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£16.5m Return to Play fund announced by Sport England

Posted: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 11:16

£16.5m Return to Play fund announced by Sport England

Sport England have announced a new £16.5 million pound fund to provide support to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Return to Play fund aims to provide crucial support to clubs and organizations who have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and will join Sport England's overall crisis response fund which now consists of over £220 million in government and National Lottery funds.

Whilst all are welcome to apply provided they meet the requirements, groups, clubs and organisations working with audiences who have been identified as finding it more difficult to be active during the pandemic will be prioritised in determining who receives funding. These include:

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
  • People on lower incomes
  • Those disproportionately affected financially as a result of the crisis
  • Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions
  • Those who are experiencing a greater burden of care responsibilities since the pandemic began

The new fund, which opened on 20th October and is now welcoming applications will be split into three sections:

1, £10m - Return to Play, Small Grants Fund

Grants between £300 to £10,000 will be offered to clubs, groups and organisations to help them overcome the challenges faced by returning to play in a Covid-secure manner. This includes costs incurred by delivering more frequent sessions in smaller groups, maintaining strict hygiene levels, and training volunteers.

The funds can also be put towards making necessary changes to venues and facilities, such as creating signage displaying the latest government advice, and providing additional sporting equipment. Those that apply for this fund must be prepared to show how their activities or sessions are compliant with government guidelines.

For more information on the small grants fund, including the application process, click here.

2, £5m - Return to Play, Community Asset Fund

Larger grants between £10,0001 and £50,000 will be available for local sports clubs and organisations, in order to help them adapt and open important spaces where they can welcome back their local community safely, and in line with government guidelines.

This could be put towards converting existing spaces so they meet social distancing criteria, or making improvements to buildings or open spaces for temporary use to get more people active. (e.g. vacant warehouses, shops or community centres).

For more information on the Community Asset Fund, click here.

3, £1.5m – Return to Play, Active Together

The final section is a crowdfunding initiative, designed to encourage sports clubs and organisations to set up their own campaigns to help sustain them through the crisis. This grant will be in partnership with Crowdfunder, and is a great alternative for clubs who don't meet the priority groups. With this option, Sport England aim to provide support and guidance, including 1-2-1s and online webinars. They have also pledged to match up to £10,000 worth of crowd funds to help cover any loss of income.

For more information on the Active Together Fund, click here.

Groups unsure on which fund might be best for them can use the function on Sport England to find the right fund. By answering some simple questions on your organisation, and exactly what you require funding for, you'll be pointed in the right direction for the most appropriate grant.

Tags: COVID-19, Clubs, Coronavirus, Funding, Return To Play, Sport England, Sports Teams