Funding available for equestrian organisations hit by COVID-19

Thursday, 19 November 2020

With many equestrian organisations and groups having to restrict activity or temporarily close in the face of COVID-19, there's no denying that this has been a very difficult year for the industry. Although equestrian isn’t one of the sports that will benefit from the government’s £300m emergency funding rescue package, there are still opportunities for organisations and groups that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available Funding Opportunities

Sport England have recently announced three funding pots – Return To Play: Small Grants, Return to Play: Community Asset Fund and Return To Play: Play Active Together – which are available to help groups, clubs and people who deliver sport and physical activity through the additional challenges of national restrictions. This funding is part of a £220m package of support provided since March 2020. Full details can be found on Sport England’s website.

For organisations based in Wales, the Be Active Wales Fund aims to protect, prepare and progress community sports clubs and organisations in Wales through the COVDI-19 pandemic and into the future. The fund has already helped many clubs and organisations across Wales, including several equestrian organisations, to face the challenges caused by the pandemic. Further details can be found on the Sport Wales website.

Details of funding available in Scotland, in addition to “return to play” resources can be found on the Sport Scotland website.

Tackling Inequalities Fund Update

British Equestrian is pleased to announce that it has been able to support 22 centres with its £150,000 Tackling Inequalities Fund.

The fund, which was targeted at riding centres and groups delivering activity for disabled participants who have been adversely financially affected by COVID-19, was provided by Sport England using National Lottery funding as part of their wider Tackling Inequalities Fund. The fund aims to address inequalities in sport and activity levels by working with Sport England’s partners to reach those most in need.

Following an open application process in September, applications were vetted for eligibility by British Equestrian, with priority being given to organisations who also make a positive impact with participants from ethnically diverse communities and for participants coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds, with final sign-off for each award made by Sport England.

The average grant awarded was £6,818.18, with four organisations receiving the maximum £10,000. The recipients will use their grants to fund obligations such as fixed costs, including maintenance, insurance and utility bills, and core staffing costs, as well as restart activity when the country comes out of lockdown restrictions. Each organisation is now working through the process of claiming their grant.

“We’ve been very fortunate to be able to support so many of the centres who applied for the Tackling Inequalities Funding and to help them address the challenges that the global pandemic has presented,” said David Butler, British Equestrian’s Head of Participation. “This is on top of 104 organisations who shared a total of over £570,000 from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund, which was made available at the start of the pandemic, and we are very grateful to Sport England for their ongoing support.”