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Sport England considers opening grant system to tackle effects of Coronavirus

By Tom Walker    23 Mar 2020

Sport England is planning to open its Small Grants programme to help ease the financial pressures put on sports clubs and organisations by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

The grassroots body has already initiated a three-month period of "significant flexibility" as part of plans to offer targeted support to organisations.

"We have significant concerns about the impact coronavirus will have financially on the sport and physical activity sector, and we're looking at options that will help to mitigate this," Sport England said in a statement.

"We're exploring a number of ideas, for example opening up applications to our Small Grants scheme to those that have lost income - modelled on our successful Flood Relief Fund - and allowing extensions of existing grants for those already in receipt of funding who have a critical funding shortfall."

It also said that organisations that have received public funding might want to use the money they received in a different way, or on different things, to respond to the current situation – or to keep their organisation going.

In such cases, Sport England said it would be open to negotiating terms on re-channelling the funding.

"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," Sport England said.

"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."

• To read the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 outbreak from Sport England, click here.

Sport England said the organisations would also be open to negotiating terms on re-channelling funding earmarked for specific initiatives / Shutterstock
The outbreak is having a huge impact on grassroots sport, with all events being cancelled across the country / Shutterstock
Sport England  Coronavirus  COVID-19 
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