£195 million of funding is being made available to help support the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, 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, they have 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 the 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.
With sporting and physical activity venues shut for the foreseeable future and sporting events cancelled, this is a welcomed response that will support the physical activity and sport sector over the coming weeks, months and potentially over this financial year.
Keeping Britain Active in Challenging Times
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said everything is being done to support the sport sector and keep Britain active through these challenging times.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
The government is also working closely with local authorities and the organisations who run leisure facilities and have been supporting this part of the sector to access the government support now available.
Ongoing work will be conducted to consider what support is needed during this period of closure, as well as the remobilisation phase where facilities will reopen.
Not all companies and organisations will survive this closure period but this funding support will help many to stay in business. What it yet to be determined is how this prolonged period of closure will affect the physical activity and sport sector in the long-term. Will people become accustomed to a different way of exercising? The remobilisation period will be an exciting time to see how the UK public return physical activity and sport when ‘normal’ service resumes. In the meantime the physical activity and sport sector in this pause, has an opportunity to reconsider the offer and service provided within their organisations, making engagement in physical activity and sport more appealing than ever.