The Government has announced a broad package of support for businesses and charities to ensure that organisations that need support are able to access it. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020.
In addition, on 8 April the Government announced a £750 million funding package to ensure charities providing frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic can continue their vital work. We have been focused on distributing these funds as quickly as possible, but balanced with ensuring it reaches those that need it most. Of this, £360 million was to be allocated to individual government departments based on evidence of service need. This funding has now been allocated to government departments, who are using a range of approaches to award funding either directly to charities or through bidding processes. All funding must be spent by the end of October 2020.
£370 million has been allocated to support small and medium sized charities during the pandemic. This includes £60 million funding through the Barnett formula to support charities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of the £310 million to be spent in England, £200 million has been distributed to the National Lottery Community Fund to award grants through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. Applications for this fund opened on 22 May and the National Lottery Community Fund is assessing applications in the order in which they are received, in order to award grants as quickly as possible.
In addition, the Government is matching public donations to the BBC Big Night In. The first £20 million of match funding went to the National Emergencies Trust. The 47 local Community Foundations across the UK, including Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland will then provide grant funding to eligible organisations within their community.
Further information on available funds and how to apply for them can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19.