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Funder responses in light of the Covid-19 virus

Published : 06/04/20 | Categories: Funding,


We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation for the UK in modern times, as communities, voluntary organisations and funders navigate their ways through social-distancing, self-isolating and home working to a scale few people are used to.  

NB: If you are looking for funds to apply to, see our dedicated Coronavirus page on Funding Wales

A large number of England based funders (many funding projects across the UK) are taking a coordinated approach to their response to the Covid-19 virus and its impacts on voluntary sector organisations. The essential points are that these funders are committed to supporting their grant recipients by being flexible with grants and reporting deadlines and listening to the needs of their recipients.

The full statement and list of funders involved can be found here. It includes key funders including (with their individual statements accessible by following the links in brackets):

If you are funded by any of the organisations on the full list, you are encouraged to contact them as and when you need to.

Below is a summary of the statements being made by key funders for Wales. We will update the summary regularly. If your funder isn’t listed here and you haven’t heard from them, please contact them directly (email is probably the best method if we assume all funders are currently working remotely). Funders are listed alphabetically:

Architectural Heritage Fund Wales

Continuing taking applications and assessments as advertised. They are encouraging grant holders, loan recipients and applicants to contact them directly if they have any concerns.

Arts Council for Wales

The Arts Council have begun conversations with Welsh Government about how additional financial support can be made available to the arts sector in Wales. They have made the below adjustments. Officers will be in touch with grant recipients in the coming days.

  1. Funding to the Arts Portfolio Wales – organisationswill continue to receive funding but funding conditions that specify types and levels of activity will not apply for at least three months.  This comes into force with immediate effect. Advance grant payments are available to assist you with cashflow.  In exchange for our support, we ask you to honour contracts agreed with freelancers and artists and to think about what help you can offer to your communities.
  2. Project funding awards – Project activity can be deferred to later dates. However, if this isn’t possible, all funding awards already committed to covering your costs will be honoured – regardless of whether the funded activity is cancelled, reduced or rescheduled.
  3. Applications currently submitted and being assessed – we’re continuing to assess, and make decisions, on applications already received, taking a flexible approach to the activities and deadlines outlined in applications,
  4. New Funding Applications – They will not be accepting new applications for the next three months whilst they establish how they can best meet the urgent needs created by the pandemic. This situation will be kept under review with announcements made regarding any changes.

The Arts Council are encouraging organisations to honour contracts made with freelance professionals. If the organisation is funded by the Arts Council, they expect this to be the case.

They are also engaged in conversations with Welsh Government about support for individual artists and freelancers.

Community Foundation Wales – Updated

If you are in receipt of a grant from CFW and need to delay or make changes to project delivery due to the Covid-19 outbreak, then please get in touch with them by e-mailing adding the name of your organisation and the fund from which you have been offered a grant in the subject line.

The Foundation have funding that they are making available to support charities and community groups continue to support their communities and vulnerable people. To ensure the funding they distribute goes to where it’s needed, they are consulting with the Welsh third sector to assess their immediate and ongoing needs. You can complete this short survey here.

Applications are now open for the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund. Apply here. The fund was initially opened with £200,000 available. CFW have since received donations from Admiral (£100,000) and the Waterloo Foundation (£200,000).

Community Foundation Wales is also the body in Wales disseminating funding from donations made to the National Emergency Trust. An initial traunch of £100,000 has come

Clocaenog Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

Gwynt y Môr Community Fund

The Fund has made funding available for groups providing support on the front line. See Funding Wales for further information and how to apply.

National Lottery Community Fund

Following consultation with grant holders, the fund has made two decisions.

  • Firstly, all the funding decisions we make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis.
  • They will accelerate the cash part of this funding as much as we can, so that we can get money to where it needs to be. This is not new money, but it will be faster money and we know that we must act quickly and with confidence.

To reach those groups best placed to support their communities at this vital time, we will prioritise the following faster payments for existing grant holders and applicants using the following criteria:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

NB: The National Lottery Community Fund are responding as one funder as opposed to four devolved offices. As such, the £300m figure is across the whole UK.

Full statement and updates

National Lottery Heritage Fund – Updated

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As well as the Heritage Emergency Fund, they will also support the sector in the following ways:

  • Accelerating the provision of ther £1.2m Digital Skills for Heritage initiative to help the sector through the crisis and beyond.
  • By continuing to support the 2,500 projects they have already committed to funding.
  • By being as flexible as possible for their existing grantees.
  • By providing bespoke advice and support.
  • A £2m commitment to their network of ROSS consultants in the new financial year. They will direct that support to organisations in need. In doing so they are also helping several hundred freelancers and self-employed people.
  • Working closely with the Government, other funders and heritage organisations to bring together support for the sector.
  • In the longer term, going ahead with the £4m invested in two Enterprise Development programmes across the UK for heritage leaders, and Business Support Programmes in all four countries.

For further information on the fund(s) and how to apply, visit Funding Wales or the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund – Updated

Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC recognises that Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have a big impact on communities across The Fund area.  We want to reassure you that we will do whatever we can to support you in the coming weeks. All meetings and appointment days are being done remotely via telephone, video calls and email.

The Fund is making emergency, fast-track funding available for organisations in the Fund area. There will be two strands:

  • Survival Fund: to provide emergency cashflow funding for organisations at risk of closure
  • Project Fund: to support additional services that meet immediate community needs

Our funding will not replace any Government support available – we will ask you to tell us what other assistance you have explored or will be receiving from all other sources, and we may signpost you to other more relevant and applicable funding support.

Full statement

Sport Wales – Updated

Sport Wales have announced a £400,000 Emergency Relief Fund to support not-for-profit sport clubs. The funding is formed from £200,000 investment from Welsh Government which has been matched with an additional £200,000 from Sport Wales.

Sport Wales and Welsh Government have worked together to identify an initial fund of up to £8.1million in addition to the Emergency Relief Fund. This will be used to support sports clubs and our well-established partner networks who are so vital in ensuring the nation is able to remain active and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that sport brings. Sport Wales will continue to seek the views of the sector to shape further requirements and ensure that this fund compliments the other support programmes available from Welsh Government.

Details on how to apply are currently being finalised. For further information about the fund, please visit the Sport Wales website.

Questions or queries about existing grants and applications should be sent to:

Steve Morgan Foundation

Suspending normal applications in order to focus on delivering their Emergency Fund. £12m being made available over next 12 weeks for charities delivering additional emergency services and those experiencing a loss in fundraised income to stay operational. 

WCVA – Updated

For grants/funds:

The health and wellbeing of all is the most important thing at this time which means if you have to reduce or stop project activity to safeguard staff and/or those that you work with, we fully understand. We continue to make representations to funders, including Welsh Government and WEFO, that they will need to show understanding and flexibility.

The responses to date to these representations have been supportive and appreciative of the difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in. We ask that you keep us informed and then at a point in the future when things are clearer, we can work through the impact and changes to your project.

New Funds:

The Voluntary Services Emergency Fund is part of the Welsh Government’s Third Sector Covid-19 Response Fund which was announced on 27 March 2020. The fund is for voluntary organisations with costs associated with the increase in volunteering activities and adapting service needs in response to Coronavirus. This fund will ensure that voluntary organisations have the resources needed to deliver vital services for their communities at this time.

WCVA is having ongoing conversations with Welsh Government to identify further grant schemes within the £24m funding that will support the varied needs of the sector at this time.

Applications to all grant schemes being delivered by WCVA in response to the Coronavirus crisis will be done through MAP. Groups and organisations are encouraged to register with MAP.

Waterloo Foundation – Updated

The Waterloo Foundation team are working remotely; normal communication lines remain open. Phone calls will be passed on to grantees’ normal Fund Manager.

They will be making grant payments and reviewing applications in line with their funding criteria as usual. They are also encouraging current grant holders to contact their Fund Manager about how they can help, for example by moving payment or reporting dates, or anything else.

The Foundation has made a £200,000 contribution to Community Foundation Wales’ Wales Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Welsh community groups responding to the crisis.

Full statement



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