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Community Emergency Fund boosted by £15m

Extra National Lottery support is to cover applications expected ahead of the fund being paused on Thursday.

11th May 2020

Our Community Emergency Fund is being topped up by an additional £15 million of National Lottery money to meet the demand from organisations delivering community sport and physical activity.

The initial £20m fund, also supported by The National Lottery, was launched at the end of March as a rapid response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the ensuing social distancing guidelines and the stay at home order, and their impact on sport and exercise.

It provides awards from £300-£10,000 to clubs and community organisations to help them with their immediate financial distress, and was part of an up to £195m package of support from us to the sport and physical activity sector, with this additional £15m taking the package up to £210m.

Pic: Laurence Sweeney Photography. Boxers perform drills at Forest Hall Young People's Club, North Tyneside.

The fund, which is part of £600m The National Lottery is committing across the UK during the coronavirus crisis, has already helped thousands of organisations by covering costs such as rent, insurance and utility bills – as well as some staff costs and maintenance of pitches and facilities.

This extra £15m is available immediately to help meet the demand of the existing applications and those likely to be submitted in the coming days.

The fund will then be paused at 11.59pm on Thursday 14 May, to enable assessors to process all remaining applications as soon as possible.

We’ll then reflect on the fund’s impact and consider what ongoing support clubs and community groups will need as restrictions are eased in the future.

More than 8,000 submissions have been made to the fund so far, with more than £16.7m having been awarded and more than 100 staff from across our organisation involved in assessing the applications as quickly as possible.

Other support

As we announced last month, the Community Emergency Fund was just one of many ways we’re supporting the sector and all of those who deliver sport and activity, through this crisis.

In addition to the fund, this is how else we’re helping:

  • £5m sector support fund

    Supporting a further 12 key partners in immediate financial need, with a £5m Sector Support Fund.

    This fund was specifically designed to support membership-style organisations that play a crucial role to support other bodies and clubs in sport, with recipients already including Community Leisure UK, Disability Sport Coach and the Association of British Climbing Walls.

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  • £20m Tackling Inequalities Fund

    This fund aims to minimise the impact of coronavirus on the activity levels of people from under-represented groups, ensuring that the participation gaps don’t widen during this period.

    It'll work with specific partners and organisations trusted by the audience, including the network of 43 Active Partnerships across England, to support local clubs and groups – ensuring the funding will reach deep into local areas to the people in greatest need.  

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  • £115m funding rollover for partners

    We’re rolling over 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. 

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  • Practical advice for projects and organisations

    We’ve launched a new online hub that’s collating tools, advice and guidance to help the sector navigate the wide range of challenges its facing – from taking services online, to developing skills for the future. 

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  • Join the Movement

    We’ve launched a nationwide campaign with TV, radio and online advertising to encourage people to #StayInWorkOut by getting active in or around their home, and share their great ways of doing so.  

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  • Pitch Preparation Fund

    We’ve worked with the Premier League, The FA and government, through the Football Foundation, to give financial support to those struggling to maintain their football pitches across the country.

    The Pitch Preparation Fund will provide clubs and organisations with the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5,000, with a view to carrying on essential maintenance works on pitches for when government advise it’s safe for football to return.

    The application window for the fund is now open, and closes at 9pm on Monday 25 May.

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In the coming weeks, further detail of our work to support the emerging future of sport and physical activity post coronavirus, will be launched.  

Programmes in development include a focus on future innovation and design to meet the changing needs and behaviours of consumers, and further support to help sport and physical activity return stronger as restrictions are lifted. 

Picture courtesy of Laurence Sweeney photography.

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