Funding and Support

We know this is an incredibly difficult time and the impact on our sporting partners has been immeasurable, Sport NI continues to work with the Department for Communities and with you, our partners, to get a fuller picture about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on sport, and respond with a phased approach to interventions and remedies.

Please continue to keep us informed on your issues and impacts of COVID19 at:

Phase one: existing and planned funding  

Phase two: Hardship funding

Phase three: Resilience funding and support



Phase one: existing and planned funding


  • Sport NI is getting monies, already allocated through our Lottery funded programmes, out this week to eligible governing bodies of sport and sports clubs & organisations quickly, as announced by the Minister on 30th March, both for the last year (ending 31st March 2020) and this year (starting on 1st April 2020). This is to ensure that sports will have money to pay staff, alleviate cash-flow concerns, provide assurance to staff, and keep the organisations afloat.
  • It is highly likely some targets set for this year will not be achieved under the current circumstances.  Sport NI recognises this and will not have unreasonable expectations considering what sports can achieve this year.
  • Sport NI is working hard on a range of ways to flexibly support your organisation through this crisis and beyond, and commits to having a single point of contact within the organisation for such situations. Please discuss any issues with your point of contact within Sport Northern Ireland.


  • We understand that salaries that are publically funded are exempt from the government furloughing scheme and we are seeking further clarification regarding posts that are part-funded with public monies. Further updates will be made available here.


Other Funding Sources and Support

There are also other sources of funding and support that we would draw you attention to below:

DAERA – Be Outdoor Smart, Leave No Trace & Love the Place

Environmental Challenge Fund

An Environmental Challenge Fund Competition for 2020/21 has launched under the DAERA Environment Fund.  For information and details on the eligibility, environmental impact priorities and how to apply, please click on the following link: and scroll down to 3: Environmental Challenge Competitions.  It includes outdoor recreation and connecting people with the environment:

  • Delivery of core path networks and strategic routes
  • Provision of recreation infrastructure
  • Delivery of outdoor recreation data products essential to underpin decision making and action and information provision


Outdoor Recreation

With the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, there are many more opportunities to enjoy our nature, landscapes and coasts with our families, friends and groups. Enjoy a healthy and inspiring visit to our outdoors

Current Government advice and guidance is that 30 people can now meet outdoors in NI. For information on managing Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms in the UK please visit government guidance


Tourism NI/Discover NI

Tourism Recovery

Tourism NI has launched a tourism recovery marketing campaign based around Staycations. Holiday at home; Support local businesses in NI; Re-connect with family and friends; Enjoy the Outdoors & Coastal adventures. With this promotion of outdoors activities by Tourism NI, what Experiences, Destinations, Accommodation, and Food and Drink would you like to discover. Discover more at Discover NI. For more information on Outdoor Recreation Activities visit Discover NI things to do/activities

Good To Go Campaign

Tourism NI have also launched a Good To Go campaign and logo. The UK wide industry standard ‘We’re Good to Go’ was developed to provide reassurance to customers and demonstrate commitment to implementing relevant government and public health guidance in relation to Covid-19. The scheme has been developed in partnership with Visit England, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales to ensure a common approach across the UK. Please find below the hyperlinks to the registration: and


NI Business Info

Coronavirus: NI Micro-business Hardship Fund

The NI Executive has launched a new NI Micro-business Hardship Fund to help Northern Ireland based micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.

Department for the Economy (DfE) will make up to £40 million available through a fund, which is being administered by Invest Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy. It will offer emergency funding to businesses facing immediate cash flow difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19.

Invest NI

Mitigate the impact of COVID-19

This page is an online resource for our customers and Northern Ireland businesses affected by the global coronavirus pandemic.

You can access the latest support from the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive here, as well as existing financial, capability development and advisory support available from Invest Northern Ireland.

Collectively, these programmes will mitigate the immediate impact of COVID-19 on your business, help you to adapt and survive this unprecedented crisis, and prepare for recovery. We are also working with the Department for the Economy and our stakeholders to develop tailored support that will ensure businesses build their operational and financial resilience.

Underpinning this support is our business information website,, with a dedicated section offering coronavirus updates on the latest government support and official guidance including details of financial support schemes, policy information and comprehensive advice on key business areas to help manage the current challenges.

Department of Finance

The Department of Finance has announced a £100m emergency rates package for businesses. All NI businesses will pay zero rates for the next three months (April, May, June). This automatically reduces rates by 25%, in addition to any existing rate reliefs. This applies to all businesses and does not need to be repaid.  

Department for Communities

Co-operation Ireland Small Grants Programme

Co-operation Ireland has been appointed by the Department for Communities (DfC) as the Intermediary Funding Body for the 2020/21 Small Capital Grants Programme for Northern Ireland.

The purpose of this Programme is to promote Partnership and Collaboration among Voluntary and Community organisations. As such the amount of grant available to applicants will be dependent on the number of partners included on an application

To be eligible for grant assistance organisations must:

  • be constituted voluntary /community sector organisations located in Northern Ireland
  • have an annual income of less than £100,000 per year.  

This grant is only eligible for expenditure on capital items and groups must be able to incur the expenditure before 31 March 2021.

Application forms and guidance notes can be accessed at

Completed applications should be emailed to, and must be received by 5.00 pm on Friday 14th August 2020.

COVID-19 Charities Fund

Minister Hargey has announced that a £15.5m COVID-19 Charities Fund will be launched on Monday 15 June to provide grant awards to meet unavoidable costs for charities, which have exhausted all other avenues of support and are facing imminent closure.

The funding programme will be administered by the National Lottery Community Fund. It will provide financial support to charities who:

  • Have lost income due to the impact of COVID-19 and
  • Are unable to cover unavoidable costs until 30 September 2020.

The Department is developing an application system for the COVID-19 Charities Fund to help applicants through the process as simply as possible. For more information on who can apply and how to apply please go to

COVID-19 and DfC Services 

The latest information about COVID-19 and DfC Services including Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and Employment & Support Allowance. It will be updated regularly with the latest information, so you should check this page for advice on Benefits and other public services.

The Department for Communities has also produced a COVID-19 Community Response Plan which summarises the range of actions being taken forward by the Department and its partners to enable the community response on the ground to COVID-19.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

NI Water

NI Water is advising non-domestic customers to be mindful of their water needs during the COVID19 outbreak. With many properties closing their doors for a period of time and students leaving rented accommodation, NI Water is asking businesses and property owners to check their water supply is safely secured before they lock up.  Leaking or burst pipes can have significant implications for your business.

Information on water supply issues is available 24/7 simply by logging onto:  

Companies House

Applying for more time to file your company’s accounts How to ask Companies House to extend your filing deadline if an unplanned event stops you filing your accounts.  

Charity Aid Foundation Coronavirus Emergency Fund

CAF has launched a rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.

This is intended as a rapid response fund, which aims to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.

Boost Charitable Trust

Boost Charitable Trust builds on over-looked Sporting Talent, to champion the disabled and disadvantaged and to inspire them to overcome their challenges through the power of sport.

Volunteer Now

Volunteer Now have also published some information sheets for more guidance when involving volunteers and volunteering during the Coronavirus crisis.

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council’s Community Development

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council is offering financial assistance of up to £1,000 to organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector through a Covid-19 Community Support Grant to support community-led initiatives aimed at providing relief to those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  In particular it will support actions in line with the following interventions:

  • Financial – to those on low income and at-risk due to financial stress.
  • Connectivity – to those living alone or in rural and border areas that are likely to experience greater challenges in accessing services.
  • Food – access to food (whether due to cost or availability) for those most in need.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have developed an online information and advice service for residents of the Borough to help with the ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 response. This includes Business Support, Community Engagement and Health & Wellbeing plus latest updates on all Council Services. This can be accessed via


Within the Community Engagement section, there is a Local Support Directory where Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are trying to assess the requirements of existing community organisations and charities in order to support the important work that you are doing within your own areas. Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council would like to encourage all groups that are carrying out vital work at grass-roots level to add their details to this directory at The information you provide will help ensure that regional and central government have a clear understanding of the needs of those working on the ground and also help residents in the Borough to find out what services are available to them. If you do require additional support, please complete the online form and include this information.

Volunteer Now launched a new campaign ‘#HelpEachOther’ to encourage organisations to register their specific virus related, safe opportunities which will then be promoted to individuals who would like to help.

The latest funding through Grant Tracker

National Lottery Heritage Fund: Heritage Emergency Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is making £50 million available for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis. They will be investing the £50m where it is needed most, by providing short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites they have previously invested in to ensure they are not lost to the public.  They are now accepting applications for funding from £3,000 to £50,000, and you will be able to apply until 30 June 2020. FAQ 

Comic Relief: No Child Goes Hungry – Community Support Programme

Comic Relief and the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, has developed, under the Children Surviving and Thriving, the “No Child Goes Hungry” – Community Support Programme Grants for community based food provision responses that support local families with children under the age of 10 as a result of the order to close schools and/or loss of household income due to the COVID-19 virus. As the closure order may run into the summer holiday period the fund is keen to support community based programmes that can provide support across this entire period.  (Managed by Community Foundation for NI)Grants up to £2500 are available and there is no deadline as this is ongoing.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council COVID-19 Community Support Grants Scheme

Communities across Mid and East Antrim will now be able to access critical financial support during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic situation after Council agreed a funding lifeline of £100,000 for community groups working to mitigate the crisis for vulnerable groups. To qualify for a grant of up to £1000 under this Scheme, applicants must be formally constituted with a current committee and based in the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.

Halifax Grant Programmes

Halifax small and medium grant programmes are open for applications. Any Covid-19 related applications designed to support the community at this time of crisis will be prioritised and turned around as quickly as possible.

The National Lottery Community Fund

Charities and community organisations across the UK are facing increasing challenges due to COVID-19. We want to support those we fund as far as is possible at this difficult time.

A quick way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300 and £10,000 in Northern Ireland for Voluntary or Community Organisations and Public sector organisations.

The Community Foundation Northern Ireland

Coronavirus Community Fund in Northern Ireland. CFNI want to support community groups working together; particularly in smaller geographical communities. CFNI therefore encourage a partnership approach, and one application from one lead organisation, rather than a number of separate applications. Covid-19 Community Fund

With support from M&S Family (including M&S Bank and M&S Energy), Lidl, Aldi, Danone UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola European Partners, Neighbourly are launching a series of micro-grants of up to £400, for existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work involves supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak. This may include, but not be limited to, elderly people, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity.  Grant are unrestricted and can go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials. For more details and to apply see the website

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Community Response Fund

Emergency funds, up to a maximum of £3,000 per applicant, are now available through the ‘COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Community Response Fund’, from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for those actively helping residents stay resilient at this time.

Thomas Pocklington Trust Emergency Fund for the sight loss sector

£500,000 of essential support for sight loss sector organisations providing critical services for the physical and emotional well-being of blind and partially sighted people in these uncertain times. Grants up to £10,000 pounds or the equivalent of two months’ running costs (whichever is less) for use over the next six months.

Enkalon Foundation Coronavirus Community Support Fund

The Enkalon Foundation will move the focus of their modest funding pot to charities and community organisations helping people who are isolated and vulnerable in their local communities at this difficult time. As a small funder they focus their funding based on their core objectives in the former Antrim Borough Council area. All potential applicants need to contact the administrator directly with an outline of the new or existing project.

Enkalon Foundations range of interests are:

-       The advancement of amateur sport;

-       The advancement of education;

-       The advancement of health and of saving lives;

-       The advancement of citizenship or community development;

-       The advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;

-       The relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage; and

-       The advancement of animal welfare.

The Northern Ireland Office

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland.

General guidance for employers

The UK Government has published extensive guidance for employers, including details on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone is suspected or confirmed to have the virus.  

UK Government support for businesses

The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes and announcements:

Ulster Rugby

The Irish Rugby Football Union has confirmed the 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude in all provinces with immediate effect. The directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions. Please find some useful information and guidance for member clubs here. The IRFU has agreed to make €500,000 funding available to clubs in light of the Covid-19 crisis. The IRFU has published information of their Club Continuity Fund at the following link:

Ulster GAA

With the cessation of all games activity within the GAA since Friday 13 March there has obviously been a significant effect on all areas of club life. Club finances are no different. With games suspended and all club grounds (and walking tracks) now closed, see information that may be of use to clubs and club treasurers over the coming weeks here.

British Gymnastics

Coronavirus Support for Clubs

We would ask that governing bodies with links to support pages send them to: so we can add to this list.           


                           Maintaining Organisational Health



ICO: Data Protection and Covid – 6 key steps


NICVA have produced further support for the Voluntary and Community Sector through the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be accessed at


If you cannot pay your tax bill on time what you need to know before you contact HRMC and what happens when you contact HMRC.

From 1‌‌ July 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

Employers will be able to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time and decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of their business. From 1‌‌ August, employers will be asked to contribute towards wages costs.

For the latest information, join the following live webinar:

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughingHMRC will take you through the changes, flexible furloughing, claim periods and key dates.

Choose a date and time

If you haven’t managed to join our popular Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, HMRC have now added more dates.

We’ll take you through the latest on who can claim, who you can claim for, how to make a claim, what you may be entitled to, and more.

Choose a date and time

You can ask questions using the on-screen text box.

Tips for Holding Virtual Meetings during COVID-19

With the current uncertainty around the impact of Covid-19 and the limitations on travel and face to face meetings, most boards and board committees (as well as many other bodies) will for the foreseeable future have to meet virtually. With this in mind, we have provided some handy tips to remember when conducting virtual meetings.

Holding your AGM during COVID-19, Advice and Guidance

With AGM season approaching, what COVID-19 might mean for your AGM – and how to plan for it?

Furlough Toolkit

Get expert guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs and how to furlough staff due to coronavirus with the Furlough Toolkit


NCVO are running free webinars (one this week and next one is 11th June), which may be of interest.

Making decisions in tough times

11 June | 14.00

How to balance immediate and strategic choices, and how to make good decisions in a time of crisis.