On Tuesday 31 March Sport England announced up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:
This aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need and builds on the success of similar previous funds such as Sport England’s Flood Relief Fund.
It’s specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.
Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000. Find out more
Sport England will work with sector partners, for example the network of Active Partnerships and national governing bodies, on bespoke measures that may be needed for any instances of immediate financial distress.
This might include, for example, supporting a national governing body where they’ve had to cancel an event which would have generated vital income for the organisation.
Sport England believe financial support will be needed to support and stimulate the sector while restrictions are being lifted, and that organisations will need help getting back to business and back to delivery.
Sport England also want to make sure they can quickly adapt to changes in the way society operates and that they can quickly accelerate good ideas where they emerge. Support may also be needed to re-engage front line staff, coaches and other volunteers to be ready to respond as activity habits return or change.
Details on how Sport England propose to use this funding to support the sector for issues like this will be set out in the coming weeks.
This will be for identified selected partners who have funding commitments that end on or before March 2021.
It will be administered through a ‘light touch process’ that does not add extra burden at this challenging time.
This will result in certainty of funding for well over 100 partners for the next two years and will allow these organisations to focus on the longer-term response to the enormous challenge that the sector now faces.
The partners likely to be included here are established governing bodies, Active Partnerships and wider sector partners who play a pivotal role in getting and keeping the nation active.
Sport England will get in touch directly with relevant partners to confirm next steps in the coming weeks.
Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, Sport England also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.
The package follows Sport England’s 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.