grants for personal trainers will be available specifically for rent or buying property and these will usually say they’re for ‘capital investment’.

This means an investment in physical assets that will help your business to grow and thrive.

There’s fewer of these available as the grant itself is far higher, but there’s plenty available that can be applied to the rent or cost of using a particular space for your business!

Getting help with the cost of the rent will mean you can spend more of your business’s money on scaling it and offering new services, growing your client base and the different styles of training you offer!

You won’t be able to get a guarantee of ongoing payments towards rent. Usually the grant will be a lump sum to apply to initial costs or purchasing a property so check the conditions!

Personal Trainer Grants Can Software Costs

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You can also apply for personal trainer grants to help with digital costs such as website building and software.

There’s some available specifically to help with digital and technological advancement for businesses but there’s also plenty where the software could be bought with grants for fitness equipment.

Some of the personal trainer software you could invest in with one of these grants include:

  • Nutrition software that you and your clients can use to track eating habits and diet plans
  • Personal trainer booking software which you can use to schedule all of your appointments with clients
  • Holistic personal training software such as PT Hub that will allow you to communicate with clients and track certain metrics of their progress

PT Grants Can Cover Further Development Courses

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Lots of the grants for fitness instructors and other fitness professionals are specifically designed for scaling your business and growing its services.

This is where you can apply for a grant to help with a whole host of things that will help your business to grow, including further qualifications!

If you’re a qualified PT and you’ve completed a Level 3 personal trainer course, you might be interested in completing Level 4 personal trainer courses to hone your skills and develop your niche.

You may want to complete CPD fitness courses (Continued Professional Development) too so that you can offer a new service, class, or training style.

With this style of grant, you can have the cost of the course paid for. This means you can focus on getting the best qualification and increasing your skills so that you’re more attractive to a wider range of clients!

 

Expand Your PT Skills!

By enrolling onto OriGym's Nutrition course!

Marketing With Personal Trainer Grants

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Last but not least, one of the most important parts of your personal training business is marketing. 

This can often be a substantial chunk of your budget depending on the marketing strategies that you use as a PT.

Things like paid ads on Google and Facebook can end up being expensive, depending on how long you run them for, but they’re one of the biggest guarantees of engagement and sourcing new clients.

You will also often have to use software or certain tools to track the success of your marketing campaigns. 

There’s a whole range of platforms and tools you could use for the most accurate and successful marketing campaigns including:

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) which helps you monitor your interactions with potential clients and customers, helping you to increase sales
  • Design software such as Adobe Suite
  • Software to schedule social media posts such as Later for Instagram
  • Platforms such as Semrush and Ahrefs to track your performance and Google ranking

Though there’s often an introductory, free option for plenty of this software, a lot of the most useful features are only available in the paid versions.

Getting help with these costs means you can focus on the content itself and how you put this data to use.

Finding our guide helpful? Check out our other articles on how you can develop your expertise and grow your business:

Grants for Personal Trainers: The Full List

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Now that you know exactly what can be covered by different grants for personal trainers, you’ll want to know exactly where to find these funding resources!

As we mentioned earlier, all of these grants are government funded, often in partnership with, or sponsored by, other organisations.

We’ll run through grants for personal trainers based on where you are in the UK and where you can find an exhaustive list of the options!

Grants for Personal Trainers in England

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The main hub for all of the different government grants for personal trainers can be found here on the government website.

This is a list of all the different grants available through government funding. You can narrow down by a number of factors such as:

  • Style of business
  • Location
  • Number of employees
  • Business stage (whether you’re just starting or looking for a grant for growth)

With all of the grants for personal trainers on our list, the majority will be location specific and will depend on which council is providing the funding.

There’s then different grants for different kinds of funding, often towards specific outcomes or purchases by a business.

We’ll look at an example of each different type of personal trainer grant so that you can choose perfectly based on where you are and what stage your business is in!

Start-up Grants 

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If you’re just starting out with your own PT business, there’s a few grants specifically designed to help start-up businesses.

A lot of grants will specify that you have to have been operating for a certain amount of time in order to qualify, with others dedicated to helping get a business off the ground and trading!

A great example of one of these personal trainer grants from Mansfield District Council.

This is one of the best all-round grants for personal trainers available to people wherever they are in their career, including if you’ve just started!

You can get up to £2,500 towards start-up costs. According to their web page, you can spend the grant on any of the following:

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As you can see, you can only get money towards 12 months of ongoing costs so if you’re using it for subscriptions, these will be your financial responsibility after the grant has run out. 

Growth Grants

These are aimed at businesses that are established and further into their development. They’re also the ones that will have stricter limits on how long you have to have been trading.They’re designed to help you scale and develop your business either to hire more people or offer new services.

Most will be for a range of different things that will boost the income of your business including:

There will be grants specifically for these individual things, which we’ll touch on shortly, but these are great for bigger, more expensive projects and tend to be the ones with the most to offer.

A great example of this is The Supplier Skills Programme. This grant for personal trainers is strictly for upskilling new or existing members of staff to complete further training and qualifications.

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You need to have been trading for at least 6 months so this is no good for those looking for start-up personal trainer grants, but great if you’re still a young company and want to develop your services.

You need to be in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area so make sure to check eligibility and the parameters of this personal trainer grant.

The qualifications need to be accredited and registered with Ofqual, like our own, to make sure you’re getting the best available personal trainer courses

The most important thing to remember with growth grants is that it’s common for one of the conditions to be that you create jobs.

This is because as well as benefiting your business, the council will want that investment to go back into the community!

The Growth Fund is a great example of how this might be stipulated:

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As we mentioned earlier, this will usually only be a stipulation of bigger grants where you’re planning a more expensive project.

This is why these are designed for when you’re further along and you’ve got developments that will need a range of expertise.

Help with Other Specific Costs

When it comes to specific expenses for your PT business, there’s not just grants for fitness equipment available but plenty of others that can cover costs you may not have thought about!

There’s plenty of small grants on the government website that can help with small, fairly inexpensive costs.

Every little helps! So despite these being some of the smaller grants, they can be combined to save you a fair amount of money.

For example, this one from Elmbridge Borough Council is specifically for signage and shop frontage:

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There’s a few other things it can be used for but the signage is something that is an easy money saver if you’re looking for grants for personal trainers wanting to set up their own gym!

Others will be more money and will be aimed towards technological development of a company and can cover a variety of digital solutions for your business.

This one from Productivity Escalator is for those in the Bedfordshire area who want to use tech more in their business:

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Though there’s a range of different ways it can be applied, the way the grant is spent has to centre around digital technology or creating online services.

So, if you’re looking to become an online personal trainer this is a great option to get things off the ground!

Alternatively, you can use grants like this for web development which can often be one of the biggest costs!

Personal Trainer Grants Available in Scotland

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The same as in England, the Scottish government website has a list of available grants for personal trainers to make use of.

More often than not, too, they’re equally dictated by location so make sure you check the eligibility carefully!

Growth Grants

As with the English grants, there’s plenty based in Scotland that focus on growing your business by developing new services and creating jobs. 

A few of these have more of a stress on economically supporting the council who’s providing the personal trainer grant, so you will need to be aware of this when you’re applying.

Grants for personal trainers like this one from South Lanarkshire council is a good example of how this might be worded:

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You will need to demonstrate that the growth of your company will contribute to the growth of the surrounding economy too.

You will also be at an advantage if you can show how you’ll ‘introduce new or improved services’, so this is great if you’re looking to develop new training styles or classes!

Start-up Business Grants

These tend to be the same wherever you are in the UK and will cover a whole range of start-up costs for your business depending on what industry you’re in.

Grants for personal trainers just starting out in Scotland will look like this one from Argyll and Bute Council:

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As you can see, like some of the others, the amount for start-up grants tends to be smaller but with more freedom on what it can be spent on and how it needs to have benefits for the community. 

Grants for Further Training

There tends to be fewer grants for personal trainers who need help with specific costs in Scotland compared to England but don’t let this put you off!

There’s other costs that can be covered by some of the more holistic personal trainer grants we’ve already mentioned.

You can get grants for fitness instructors looking to complete further qualifications, though. 

For example, you could use this Orkney Small Business Training Grant to become a master personal trainer:

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You can use personal trainer grants like this one to offer a wider range of services, boosting your service and the local economy.

Like many of the others, this will be limited to a particular geographical area so make sure your business falls within the parameters covered by the grant!

Other Specific Costs

There’s more limited options when it comes to fitness business grants for specific costs in Scotland.

It’s more likely that, rather than having fitness equipment grants, there’ll be more holistics ones covering a range of different, specific costs.

For example, this personal trainer grant based in East Renfrewshire covers a variety of different expenses:

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There’s plenty of different areas you can use these grants for personal trainers, specific to your business and how you want to develop it.

For example, the tried and tested element would be useful for different marketing processes, testing out different methods for different demographics.

This will be really useful whilst you’re figuring out how to get more PT clients  and grow your client list!

The equipment grant can be used to buy new, or upgrade existing, personal training equipment for one-to-one sessions or classes. 

Welsh Government Grants for Personal Trainers

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Plenty of the personal trainer grants we’ve already mentioned are available for Welsh personal training businesses too.

There’s also plenty of partnerships between organisations and different Welsh councils to provide government grants for personal trainers to grow their business, hire more people, and embark on new projects.

There’s fewer grants for personal trainers based specifically in Wales but there are a few that are worth looking into that will pay for specific expenses, or cater to a specific demographic.

 

Expand Your PT Skills!

By enrolling onto OriGym's Nutrition course!

A Grant to Hire a Specialised Member of Staff

One of these is the Cardiff Knowledge Transfer Partnership. With this personal trainer grant you get partnered with a skilled graduate for a particular service to help boost your business.

You will have to pay 25% of the costs of hiring somebody but the rest will be covered by the Welsh government funding:

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Because this grant is in connection with the university, you get a range of other benefits as well as the funding:

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This is great for growing your business because it could be a way of saving on the cost of wages for a new, expert hire whilst still being able to provide a new service!

For example, you could get paired with an internet developer to create a better, more exciting website. 

Alternatively, you could get paired with a physiotherapist to start offering physiotherapy treatments for your clients after training, or if they’re injured.

Not only would this save you money on the wages of the employee but, being able to provide this service, would mean you wouldn’t lose clients if they were to become injured!

You could move them over to another service and maintain the revenue stream. 

A Grant for Underrepresented Personal Trainers

One of the most unique and specialised grants for personal trainers available is the Future 100 Growth Fund. This is because it’s designed to support new businesses run by black business owners.

The grant is supported by the Black Equity Organisation and is available anywhere in the UK as long as you fit the criteria of the funding.

If you’re eligible this is one of the best grants for personal trainers specifically because certain fields are favoured and applications from businesses that fall into these categories are encouraged to apply.

As you can see, a few of these fields are especially relevant to personal trainers:

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Sports technology and health and lifestyle are both ways in which you could pitch your business if you’re a black personal trainer in the UK. 

If you want to find the full list, you can find the unique web page for welsh grants for fitness businesses here.

Grants for Personal Trainers Based in Northern Ireland

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The main difference between grants for personal trainers based in Northern Ireland, compared to other places in the UK, is that there’s more aimed specifically at filling a previously unoccupied space.

If you’re after fitness equipment grants to build your own gym, this could be a great way of getting start-up support so that you can save on the initial costs of renovating a space!

A great example of one of these grants is the Rural Investment Fund. This is designed for those wishing to renovate an existing property or develop a previously unused area of an existing business:

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There’s plenty of stipulations you should be aware of before you apply for grants for personal trainers like these.

For example, you’ll need a lease for the business space for at least 3 years:

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As you can see, you’ll also need to be able to prove that your renovations and business will contribute to the surrounding area and community, economically and otherwise. 

As with many of the other grants on our list, there’s usually geographical limitations so make sure to check if your business will fall within the boundaries. 

You can check out Northern Ireland Business Info for a list of available grants for personal trainers, filtering by location and the type of grant you want!

Before You Go!

Hopefully you’ve seen some grants for personal trainers on our list that would be helpful for you, or at least know where to look, and what you should be looking for.

Don’t forget to check out our Level 4 Nutrition course to help expand your range of skills and increase your client base!

There are further details of all our courses in our free-to-download course prospectus here.

Written by Jessie Florence Jones

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Jessie has a 1st class honours degree in English Literature from University of Leeds and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Naturally Jessie has a real passion for writing especially about film, culture and wellbeing. Outside of writing she loves hiking, country walks and yoga, which she has been doing religiously over lockdown.

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