Covid-19: Funding Sources

As well as its direct public health impacts, the covid-19 outbreak has presented real financial challenges to London’s grassroots physical activity and sport organisations. In response, a number of public funders are making available new funding packages to provide support and assistance to physical activity and sport bodies, and the wider charitable sector.

This page contains a selected list of major funding sources that have been launched in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Sport England Covid-19 Funding

Return to Play: Small Grants

This Sport England fund will make awards of between £300 and £10,000, from a total pot of £10m, to help sport and activity groups, clubs and organisations respond to the immediate challenges of returning to play in a coronavirus-safe way.

Return to Play: Community Asset Fund

Sport England’s second Return to Play fund will make awards of between £10,001 and £50,000 from a pot of £5m to help local sports clubs and organisations adapt and open important places and spaces to help their local community return to play safely.

Return to Play: Active Together

Active Together is a crowdfunding initiative that can match fund, up to £10,000, successful Crowdfunder campaigns from a total pot of £1.5m for things such as a loss of income due to the crisis, or any other covid-19 related needs.

London Community Response Fund

Wave 5 Funding

London Community Response are looking to fund organisations that are helping to build stronger communities.  The aim to ensure that all Londoners are able to play an active role in their communities; and London is a more equal and inclusive city post covid-19.  They are also looking to support organisations that are enabling a new deal for young people.  They recognise that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the mental and physical wellbeing of young Londoners, and aim to improve their safety, potential, education and job prospects.

Applications are now open for the Wave 5 of funding from the London Community Response.  Wave 5 is mainly focused on renewal, supporting three “missions” for the future beyond covid-19:

  • building strong communities,
  • a new deal for young people, and
  • ensuring a robust safety net.

Crisis Response Grants of up to £10,000 to enable you to respond to the urgent needs of communities through the third lockdown for up to six months, starting as soon as the grant is awarded.  Applications will be considered in the order they are received, with a final deadline of 5pm on Thursday 21 January 2021.

Renewal Grants for up to £50,000 are available to enable you to support the recovery and renewal of London’s communities over a full year, starting from April 2021.  They can either be for a specific project, for a partnership, or for the core costs of running and growing your organisation.  Applications will be open until midday on Monday 15 February 2021 and will be assessed together as quickly as possible after this date.

Other Funding

Community Business Fund Renewal

The Community Business Renewal Fund has been created to give established community businesses in England the opportunity to assess, diversify and strengthen their operations to help them navigate the constantly changing coronavirus landscape.

All community businesses that were financially viable before the pandemic can apply, with priority given to community businesses supporting people at higher risk from Covid-19, operating in areas of high deprivation, or working closely with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 are available from Social Investment Business (SIB) delivering on behalf of Power to Change.  There is a short application window of three hours and applications need to be submitted during the following windows: Round 2: 12 January 2021 10am – 1pm and Round 3: 2 March 2021 10am – 1pm

The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF)

National Lottery Awards for All

A quick way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300 and £10,000.  Rolling deadline.

Reaching Communities

This programme offers a larger amount of funding (over £10,000) for projects that last up to five years.  TNLCF are looking for projects that work with their community – whether that’s a community living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.  Rolling deadline.


This programme offers a larger amount of funding (over £10,000) for organisations that work together with a shared set of goals to help their community thrive – whether that’s a community living in the same area, or people with similar interests or life experiences.  Rolling deadline.

Local Connections Fund

This fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups working to reduce loneliness.  Organisations can apply for £300 to £2,500 of £2 million in phase 1.  (NB.  Successful applicants must spend their grants and have completed their projects by 31 March 2021.)  Application deadline  is Tuesday 26 January 2021.

GLA Grants – Community-Led Recovery Programme

The Mayor of London has launched a new programme to involve London’s diverse communities in the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This programme is a way for communities most deeply affected by COVID-19 to share their lived experience and collaborate with decision makers to reimagine our city as fairer, greener and more resilient than it was before.

The programme includes two grant streams:

  • Community-Led Action Grant: offers grants between £2,000 and £9,000 to initiate social action projects which gather new insights.
  • London Community Story Grant: offers grants between £500 and £1,500 to organisations with existing projects which capture Londoner’s experience of COVID-19, supporting them to be presented and shared with a wide audience.

Applications are open from 11 January 2021. You must submit your application by midday 19 February 2021.

Also see:

Newby Trust, Covid-19 Fund – deadline: rolling

This page will be updated with any new funding opportunities that we become aware of. If you are providing funding suitable for physical activity and sport organisations in response to the covid-19 crisis and would like your funding to be promoted here, contact us.

London Sport has created a page which will be updated with any new statements or information from London Sport on the covid-19 outbreak and any impacts on our work.