Return To Play Fund

Sport england logo

Update: fund criteria

Following a brief pause of this fund to review the impact of the lockdown restrictions that all of England is now under, we’ve made three changes to the fund criteria to ensure we better help clubs and organisations:

We’ve relaxed the timeframe in which activity must be up and running to ‘within six weeks from the point of the national or local restrictions being lifted to allow your activity to return’ 
Applicants that support people from IMD areas 1-3 will be able to apply for up to £2,000 to cover running costs (for example rent, utilities and maintenance) as part of an overall return to play plan
We'll take a broader and more flexible approach for the types of projects which can be supported.

Applications submitted before the brief pause will be assessed and applicants will be able to review their plans in light of the changes to the funding criteria.

Aims/priorities: Sport England have launched a new £16.5 million fund to provide additional help to the sport and physical activity sector during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Return to Play Fund will support groups, clubs and organisations who’ve been impacted by restrictions brought in to tackle the disease, and is part of our overall response to the crisis that now includes more than £220m of government and National Lottery funding.

The fund will especially seek to support those groups and organisations working with audiences identified as finding it more difficult to be active at this time. These include:

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
  • people on lower incomes
  • those disproportionately affected financially as a result of the crisis
  • disabled people and people with long-term health conditions
  • those who are experiencing a greater burden of care responsibilities since the pandemic began.

Who can apply? 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

Grant amount: Three grant types are available, for applications between £300 and £10,000; £10,000 to £50,000; and for matching crowd funded income of up to £10,000.

Application process: Application form available from Sport England website,  

Deadline:  Not specified

Website address:

Not specified
Charitable Company
Constituted Group
Registered Charity
Social Enterprise
Unconstituted Group
Funding Theme: 
Covid 19
Sport and Recreation
Unpublish Date: 
Sunday, 20 December, 2020