In order to answer some of the most common questions we’ve received about the Sport Winter Survival Package (SWSP), we’ve put together a summary of the fund, its progress to date and a frequently asked questions section.
The SWSP was announced in November to protect the immediate future of major spectator sports in England directly affected by coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions on spectators attending fixtures and events between October 2020 and March 2021.
About the fund
The SWSP provides a total of around £300 million in survival funding and is designed to support organisations - such as professional sports clubs - in urgent financial need as a result of a loss of spectators.
This funding package is predominantly made up of loans, with grants only being considered by exception.
The SWSP is not focused on community sports organisations, but we've been supporting grassroots sport since the pandemic began with grant funding available throughout.
Independent decision-making board
The Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden, has appointed a new, independent board who are overseeing the funding process and making all investment decisions related to the package.
The board members are:
- Sir Ian Cheshire (Chair), 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.
We, Sport England, are administering the SWSP on behalf of the government but aren't responsible for making decisions on how funding is allocated.
Progress to date
Certain sports and organisations were engaged prior to the government's announcement in order to determine an initial assessment of the level of support that might be required across the sector.
However, any sport that believes they face an existential threat, as a result of the restrictions on spectators, are welcome to enquire about the scheme.
The independent board have met several times since the package was announced in November and they've taken decisions to support a range of sports, including up to £10m announced in January to support football's National League system Steps 3-6.
Further announcements of confirmed funding allocations will be made in due course.
We continue to work with eligible sports to support their progress through the application process, with further meetings of the independent board scheduled throughout February and March to ensure delivery of this urgent package.
How the fund works
Provisional assessments of need were made based upon the preliminary financial information provided by impacted sports organisations. However, these numbers were only indicative and each sport needs to go through a formal application process to access support through the scheme.
Eligible sports have been invited to submit their applications between December 2020 and March 2021, with the schedule of invitations to application staggered, primarily based upon an assessment of an organisation's urgency of need.
The schedule of when organisations are invited to apply to the scheme won't affect the level of funding they'll be able to apply for, or the nature of the support they receive.
Applications are considered by the independent board.
To find out more information about how the programme will operate, please review the programme guide.