Sport England – Return to play grants – applications open until end of 2021

Article date
19 July 2021
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

This £15 million fund focuses on awards of up to £10,000 that support clubs and community groups respond to the challenges of returning to play during the coronavirus pandemic and getting people active for the first time after it

This fund makes awards using National Lottery and government funding, of between £300 and £10,000 from a total pot of £15m, to help clubs and organisations providing sport and physical activity respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way.

This could include contributing to covering the increased costs due to changing how or where you deliver your activity – for example, you require more coaches due to having to deliver activity in smaller groups than normal or having additional hygiene and safety equipment.

Funding could also be used for minor amendments to facilities to allow social distancing, additional sports equipment to minimise sharing, and training courses to help you deliver your activities safely.

They will now consider new or adapted projects that respond to the needs of participants and help people to get active again.

Who can apply

Registered charities and other not-for-profit organisations

What are the funding priorities

They have set two levels of funding priorities:

Highest priority

  • Projects located in areas of high deprivation (decile 1-3 of the Indices of Deprivation – see link below), as organisations in the most deprived areas have been particularly badly hit by the pandemic.

Other funding priorities

  • Applications are particularly encouraged from organisations working with communities who’ve suffered worse health outcomes and the most significantly reduced activity levels as a result of the pandemic. Insight currently shows this to be girls and women, young people aged 16-24 and older people aged 70+.

Whilst the above are the priorities, it doesn’t mean that they won’t support groups working beyond them, just that your application stands a stronger chance of success if it supports them.

Sport England have always tried to address inequalities through their funding so encourage applications from organisations who support people on low incomes, people with a long-term health condition or disabled people, Black, Asian and other diverse communities, and LGBTQ+ people.

What they can fund

A wide range of costs and items specifically linking to returning to play during the coronavirus pandemic may be funded.

They will adopt a flexible approach on the types of projects that may be supported.

Is there a deadline

The programme will remain open until the end of 2021(fund is now closed ).

Further information and how to apply

Indices of deprivation link