Supporting the sector
On Tuesday 31 March we announced up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:
Community Emergency Fund
This aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need and builds on the success of similar previous funds such as our Flood Relief Fund.
It's specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by us, 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 impact of coronavirus. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000.
£5m sector partner fund
We’ll work with our sector partners, for example our network of Active Partnerships and national governing bodies, on bespoke measures that may be needed for any instances of immediate financial distress.
This might include, for example, supporting a national governing body where they've had to cancel an event which would have generated vital income for the organisation.
£55m sector stimulation
We believe financial support will be needed to support and stimulate the sector while restrictions are being lifted, and that organisations will need help getting back to business and back to delivery.
We also want to make sure we can quickly adapt to changes in the way society operates and that we can quickly accelerate good ideas where they emerge. Support may also be needed to re-engage front line staff, coaches and other volunteers to be ready to respond as activity habits return or change.
Details on how we propose to use this funding to support the sector for issues like this will be set out in the coming weeks.
£115m funding rollover for key partners
This will be for identified selected partners who have funding commitments that end on or before March 2021.
It will be administered through a ‘light touch process’ that does not add extra burden at this challenging time.
This will result in certainty of funding for well over 100 partners for the next two years and will allow these organisations to focus on the longer-term response to the enormous challenge that the sector now faces.
The partners likely to be included here are established governing bodies, Active Partnerships and wider sector partners who play a pivotal role in getting and keeping the nation active.
We’ll get in touch directly with relevant partners to confirm next steps in the coming weeks.
Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, we’ve also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to our partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.
The package follows our recent decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently receive funding – including the ability to change timings, key performance indicators, targets and conditions, and redirect money to new activity in response to coronavirus.
As part of delivering on these priorities, we want to offer some specific reassurances to any individual or organisation who receives funding, or any other type of support from us, for their work.
On Tuesday 17 March we confirmed that, for an initial period of three months, we're introducing significant flexibility to reflect our current circumstances in how we manage that support.
We know that:
- It may be difficult to deliver projects, programmes or events as planned – so if you receive funding from us for something specific, but it's no longer possible to deliver it, or you want, or need, to deliver it in a different form, speak to us about the changes you want to make and we can discuss funding in this new context
- The timings of your work may need to change from what we'd previously agreed – if you feel this is the case, please discuss with us the changes you think you might need to make and we'll support you to do that
- The KPIs, targets and conditions within the funding agreements we have with you may not be relevant, appropriate or proportionate given the drastically changed circumstances – our focus is on achieving our key priorities around supporting the sector and encouraging people to stay active, not on asking you to report on previously agreed conditions
- More generally, you may want to use the money you receive from us in a different way, or on different things, to respond to the current situation or to keep your organisation going – we can be clear now that you are able to do this, and should discuss with us the changes you’d like to make.
- If we've committed to providing you, your organisation or your project with future funding or any other support, we remain absolutely committed to doing that, but we'll listen to you and be as flexible as we can be as to where, how and when that funding is deployed.
Please do discuss this with your point of contact within Sport England, or you can get in touch with us using firstname.lastname@example.org, calling us on 03458 508 508 or using our live chat function if you want to discuss what this means for you specifically.
In addition to what we've now committed to, we'll continue to keep you informed and update you as soon as there's further information on any support we can offer to individuals and organisations alike.
Some things we'll be able to help with, but some things will require a request to the government - whose information on business support can be found here.
On Friday March 27, our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth hosted a webinar to speak to the sport and physical activity sector about our priorities, how we're trying to help and to provide an update on our new strategy - the webinar can be viewed below.
In addition to the webinar, we're continuing to work with many of you to understand the ongoing and future impact of coronavirus on you, clubs, members and the sector workforce, and we want to make sure that whatever action we take has the greatest positive impact. So, we want to hear from you now about the issues you're facing and to take on board these ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.
Please contact us via email@example.com and let us know:
- How coronavirus is impacting you or your organisation
- The type of help you think would be most beneficial now and in the future.
Please keep in touch with us via the above email address as you or your organisation's situation changes.
The coronavirus crisis is unprecedented in modern times, and with everyone now spending a lot more time at home, it could have a significantly negative impact on the nation’s physical activity levels.
We don’t want that to happen, which is why we've launched our National Lottery-funded Join the Movement campaign to support people to get and stay active, provided they are well enough and following the latest government guidelines, which stipulates one form of exercise outdoors in any given day.
That’s because physical activity matters during this period and, actually, we think it’s more important than ever right now.
Being active in a way that is right for you can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and just generally make you feel better.
Join the Movement includes lots of fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home, with exclusive offers and workouts from content providers such as Les Mills on Demand, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) and FiiT, plus ideas for how to get active outside.
It uses the hashtag #StayInWorkOut to show how people can continue to get active when they're spending most of their time at home, and is encouraging others to share some of the best ideas they find online using the same hashtag.
Building on what we've learned from This Girl Can and We Are Undefeatable, this new campaign isn't just giving people ideas of how to get active in or near their homes, but it's also showing them that it’s not only fun but also worth doing.
We’d love those in the sport and physical activity sector to support us in this important work and ask you use this hashtag when you're promoting any content on social media from your sport or organisation that may be relevant.
Remember, in any given day, you can still go outside for one form of exercise, such as a walk, a run or a cycle, if you're well enough and as long as you’re on your own, or with members of your household. Please always follow the latest official advice on social distancing - which means staying more than two metres from others - and follow the advice on general hygiene. It's important that you stick stringently to the guidance.
If you're going outside to get active, you should do this locally, staying close to your home and avoiding places where it may be hard to follow the guidelines.
There'll be plenty more to say on our ongoing work in the days and weeks ahead.