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Sport England Community Emergency Fund

The Community Emergency Fund aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It is 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 ongoing crisis.
The types of organisations eligible include local sports clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around maintenance and utility bills, and voluntary and community sector organisations who deliver or enable sport and physical activity.
This £20 million fund of National Lottery money is designed to complement other sources of funding from the government.

Who can apply?
Any organisation delivering community sport and physical activity can apply to the fund if it is experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.
These organisations include:

  • Local sports clubs
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations and have an important role to play in keeping people active, that may need support for other parts of their organisation to remain open
  • Small charitable trusts that do not qualify for financial help elsewhere
  • Regional or county level organisations or leagues that have already paid out funds for activities that are now cancelled and are not able to claim funds from elsewhere.

What can the funds be used for?
The fund has been developed to help community sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on:

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire
  • Core staffing costs (including casual workers) that cannot be met elsewhere by other government funds
  • Retrospective losses dating from 1 March, 2020.

Organisations who are not eligible
This fund is designed to help grassroots sport and physical activity providers. This means the fund will not be able to help the following organisations:

  • Local authorities, including town and parish councils
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Commercial sport and physical activity providers, e.g. private gyms
  • Leisure operators
  • Individuals who are either employed or self-employed within the sport and physical activity sector.

Any organisation or individuals who can access support through the government’s financial packages should do so in the first instance.

Which activities or costs will the fund not cover?
Funding cannot be used for:

  • Activities or costs which are already covered by other government funding, including rates
  • New activities or events
  • Capital works
  • Costs beyond the end of July 2020.

Available funding
Awards will be between £300 and £10,000. In exceptional circumstances Sport England will consider awards of more than £10,000.

Funding Criteria
The following 4 criteria should be consider before applying for the Community Emergency Fund:

  1. Audience/reach
    Sport England will prioritise organisations whose work does one or more of the following:
    • Delivers activity in disadvantaged areas, including areas of rural deprivation
    • Works with one or more of the following groups: women and girls, disabled people, lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME), LGBT+, older people, or those with long term health conditions
    Organisations that are maintaining an element of self-employed workforce not covered by other funding.
  2. The role you play
    The organisation has actively delivered or enabled community sport and/or physical activity in the last 12 months and is proactively staying in touch with participants in this period.
  3. Financial need
    The organisation can demonstrate clear financial need as a result of the current situation.
    Organisations will be required to set out:
    • The expected financial impact over the next three months, including the impact of any actions you can take to reduce this
    • The minimum expenditure you will have to meet while activity is not happening
    • Any immediately available, unrestricted funds you have in reserve.
    Please note applicants will not be penalised for having reserves, as all well-run organisations should have reserves, but the question will help the overall assessment of the organisation’s situation.
  4. Impact of not receiving funding
    The organisation demonstrates the consequences of not receiving funding, and how this impacts on the organisation’s ability to deliver sport and physical activity, with particular reference to the audience groups named in criterion 1 – audience/reach.
    How to apply
    The application is an online application via Sport England Community Emergency Fund website. The online application covers information on the organisation applying for the fund, as well as the following questions:
  • Total amount requested from Sport England
  • Please explain how your organisation will spend the funding and how the value was calculated.
  • How much income do you estimate your organisation has lost/will lost? This can include retrospective losses from 1 March, 2020, and/or projected losses through to 31 July, 2020.
  • Please detail any supporting information relating to question above, e.g. how the losses were calculated.
  • If your organisation has any reserves or savings, please tell us how much.
  • If you answered question above, please detail any supporting information, e.g. how that money could be spent.
  • Please describe the work your organisation does and who in the community benefits from it.
  • Please briefly describe the activities your organisation has delivered in the last 12 months.
  • How are you staying in touch with your participants during this period of restricted movement?
  • What would the consequences be if your organisation is not successful in securing this funding?
  • Is there any other support or guidance that would help you at this time? If yes, please detail below.

Please also note that organisations will also have the opportunity to email further supporting information and will be asked to declare if you are doing so.

We are ourselves issuing regular updates via our website and e-mail cannons. If you are not receiving these and would like to be added to the list please e-mail [email protected] with the subject “Add me to your COVID-19 e-mails”