Coronavirus: Hardship Fund for sports clubs and sporting organisations

News article

Small grant scheme for the Northern Ireland sports sector has re-opened

The Sports Hardship Fund, which initially opened on 14 April 2020, has re-opened to further help sports clubs and other organisations delivering sporting activities who are still experiencing financial hardship.

This phase will prioritise new applications for £2,000 and now includes club and organisations who ‘block book’ (hire) their facilities as well as owning or leasing facilities.

Returning applicants may also apply for a £1,000 top-up to their award if they have fully expended the initial £2,000.

Who is eligible?

Any organisation delivering sport and physical recreation can apply if experiencing financial hardship. These organisations include:

  • Governing bodies of sport recognised by Sport NI (with and office base in NI).
  • Constituted local sports clubs affiliated to a Governing Body of Sport recognised by Sport NI.
  • Community and voluntary sector organisations that deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation as their primary activity. Sports and activities must be recognised by Sport NI.
  • Small charitable trusts that deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation as their primary activity and do not qualify for financial help elsewhere. Sports and activities must be recognised by Sport NI.

Organisations should not apply if they have received grant funding through the £25,000 Retail Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant.

What is covered?

The fund has been developed to help sport and physical recreation organisations meet their obligations, particularly fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on:

  • facility hire ie block bookings
  • rent/lease payments
  • utility costs
  • essential grounds/facility maintenance (to maintain a state of readiness)
  • some insurance (essential building/contents insurance, public liability, pro-rata)

How much funding can I receive?

Each successful applicant (previously not in receipt of a Sports Hardship Fund award) will receive £2,000 towards eligible costs incurred from 1 April 2020.

Applicants who have previously received funding from the Sports Hardship Fund may be eligible for an additional grant of £1,000.

Priority will be given to those applicants not previously in receipt of a Sports Hardship Fund award.

How to apply

Find more information on the Hardship Fund and apply online on the Sport NI website.

The fund will close for completed applications at 12 noon on Thursday 5 November 2020.

The Sports Hardship Fund initially opened on 14 April 2020 and has provided support totalling over £1 million to help over 500 sports clubs maintain facilities during the lockdown.

First published 15 April 2020