Financial Support

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In this section we highlight the loans and funding sources available to support your organisation at this time.

Sport England Return to Play Fund

Sport England has announced new funding through its Return to Play Fund, which is split into the following three areas:

Return to Play: Small Grants

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 will be available to help groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a safe way. This may include cost associated with having smaller groups than normal or having the correct hygiene and safety equipment.

Return to Play: Community Asset Fund

Grants of between £10,001 and £50,000 are available to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important paces and spaces to help their local community return to play safely. This may include converting existing space to meet social distancing guidelines, or improving a facility’s ventilation.

Return to Play: Active Together

This is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund successful Crowdfunder campaigns up to £10,000. 

Restart Grants

The Chancellor has announced that the government will be providing Restart Grants for hospitality, accommodation, personal care, leisure and gym businesses in England of up to £18,000 per premises to help with the cost of reopening.

Another £425 million is also being provided to local authorities in England to put towards discretionary business grant funding.

Community Ownership Fund

The government will create a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund. From the summer, community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to help them to buy local assets to run as community-owned businesses. This fund applies primarily to hospitality business however, in exceptional cases up to £1 million of matched funding will be available to help establish a community-owned sports club or buy a sports ground at risk of loss from the community.

Recovery Loan Scheme

From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million to give them confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.

Levelling-Up Fund

Rishi Sunak outlined a £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, which will support local areas across the UK to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life. This funding will go towards projects that include regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport and investing in culture and heritage, ensuring that community assets continue to serve local people across the whole UK. It is possible that this money will be available to invest in sport and recreation and we will provide more information in due course.


To combat the spread of COVID-19, the government has instructed all non-essential business, including sports clubs and leisure facilities, to close.

The government and the insurance industry have confirmed that this instruction to close is sufficient to satisfy a clause relating to government ordered closure in a policy and further intervention by the police or another statutory body is not required.

However, the ability to make a claim will also be dependent on organisations having an insurance policy which covers pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases. Further information from the government on commercial insurance is available here.

It is suggested you contact your insurance provider to understand fully what your policy covers.

Our partners Howden have produced a series of COVID-19 related guidance for businesses including operational management, cyber risk management, support for employees and implications for directors.

The Association of British Insurers have also produced useful guidance regarding business insurance.

Archived documents:

Business Rates Relief and Cash Grants Support

Other Sources of Financial Support

Support for Charities