Sport England Return to Play small grants

Grants available for: to support projects addressing the challenges coronavirus (Covid-19) has posed to people taking part in sport and physical activity
Size of grants given:  £300 to £10,000
Next deadline: no deadlines

Aims of Fund

A total of £10 million is available, with grants of between £300 and £10,000, to help not-for-profit community organisations create coronavirus-secure settings for community sport and physical activity to resume.

Who can apply

You don’t have to be a sports organisation to apply, however, sport should be an established and significant part of your core offer.

Your organisation can apply if you’re:

  • a not-for-profit voluntary group or sports club
  • a not-for-profit community club or organisation
  • a registered charity
  • a not-for-profit company
  • a community interest company (CIC) or other social enterprise
  • a leisure operator, operating a single site

Your project has to relate to a recognised sport. There is a list of the sports included on their website.

This funding is not available for football-only projects.

How much and what can you apply for

Examples of the kind of things they will fund are:

Minor facility alterations

  • Reconfiguration/refurbishment to meet social distancing requirements
  • Changes required to adhere to published government guidance
  • Other coronavirus-related adaptations, repairs and modifications, e.g. safety screening and contactless payment systems.

Service alterations

  • Volunteer training, e.g. health and safety requirements, risk assessments, etc.
  • Additional coaching/facility hire costs as a direct result of having to deliver to smaller group sizes
  • New ways of delivering activity for your existing participants/members. E.g. purchasing licenses to use online technology having had to change from delivery in a studio to now having to deliver online, where the classes already existed prior to coronavirus – the fund will not cover new activities that are being newly established for different audiences.

Operational alterations

  • Signage/floor markings – maintaining social distance and avoiding congestion
  • Pre-visit guidance/marketing/communications – promoting good hygiene
  • Cleaning/hygiene – keeping facilities and equipment clean
  • Additional sports equipment/kit – minimising sharing.

New/additional activity

  • Activity that provides opportunities to people who don’t wish to return to previously delivered activity.
  • An organisation offering a new or additional activity to respond to demand, due to changing habits of participants.

Running costs

If your project is located in an area of high deprivation (decile 1-3 of the Indices of Deprivation), you can include up to £2,000 to contribute towards running costs (eg rent or utilities) in your bid. To see which decile your project location fits into, you can use this postcode checker.

Check the website for the full list of things they will not fund, which includes:

  • replacement of equipment
  • existing coaching and other staffing costs
  • projects taking place or incurring costs before the date of a potential award offer letter – this includes any form of deposits and costs associated in submitting the application
  • projects not ready to begin within six weeks from national and/or local restrictions being lifted

How to apply

You need to register on their website, then fill in an online form. There is a sample form on the site, so you can see the questions before you start.

Deadlines for application

There are no deadlines. The programme will remain open for applications until the end of 2021.

Contact details

Sport England
1st Floor
21 Bloomsbury Street
Tel. 0345 8508 508

Last updated: 26/7/21 RL

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