In a challenging time for the sector, we are here to provide advice, information and guidance on the funding landscape for voluntary and community sector organisations in North Tyneside. Please check this page for regular updates on the COVID-19 funding landscape, as well as our social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter. Keep yourself up-to-date with new sources of funding by signing up for VODA’s free fortnightly e-bulletin.
You can view non COVID-19 Funding information here.
In this section:
Overview of COVID-19 Funding Landscape
COVID-19 has had as drastic effect on the charity sector as it has everywhere else. The future continues to hold a lot of questions about how we continue to provide some kind of service (lockdown restrictions permitting) in the immediate future while planning ahead to the time when we can hopefully open up again for business in whatever the ‘new normal’ happens to be.
We’ve put together the main funding streams available to support charities with their COVID-19 response and recovery and will keep this page updated with all new opportunities as they arise.
So how does it affect us regarding our current live grant agreements?
The good news is that the vast majority of funders feel your pain and want to continue helping you to improve the lives of your beneficiaries as much as you do. They also want to help when you encounter problems by showing a large degree of flexibility in their grant agreements – please check their websites for the latest information on how they are handling their response
Many funders have already approached their existing grant-holders and agreed changes in the conditions of grants already awarded to take the pressure off those charities most heavily affected. Some have even agreed further funding to help their grant holders address increased provision of service due to their COVID-19 response. So if you haven’t already been approached by your existing funders, or haven’t yet been in touch with them yourself, now is the time to talk to them about how the current situation is affecting your ability to deliver previously agreed outcomes and timescales and to agree achievable new ones.
Our advice is for you to tell them what you CAN do and what you CAN’T do and it’s extremely likely they’ll agree to those shifting of resources, accept vastly reduced outcomes and will look very sympathetically on the shifting of previously agreed timescales.
Be prepared for a delay in them getting back to you though – an awful lot of the organisations they’ve made grants to will also be having those conversations and many funders like the rest of us are now working from home, which can further slow things down.
National Lottery has updated its assurances around flexibility with grant-holders who are anxious about delivering on agreed outcomes and is continuing with the commitments made at the start of the crisis. Most other funders are offering the same level of flexibility
What new funding is available for COVID-19 response activities?
After an initial period of uncertainty, a number of funders have made an extremely positive response and are now offering specific COVID-19 response activity funding open to all (not just their existing grant-holders), often with a very quick turnaround time – see our extensive list below for the most useful. These may be equally or more useful if you are providing services to different beneficiaries or have changed your service drastically to support the most vulnerable members of your community, for example by delivering food parcels or setting up helplines or online support for those most isolated.
The longer-term picture
In the long-term we all need to be aware that funders are going to be looking much more favourably on charities and organisations who manage to stay open and delivering in some way, even as a vastly reduced service, whether online, by telephone or social media to provide some kind of vital support to their most vulnerable beneficiaries or others needing urgent help in their local community, rather than those which have to all intents and purposes shut up shop and ceased services in the hope the situation will look better when they come out of hibernation again sometime further down the line.
Now is a very good time to take advantage of the Digital Apprentice offer provided by Accenture (via the Community Foundation) which can provide the services of a digital apprentice for a full year to help you develop a website and/or social media presence and show you how to make the most of this capability to raise awareness of your project and encourage new beneficiaries and supporters – especially important while we’re all struggling with social distancing.
VODA Funding Support
VODA continues to offer support on the identification of suitable funders together with support on writing individual bids – if your organisation is based in North Tyneside or needs funding for beneficiaries based in North Tyneside, please contact VODA Funding Adviser Frank Gillender at firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice and support.
Sport England’s Return to Play Fund
Sport England has 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. Read more here.
National Lottery Funding Streams
You can still apply for emergency National Lottery funded grants in England to help your community through COVID-19.
The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK COVID–19 Emergency Fund
The Foundation has set up an emergency fund to help small to medium sized organisations who are struggling to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 either because of increased demand for their services or loss of income. The fund is targeted at organisations in a critical position. Grants are for a maximum of £1,000. Read more here.
Comic Relief COVID-19 Community Fund
The aim of this fund is to support local grassroots organisations (income less than £250K) to respond to the needs of vulnerable individuals, families and communities during the Covid-19 crisis, and to recover from the impact on services. The fund will provide grants of £4,000 to organisations for them to respond to the current crisis, and £1,000 to help them recover through enhanced capacity building grants. Organisations should deliver projects that provide community benefit across one of Comic Relief’s strategic themes. Read more here.
Community Foundation Coronavirus fund
The Community Foundation is still open (via general applications) to Covid response/relief work AND to general (not specifically Covid-related) applications, but will be spending most of the recovery funding they have available by pro-actively approaching previously funded groups they identify themselves. Read the latest statement from Community Foundation CEO Rob Williamson.
RW Mann Trust
This trust has not announced any specific COVID-related response but is already an excellent, quick response funder providing amounts up to £1000 for smaller Registered Charities. Read more and apply here.
Foyle Foundation: Small Grants Scheme
The Small Grants Scheme is designed to support charities operating in the UK, especially those working at grassroots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities. They are making one-year grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability. Read here.
Allchurches Trust – Hope Beyond
Grants of up to £50K are available to churches and Christian charities to fund innovative, impactful projects that will enable people, organisations and communities to flourish in life after lockdown, building resilience and encouraging hope. Read more here.
UK Theatres Trust: Theatre Reopening Fund
The UK Theatres Trust has repurposed their UK Theatres Small Grants Scheme as the Theatre Reopening Fund to support theatres to cover the additional costs of reopening. The fund will support building improvements and purchasing equipment that will support the theatre to be able to open viably and safely with grants up to £5k. It will not cover revenue costs. Priority will be given to those that can demonstrate how the project will support the theatre’s safe reopening. No deadline. Read more and apply here.
Please note: Please be aware that because many of the above funds are likely to be hugely oversubscribed they may therefore at some point announce temporary or longer-term suspension of their emergency grant programmes, so always check their websites for the most up-to-date situation.
Local & National Government Support
North Tyneside Council has launched the Business Recovery Programme which offers quick-access to free and practical hands-on support for North Tyneside businesses and voluntary and community organisation to aid their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme eliminates the need for businesses (and charities) to go through the procurement process, a funding agreement and no cash changes hands. Read more here.
Government Support for Employers and Businesses including charities and CICs
The Government have a package of support for businesses including charities and social enterprise (where applicable) including:
- Job Retention Scheme
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Support for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Businesses
- Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates
- Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Support for businesses through deferring VAT and income tax payments
- Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
Information on all of these measures can be found: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Further information for employers, employees and businesses can be found at the following sites:
Furlough & Job Support Scheme
To support businesses with paying employees’ wages, it had been announced that the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) will be extended from 5 November until Spring 2021. More information about this scheme can be found here
From 10 November, participating lenders in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) are able to offer smaller businesses across the UK a ‘top-up’ to their existing Bounce Back Loan if they originally borrowed less than the maximum amount available to them. Find out more here
North Tyneside Council are currently delivering 7 grant schemes on behalf of Government. These are for the periods:
- 18 Sept – 04 Nov 2020
- 05 Nov – 01 Dec 2020
- 02 Dec – 29 Dec 2020
- 30 Dec 2020 – 04 Jan 2021
- 5 Jan onwards
Businesses should, if they haven’t already done so refer to the eligibility document on the North Tyneside Council website here and if you haven’t already done so please apply using the application form (Tier 2 and National Lockdown #2). Businesses which have already received payments should not make an application for future payments, this will be automatically applied for eligible periods.
Please note the Additional Restrictions Support Grant is being used, in line with the 7 North East Councils, to support businesses which are not ratepayers and those in the supply chain to Hospitality, Leisure & Accommodation occupying commercial premises.
Businesses which are not forced to close under law, but have chosen to close are not eligible for the current grant scheme. Businesses without commercial premises are also not eligible.
National Lockdown Top Up Grants
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
Funding is also being made available for businesses which are not eligible for the above grants, and further guidance is being released by Government in the coming weeks.
Information about eligibility for this support can be found on the Government website here
Charities which applied successfully for the National Lockdown#2 funding will automatically qualify for the eligible periods indicated in this round.
View all of the funding on the North Tyneside Council website.
Loans and Social Investment
£100M has been made available (a large proportion by repurposing existing funding) for social enterprises, charities and businesses in economically disadvantaged areas affected by the current pandemic. Larger and smaller loans/social investments are available, with more details available via this link.
Business/Charity Interruption Loan Scheme
To be eligible under the scheme, charities no longer have to generate more than 50% of their income from trading. This previously prevented most charities from applying.
Under the scheme, charities can access loans of up to £5m for up to 6 years. The government also covers the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. Read more here.
Power to Change – Community Business Renewal Scheme (England)
A £3 million unrestricted grants programme, the Fund is being delivered by Social Investment Business (SIB) on behalf of Power to Change and is providing grants to established community businesses in order for them to assess, diversify and strengthen their operations to ensure they can navigate the constantly changing coronavirus landscape. £10,000 – £20,000. Application window March 2nd (10am-1pm). Read more here.
Power to Change: Powering Up
Powering Up is a tailored support package – worth up to £3,000, equating to six days of support – designed to increase community business leaders’ knowledge, provide wellbeing support and build peer relationships to boost recovery across the sector. The programme is open to any community business, but priority will be given to those in the most deprived areas, as well as those supporting and led by disabled people and/or people from communities of colour. Deadline: 1 February 2021, Read more here.
Cultural Impact Development Fund
In the face of Covid-19, Nesta has changed the model of this loan-based fund to include grant funding. The fund, designed to offer flexible finance to arts and culture organisations working with the people and communities in greatest need, will now include grants up to 50 per cent of the total investment.
Each investment offer will be bespoke and tailored to the circumstances of each organisation. The fund seeks to invest in organisations that aim to build sustainable business models, such as by using the investment to:
- develop a new income stream
- grow an existing strand of work
- purchase essential equipment
- refurbish a building
- pre-fund a fundraising campaign.
£25,000 to £150,000. Registered arts and culture organisations. No deadline. Read more here.
Other Free Support Available
Here are some of the ways Cranfield Trust can help you – all these services are free for charities to access:
- 1:1 telephone support – from experts on topics including finance, communication, and business contingency planning.
- HRNet – tailored HR and employment advice for charities. (Due to differences in legislation, HRNet is only available to charities in England and Wales).
- Management Consultancy – longer term support, to help your charity thrive.
- Mentoring – personal support for leaders in difficult times. A senior level ‘critical friend’, someone who can share their knowledge and experience, whilst supporting you to consider your leadership decisions and impact.
Power to Change support package
In collaboration with strategic partners, Power to Change has launched a support package for community businesses as we move forward into the new normal. This support package includes a range of activities, from webinars to short intensive programmes, for community business leaders to hone their skills and develop peer networks, helping them to continue to play a vital role in their communities. Partners involved include the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Eastside Primetimers, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation. Read more here.