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£195 million package available to help sport and physical activity through Coronavirus

March 31st 2020
Vicky Sartain

Sport England has announced today (31 March) the availability of a £195 million funding package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The  Sport England Covid-19 rescue package is made up of the following:

  • A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available
  • A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty
  • An additional £55 million to support our sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment
  • A £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, Sport England has also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to their partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

The package follows their recent decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently receive funding – including the ability to change timings, key performance indicators, targets and conditions, and redirect money to new activity in response to coronavirus.

Sport England Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, said: “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity at a grassroots level, we have an important role to play both in ensuring that we support those with short-term cashflow concerns and immediate loss of income, as well as those facing medium and long term survival challenges and financial difficulties. We want the sector not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future and this package will ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to that.”

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said: “This multi-million-pound package of public funding will not only help local sports clubs facing financial concerns but also encourage people to stay fit at home. When it is safe to do so, we want our brilliant community sport organisations to bounce back and we will work alongside Sport England and others to make that happen.”

Find out more about the Community Emergency Fund eligibility criteria and application process but please consider the funding support that the government has available before applying to this fund.

Visit Sport England’s Club Matters for guidance, toolkits and case studies for further help during this difficult time.

Funding advice for clubs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Sport Scotland has new advice to help you cope with Covid-19-related implications to your club covering running costs, staff considerations, emergency grants, loans, VAT, and general advice.

On 1 April, Welsh Government and Sport Wales announced emergency funding of £400,000 for community sport in Wales. The Welsh government has confirmed they are making £200,000 available to provide support to not-for-profit sports clubs. This is being match-funded with £200,000 from Sport Wales.

Sport Wales and Welsh Government have worked together to identify an initial fund of up to £8.1 million in addition to the Emergency Relief Fund. This will be used to support sports clubs and well-established partner networks who are so vital in ensuring the nation is able to remain active.

Sport NI is getting monies, already allocated through Lottery funded programmes, to eligible governing bodies of sport and sports clubs and organisations, as announced by the Minister on 30 March, both for the last year (ending 31 March 2020) and this year (starting 1 April 2020). This is to ensure sports will have money to pay staff, alleviate cash-flow concerns, provide assurance to staff, and keep the organisations afloat. Sport NI is working hard on a range of ways to flexibly support your organisation through this crisis and beyond, and commits to having a single point of contact within the organisation for such situations. Please discuss any issues with your point of contact within Sport Northern Ireland.

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