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 publicly 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

Invest NI

Business & Financial Planning Grant 

The £2m COVID-19 Business & Financial Planning Grant will support micro and SME businesses to engage an experienced consultant to carry out a review and health check of the business and develop a strategic recovery plan with financial forecasts. The scheme will provide up to £8k to eligible businesses to contribute toward the cost of a consultant to undertake a business and financial review to plan for recovery.

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 for Communities

COVID Safe Sport Pack

Sport NI, in partnership with the Department for Communities, has opened the COVID Safe Sport Pack Programme for expressions of interest from eligible organisations to receive a pack. The programme aims to assist Sports organisations with their management of the ease of lockdown and a safe return to sport during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on eligibility and how to apply please go to

Sports Hardship Fund

The Sports Hardship Fund has re-opened for applications. The application form can be accessed through the following link:

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.

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

Cash 4 Clubs

Cash 4 Clubs is a sports funding scheme which gives clubs a unique chance to apply for grants to improve facilities, purchase new equipment, gain coaching qualifications, and generally invest in the sustainability of their club.  Since 2008 over £350,000 has been given out in grants to community sports clubs across the UK. The Cash 4 Clubs scheme can be accessed

The Lord’s Taverners

The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.  Their sporting roots are within cricket, but they also have relationships with a wide range of other sports including rugby, tennis, squash, basketball and boccia. Lord Taverners can be contacted via their website

NICRC Core Funding Scheme

The Core Funding Scheme provides support for organisations which are considered of strategic importance in promoting community relations work across Northern Ireland.

The scheme contributes towards salary and organisational running costs. Deadline for applications is Friday 13th November at 4pm. For more information on how to apply go to Core Funding Scheme how to apply.

NICRC Media Grants Scheme

The aim of the Community Relations Council Media Grant Scheme is to commission media projects which focus on the engagement of civil society to underpin peace building and/or support the development of a more diverse society in-line with the T:BUC strategy. Deadline for applications is Friday 23rd October at 4pm. For more information on how to apply go to

CR/CD Small Grants Scheme

The CR/CD Small Grants Scheme is now open. This funding can help community and voluntary groups throughout Northern Ireland engage in Community Relations work. Deadline for applications is Friday 4th December at 6pm. For more information on how to apply go to

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.

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:

  • Following the closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) on 31 October 2020, the Government has introduced the Job Support Scheme which will open on 01 November 2020.  The Scheme is ‘designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce’.The Scheme will support employers who can provide some work to their employees but who need more time for demand to recover. The scheme will run from 01 November 2020 for six months to April 2021.

Job Support Scheme Factsheet from 1 Nov 2020

Ulster Rugby

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

Covid-19 Support

The resource available at the following link, provides key information for our clubs and members during these extraordinary times.

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


HMRC Employer Bulletin (August 2020, issue 85) includes all of the latest COVID-19 updates to help you continue to meet your payroll obligations to HMRC and to claim any relevant grants and rebates during this challenging time. HMRC have included the latest update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and what you need to know from 1‌‌ August onwards, as well as a reminder on the Loan Charge and an update on the end of VAT payment deferrals.

To avoid delay, HMRC recommend use of their online services should you need to contact or send them information.

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

What COVID-19 might mean for your AGM – and how to plan for it?

At the end of June The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 brought in special temporary rules to allow companies to hold their AGMs and/or special general meetings online until the end of September, even if their governing documents prohibited it.   This temporary measure has now been extended to 30 December.  It may be advisable for organisations to use this extension period to hold a special general meeting to update their governing documents to allow general meetings to take place electronically given the uncertainty around when large gatherings for meetings etc will be allowed.

For organisations that are based in and operate within the Republic of Ireland

As part of its response to difficulties faced by businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 (the “Act”) was enacted and commenced on 21 August 2020.  This Act contains measures that will provide entities with some flexibility in relation to operational and governance matters during the current pandemic.

The Act, for the most part, temporarily amends the Companies Act 2014 (the “2014 Act”) and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1893 (the “1893 Act”) so that, notwithstanding challenges posed by the pandemic, entities can continue to operate in compliance with relevant provisions of those Acts.

Nature of the Amendments

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on entities varies depending on the nature of any particular business.  Nonetheless, directors, shareholders and other stakeholders must continue to be able to communicate with each other and take decisions, maintain filings and execute documentation despite restrictions on travel, physical meetings and attendance at workplaces.  The Act seeks to facilitate this by modifying the law relating to companies’ annual general meetings (“AGMs”), extraordinary general meetings (“EGMs”) and creditors’ meetings.  It also makes certain amendments to examinership and winding up.

Broadly, the provisions apply for an interim period from 21 August to 31 December 2020.  It is proposed that this period could be extended, from time to time, at the request of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, having consulted with the Minster for Health, if they are satisfied that such an extension is in the public interest.

Furlough Toolkit

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