Grants are available to not-for-profit community organisations for projects addressing the challenges coronavirus/COVID-19 has posed to people taking part in sport and physical activity in England.
Current Status: Open for Applications
Maximum value: £10,000
Objectives of Fund
The £16.5 million Return to Play Fund is funded with money from the Government and the National Lottery and administered by Sport England.
The Fund is divided into three strands.
- Small Grants – A total of £10 million with grants of between £300 and £10,000 to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a Covid-19-safe environment. Small grants are intended to help not-for-profit community organisations create coronavirus-secure settings for community sport and physical activity to resume in autumn 2020.
- A total of £5 million with grants of between £10,001 and £50,000 to help local sports clubs and organisations to adapt and open important places and spaces that can help them welcome back their local community safely.
- Active Together – A total of £1.5 million is a crowdfunding initiative to help sports clubs and organisations set up their own campaigns to help sustain them through the crisis. Further details are available on Crowdfunder’s website
Small grants are intended to help not-for-profit community organisations create coronavirus-secure settings for community sport and physical activity to resume in autumn 2020.
A total of £10 million is available.
Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available.
Who Can Apply
Applications are accepted from:
- Not-for-profit voluntary groups or sports clubs
- Not-for-profit community clubs or organisations.
- Registered charities.
- Not-for-profit companies
- Community interest companies or other social enterprises.
- Leisure operators, operating a single site.
Grants are not available for:
- Sole traders.
- Statutory bodies or educational establishments including academies and universities.
- A leisure centre operator, operating more than one site.
- A national governing body or Active Partnership.
- A commercial or for-profit entity.
- An organisation delivering football-only activities.
- Projects not clearly related to coronavirus challenges.
- Running costs and utility bills.
- Construction/refurbishment projects where building regulations approval or planning permission has not yet been obtained.
- Replacement of equipment.
- Existing coaching and other staffing costs.
- Projects taking place or incurring costs before the date of a potential award offer letter – this includes any form of deposits and costs associated in submitting the application.
- Projects not ready to begin within six weeks from submitting the application.
- Football-only projects.
The fund’s priorities are flexible, enabling it to best respond to the frequently changing challenges posed to community sport by the pandemic.
These could include having to deliver sport and physical activity in smaller groups, having the correct sanitation and safety equipment, not having enough sports equipment to safely deliver activities and having the appropriate training for club volunteers to ensure the current guidelines are being met.
Grants can support minor amendments to facilities, additional sports equipment, signage, sanitation and training courses to help deliver activities safely.
Priority will be given to:
- Projects located in areas of high deprivation (decile 1-3 of the Indices of Deprivation).
- Organisations working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, people on lower incomes, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and people experiencing a greater burden of care because of coronavirus, people on lower incomes, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and people experiencing a greater burden of care because of coronavirus.
- Organisations that do not have a significant level of reserve funding available to utilise.
How To Apply
Guidance notes and the online application form are available on the Sport England website.
Sport England aims to provide a decision within three weeks of receipt of application.
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