Lottery distributors launch funds for organisations hit by coronavirus

02 Apr 2020 News

Sport England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund have both launched funds to support grantees affected by the coronavirus crisis. 

The National Lottery Community Fund has already said that it will divert the entirety of its next six months’ funding, around £300m, to deal with issues caused by Covid-19.

Sport England

Sport England, which normally invest more than £250m of National Lottery and public money each year, has announced a package that totals £195m. This includes a £20m emergency fund and £55m to fund new ways of keeping people active. 

It has also said it will be flexible during the crisis.

Tim Hollinsworth, chief executive of Sport England, said: “This is impacting the sector financially in a significant way, although it is heartening to see huge amounts of innovation and agility, with many operators getting classes online in a matter of days to enable home workouts for example. 

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity at a grassroots level, we have an important role to play both in ensuring that we support those with short-term cash flow concerns and immediate loss of income, as well as those facing medium and long-term survival challenges and financial difficulties.”

Sport England has published more details on its website. 

National Heritage Lottery Fund 

National Heritage Lottery Fund has launched a £50m emergency fund. 

It aims to address immediate pressures over the next 3-6 months for those most in need as well as provide increased investment in essential digital skills across the sector. On the latter, it will look to provide expertise in critical areas such as digital fundraising, use of social media and communications, and running online events and activities.  

Grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 will be available to organisations that have received funding in the past and are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant.

The funder has surveyed more than 1,250 heritage organisations on the effect of the Covid-19 crisis, finding that 82% of respondents reported a high or moderate risk to their organisation’s long-term viability. 

Some 35% said their financial reserves will be depleted within four months, while 46% of organisations can survive for no more than six months.  

Eilish McGuinness, executive director of business delivery at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We know that circumstances are incredibly challenging for our heritage community right now and we want to do everything we can to support them. We hope this new Emergency Fund and our investment in digital capability will be a lifeline for organisations affected.

“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting health and wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from this current crisis.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has published more information about its grants on its website.

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