Covid-19 related funding

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3rd April 2020
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3rd April 2020

Covid-19 related funding

The below funding streams have all been collated to help identify any specific Covid-19 related funding requirements.

Arts Council England COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Arts and Cultural Organisations

Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Arts Council England has launched an emergency response fund for organisations outside of the Naptional Portfolio.

This funding has come from reallocation of National Lottery Project Grants, Developing your Creative Practice and Development Funds, for the 2020-21 period, and uses up almost all of their reserves.

The main focus for this fund is ensuring the arts and culture sector can continue and survive during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Any applications should demonstrate how the development they want to undertake will enable the organisation to do this.

This fund is to support organisations to get back on their feet, or to continue making work in the future that will mean they can contribute to delivering the new strategy, Let’s Create.

Eligible organisations must have experience of delivering work that was funded (directly or indirectly) by bodies such as Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, local authorities, universities, public sector bodies, trusts and foundations, libraries, etc. 

Deaf and disabled led organisations/creative practitioners will be prioritised.

A total of £50 million is available through this fund and organisations may apply for grants of a maximum £35,000.

There will be two rounds of this fund.  Applicants can apply to only one of these rounds.

The deadlines are as follows:

  • Round one: opens on 9 April 2020, with a deadline of 16 April 2020
  • Round two: opens on 16 April 2020, with a deadline of 30 April 2020.

Applicants will need to register for Grantium before submitting an online application form.

Arts Council England’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Individuals Opens Soon

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced further details of the short-term, exceptional funds it has created in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Emergency Response Fund for Individuals provides grants to artists, creative practitioners and freelancers who have had their work affected by the COVID-19 emergency, resulting in a loss of income, additional costs and financial challenge.

The objective it to help individuals to better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. The scheme can support activity and/or equipment that will help with sustaining artists’ practices and support them in continuing with their work, affording them time to stabilise, think and plan for the future.

The Arts Council is making £20 million of financial support available to individuals. £16 million can be applied for through this fund. The other £4 million will go to benevolent funds targeted at other cultural workers.

Individual grants of up to £2,500 are available (£3,000 for those with extra costs relating to a disability). The money can be used to fund:

  • Lost wages or living costs, like rent, bills or food.
  • IT equipment or software to help the applicant do their job from home.
  • Time to work on a creative practice. This might include practice, research or making new work.

The scheme is open to freelance creative practitioners in England, whose main work is focused on combined arts, dance, libraries, literature, museums, music, theatre and visual arts. Sole traders may apply. At least 50% of the applicant’s normal income must come from their creative freelance work.

There will be two funding rounds and applicants can apply to only one of these.

Round one opens on 9 April 2020 with a deadline for applications of 16 April 2020. Round two opens on 16 April 2020 with a deadline for applications of 30 April 2020.

To apply, applicants must first register on ACE’s Grantium application portal.

CAF Launches Coronavirus Emergency Fund for Small Charities in UK

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has launched a £5 million rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. The funding aims to help them to continue to deliver much needed support to communities across the UK.

Charities with an income of £1 million or less can apply for grants of up to £10,000. The unrestricted funding can be used for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas. Applicants must be able to describe how an emergency grant will improve the situation for their organisation and community.

Priority will be given to:

  • Charities, and other organisations, whose established charitable activities are at risk of being severely reduced to the detriment of vulnerable groups.
  • Organisations that are having to deliver core services in fundamentally different or unusual ways in order to respond to the crisis and still reach their beneficiaries.
  • Organisations that are deeply embedded with communities and have established networks to deliver their charitable activities.
  • Organisations experiencing current cashflow problems, rather than concerns that future income will be reduced.

CAF aims to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application. It is anticipated that there will be a high number of applicants and CAF is therefore unlikely to offer a grant to all eligible organisations.

Applications are currently being accepted.

£5 Million Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund Launched for UK Musicians

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund specifically to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may currently be facing.

HMUK recognises that the impact of the coronavirus on musicians’ lives and careers is unprecedented. The charity says its normal person-centred approach of health and welfare support needs to be boosted in this exceptional period to give as many musicians as possible immediate financial relief.

The Fund has a total budget of £5 million. Musicians can apply for a one-off payment of £500 to alleviate some of their immediate money worries about mounting household expenses.

HMUK encourages musicians only to apply if they are indeed suffering significant financial hardship. This will enable the charity to provide help quickly to those who need it the most.

Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund Launches Soon

The British Film Institute (BFI) has joined forces with the Film and TV Charity to create a new fund to help support the creative community, which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund has been established with a £1 million donation from Netflix. It will provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.

The Fund will be open to those working in production, distribution and exhibition. The Film and TV Charity is currently working on the precise eligibility criteria and level of individual funding.

Live Well Wakefield Small Grants – Coronavirus Resilience Fund

Historically, the main objectives of this grant fund has been to support the principles of the Live Well Service through providing local services/activities that are engaging, accessible and meet the needs of people within their local communities.

With the challenges posed by Covid-19, a decision has been taken to open the grant fund to proposals that allow VCS organisations to continue to support the overarching aims of the service during this challenging time.

Grants will be allocated on the basis of identified need which supports the aim of working differently to continue to deliver wellbeing support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The grant will close to applications on 24 April 2020.  However, please note that the grant panel will review applications as they are received and release monies as soon as possible.

Power to Change Suspends All Current Funding Programmes

Power to Change has paused all future rounds of its funding programmes as it focuses attention on supporting community businesses affected by COVID-19.

The following programmes are closed effective immediately:

Groups should check the Power to Change website and sign up to the Power to Change newsletter for weekly updates.  

PRS for Music Launches Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund

Coronavirus has caused the cessation of the live music industry and creative businesses have closed down, causing a dramatic reduction in the use of original music. Collectively, the livelihoods of creators, many of whom are freelance or small businesses themselves, are at risk during this crisis.

The PRS Emergency Relief Fund has been set up to provide immediate financial support to Performing Right Society (PRS) members during the coronavirus pandemic. Funding is being offered to songwriters and composers from around the world who are facing significant financial pressure as the global battle against the virus continues.

Grants will be awarded based on assessment of individual need and successful applicants will receive support up to a value of £1,000 each.

The Fund is open to all PRS writer members around the world who are suffering genuine hardship from loss of work due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants must have been members for at least two years and earned over £500 of PRS royalties in the last two years.

New Rural Response Emergency Grants – Mid April Deadline

Grants of up to £2,500 (inclusive of VAT) are being made available to support not-for-profit organisations operating in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland if they are:

  • Providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals.
  • Providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Assisting rural or farming communities to cope with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The grants will assist projects that support farm businesses or other rural business and rural communities to cope with the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). This many include but is not limited to:

  • Fuel costs for grocery and prescription delivery from rural community shops, pubs, and hubs.
  • Costs associated with emergency support by farm and agricultural support groups.
  • Rural foodbanks and food delivery.

The funding is intended to cover additional costs generated as a result of the response to the coronavirus. Grants could be used for core costs when current income has been lost as a result of the coronavirus, or additional wage costs, or petrol/delivery costs, etc.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon 15 April 2020.

Chancellor Reveals Covid-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new scheme to support the UK’s self-employed through the Covid-19 outbreak. In the latest move to protect individuals and businesses, the Chancellor has set out plans that will see the self-employed receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

Those who are eligible will receive grants worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

The announcement brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced by the Chancellor last week, where the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

The scheme will cover the three months to May 2020. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.

Applicants cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact those who are eligible in due course and invite them to apply online.

Sport England Launches £20m Community Emergency Fund

Sport England has set up the new £20 million Community Emergency Fund as part of a £195 million package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. It is specifically targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available to the following organisations:

  • Local sports clubs
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations that deliver or enable sport and/or physical activity, including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations and have an important role to play in keeping people active, that may need support for other parts of their organisation to remain open
  • Small charitable trusts that do not qualify for financial help elsewhere
  • Regional or county level organisations or leagues that have already paid out funds for activities that are now cancelled and are not able to claim funds from elsewhere.

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

  • Rent
  • Utility costs
  • Insurances
  • Facility or equipment hire
  • Core staffing costs (including casual workers) that cannot be met elsewhere by other government funds
  • Retrospective losses dating from 1 March 2020.

Some examples of the sort of things the funding can help with are:

  • Support a boxing club to pay for their utility bills and other costs for their facility when no activity is taking place
  • Support a local league who have paid for equipment to run a competition which is now cancelled and therefore will not receive the money the players in the league would have paid.

Applications are currently being accepted with a closing date of 31 July 2020.


Government have released questions and answers papers for both European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) to guide current funded projects through delivery in light of the impact of the Coronavirus.

2) European Regional Development Fund 2014 to 2020 Programme – Questions and Answers on COVID-19Direct link here

This response covers guidance to projects / applicants on;

·        Claims
·        Underspends
·        Outputs
·        Summative assessment data sheets
·        Staff costs to cover illness due to COVID_19
·        State aid rules
·        Changes to delivery methods i.e. agile/remote working
·        Communications with the Managing Authority
·        Deadline dates for ERDF full applications

3) European Social Fund 2014-2020 Programme – Questions and Answers on COVID-19 Direct link here

This response covers guidance to projects / applicants on;

·        Relaxation of claims evidence requirements
·        Cost in relation to staff effected by COVID_19
·        Alternatives to the requirement to use ‘wet’ signatures
·        Eligibility of costs in relation to cancelled events
·        Reduction in planned outputs as a result of COVID_19
·        Business continuity
·        Calls, submission of applications and the Reserve Fund

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