Sport England makes nearly £200 million available to help with coronavirus

A MASSIVE package of funding for sport has been made available during the coronavirus crisis.

Sport England has made up to £195 million available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the crisis.

The package, which is a combination of government funding and National Lottery funds, 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 teams and clubs 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 more than 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 per cent of awards) to its partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said he hoped the package would help the sector get through these “extremely challenging times”.

He said: “Sporting events are being cancelled, gyms and leisure centres are closed, clubs and community groups are not operating, and children and young people are all at home.

“This is impacting the sector financially in a significant way, although it is heartening to see huge amounts of innovation and agility, with many operators getting classes online in a matter of days to enable home workouts for example.

“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.”

The £20 million Community Emergency Fund is specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting physical activity and are also experiencing short-term financial hardship or ceasing of operations due to coronavirus. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000.

For more information about the grants, go to www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund

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