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Grants and funding

The current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has had a significant impact on the equestrian sector. In the past few days, a number of grant funding opportunities have been announced in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to help provide support, some of which may be applicable to equestrian businesses, community projects and charitable organisations.


Many local authorities have been issued government funds to enable them to offer cash grants to businesses affected by COVID-19. We recommend contacing your local authority to see if you are eligable for grant funding. 


sport england community emergency fund

Sport England have announced £195m of funding to support the sport and physical activity sector. This represents a package of support for many different organisations throughout the sector, which could include some equestrian centres, clubs etc.

The first of these funds to launch is the Community Emergency Fund, which started at £20m but Sport England announced an additional £15m of National Lottery money on 11 May. The fund is designed to deliver immediate funding to those most in need. It’s specifically targeted to organisations 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 the impact of COVID-19. Grants are available from £300–£10,000. 

This fund can support a wide range of expenditure, including...

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

This fund is designed to help grassroots sport and physical activity providers and, therefore, is unable to help some organisation types, including commercial sport and physical activity providers and individuals who are either employed or self-employed within the sport and physical activity sector. Companies limited by guarantee are eligible, limited liability partnerships and sole traders are not eligible.

If you are not eligible for funding, but still in desperate need for support, please email with some information about your situation and your set-up – they are keen to listen to any sport or physical activity provider who falls through the cracks of the current funding available

The funding can’t be used for activities or costs already covered by Government funding, including rates, new activities, capital works or costs beyond July 2020. It is expected that applicants have exhausted all other sources of funding available from the Government before applying for this fund. 

Further information can be found from Sport England.

Applications are currently paused while Sport England assess those they've received and begin to allocate funding.

sport england Active together crowdfunder

Sport England has teamed up with Crowdfunder to make £1m of match-funding available to not-for-profit organisations that play a role in keeping their community active. This includes sports clubs in England who have had to cease operations due to coronavirus and in doing so are experiencing short-term financial difficulties.

Organisations can receive up to £10,000 of match-funding to help them on the road to recovery if they meet the following criteria...

  • Local sports clubs
  • Charities, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations that deliver sport and/or physical activity to their community
  • Be for the benefit of people residing in England

For further information about the Active Together Crowdfunder, click here.

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Further details about these Government grants, originally announced last week, have now been made available and can be found here.


Sport Wales' Be Active Wales Fund

Sport Wales has created the Be Active Wales Fund to provide a major source of support for community clubs and organisations that have been hit badly by the coronavirus outbreak, with the money going towards helping them to restart activities safely. The grand funding has been made possible thanks to the Welsh Government and repurposed money from The National Lottery. 

Grassroots clubs and organisations can apply for a grant of between £300–£50,000. This can be used to pay for any adaptations needed for activities to continue safely once given the greenlight, if they haven't been given it already. Those organisations at risk of folding as a result of coronavirus can also use the money to help pay rent, utility costs, insurance or any fixed costs they may have for facility or equipment hire. 

More information is provided here, including how to make an application.

Economic Resilience Fund

A new £500m Economic Resilience Fund has been launched for Wales. The fund aims to plug the gaps in the support schemes already announced by the UK Government, including the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will guarantee 80% of people’s wages and income.

It will support firms of all sizes, including social enterprises, with a focus on those that have not already benefited from the COVID-19 grants already announced by the Welsh Government.

The Fund includes £200million for enterprises of all sizes, with a focus on trying to address significant cash flow issues not already covered by other UK or WG measures. Support comes in three categories... 

  • Micro businesses can claim up to £10,000
  • SME businesses can claim up to £100,000
  • Large businesses can claim up to £680,000

Further information can be found from the Welsh Government. Please be aware that the Economic Resilience Fund is currently paused while applications are reviewed. 


Grant funding is available through your local council of up to £10,000 if you are in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme. This applies to those with a rateable value of up to £18,000.

The application form will ask you for your Rates Reference Number, available here, and you need to apply to your specific council

Northern Ireland

Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes:

  • COVID Small Business Grant – Small business grants of £10,000 to be issued immediately with a cost of £267m providing support to 27,000 businesses in NI. This is for all businesses with a net asset value up to £15,000
  • Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme – An immediate grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in these sectors with a rateable value up to £51,000

Information on these schemes will be made available at NI Business Info.

Further to this, 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.

Invest NI have provided practical advice for businesses online here.