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Government Sport Survival Package

The package is a financial relief offering to make sure our sports clubs survive and we can keep watching live sport.

About the package

The delay in readmission of spectators to live sporting events, caused by coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in the UK, has put sports organisations across the country in jeopardy.

The Sport Survival Package is a £600 million government funding programme, managed by us, supporting organisations under severe financial pressure.

The programme's been delivered in two phases, responding directly to the government's coronavirus policy.

A general view of an empty Ricoh Arena during a Premiership Rugby match

Phase 1 - Winter Survival Package

The winter phase was announced by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden, on 19 November 2020 – providing support for organisations impacted by restrictions to spectator readmission at live sporting events in England, applied from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Approximately £300m was made available to sports organisations impacted over this period.

Phase 2 - Extended Survival Package

On 22 February 2021, the government announced their roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions, with an expected staged return of spectators to live events.

In response, on 3 March 2021 Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £300m investment to continue support into the summer period and as needed while restrictions ease.

While the restrictions continue, the Sport Survival Package will continue to provide the financial support necessary to enable survival of eligible sports organisations aligned with the government’s roadmap.

The programme will support the high number of sport organisations under threat due to complete spectator restrictions, as well as the impact of reduced spectator numbers.

Key information - Extended Package

Here we've provided some further headlines about the package. To find out more detailed information, you can read our programme guide and frequently asked questions documents below.

Funding available: approximately £300m, made up of around £200m of loan funding and around £100m in grant funding.

Award sizes: miniumum of £1,000, with no upper limit.

Funding period: 1 April 2021-31 March 2022 - aligned to the government's roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions.

Key dates: organisations invited to apply from 1 April and investment decisions made from 1 April to 31 December 2021 - decision points will be as frequent as required during this period.

Programme objectives:

  • ensure as many sports or sports clubs survive the period of coronavirus restrictions which prevent spectators from attending professional sports competition
  • minimise the long-term damage to participation through safeguarding investment into grassroots community activity and women’s sport.

Application process: The programme will operate a solicited application process, meaning all eligible organisations will be invited to apply.

Can I apply?

The Sport Survival Package operates a solicited application process, meaning organisations are invited to apply rather than applying through an open process.

We’re working directly with impacted sporting organisations, national governing bodies (NGBs) and league bodies to coordinate the applications from all eligible organisations.

If you’re unsure if your organisation is eligible for the programme, please consider contacting your NGB or league body for information.

Alternatively, if you think your organisation's eligible but you haven't been contacted already, you can email us at sportsurvival@sportengland.org to register your interest.

One of the programme managers will then be in contact to arrange an initial discussion - we'll continue to operate the Expression of Interest (EoI) process.

The headline criteria below is applied to all organisations to determine if they’re eligible:

Coronavirus impact: organisations must demonstrate the severe financial impact of the delay to the readmission of spectators to stadia from 1 April 2021, due to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

Sport structure: organisations must demonstrate they operate within structural eligibility parameters for their sport.

Wider social and community value: organisations must demonstrate they operate within a sport which offers a wider social and community benefit.

To determine the organisations invited to apply to the programme, the DCMS undertook an extensive knowledge gathering exercise.

Sports from across the country were asked to provide:

  • the scope of organisations impacted as a result of the delay to spectator readmission
  • the subsequent financial challenges experienced.

Since the knowledge gathering exercise, engagement with sector partners has continued to ensure the programme need is informed by the most recent intelligence.

The board

All decisions on the Sport Survival Package are made by a dedicated, independent board.

The Secretary of State for the DCMS, Oliver Dowden, appointed this new board, which is made up of senior personnel with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to make swift, informed and effective decisions at a critical time for the sport sector.

  • Who will make the decisions?

    The board members are:

    • Sir Ian Cheshire (chair), former chairman of Barclays Bank UK PLC
    • Lord Patel of Bradford, chairman of Social Work England and senior board director at the England and Wales Cricket Board
    • Nick Timothy, non-executive board member of the Department for Education, and member of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee
    • Denise Lewis, sports presenter and Olympic heptathlon gold medallist
    • Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of Sport England
    • Natalie Ceeney, vice-chair of Sport England and chair of Innovate Finance
    • Sally Munday, chief executive of UK Sport
    • Ben Dean, director of sport, gambling and ceremonials at DCMS.

    The programme will be managed by us, as the government’s arms-length body in sport. We aren’t responsible for making decisions on how funding is allocated but we are supporting all organisations applying to the programme.

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What type of funding is available?

As part of the assessment process, each organisation will receive a funding product recommendation.

The starting position for all assessments is that loan funding will be offered, with grant funding by exception.

Please see our programme frequently asked questions for an overview of the loan and grant terms that could be applied to the funding offered.

All funding offers will be proportionate and reasonable based on your organisation’s situation, the scale of the funding offer and associated risk.

Templates of our standard loan facility agreements will be available on request.

We strongly advise you seek suitably qualified legal advice to support your organisation in the decision to proceed with any funding offer.

Contact information

We strongly advise you to read the programme guide to understand more about the programme, or to understand if this programme is relevant to your organisation.

If you’re unable to find the advice you need or you have an urgent need you’d like to discuss, please email us directly at sportsurvival@sportengland.org.

This inbox is monitored daily, and your enquiry will be passed to the most appropriate person to manage.

If you’ve a live application, you’ll have an identification number or unique reference number – please quote this number in any correspondence.

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