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Government Funding for Charities

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After a long period of waiting, on the 8th April 2020 the Chancellor announced a £750m package to support struggling charities during the coronavirus pandemic. The move will be welcome news for the third sector given significant concerns that some charities were potentially facing collapse due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  A number of charities, including the St John Ambulance Association, had warned that they could go bust unless they received state aid.

The measures announced involve cash grants being provided direct to charities providing key support services during the current crisis.

We have summarised further key details below:

  • Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. The support will be available to frontline charities including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims.
  • £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.
  • £370 million will be available for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. This will support those organisations at the heart of local communities which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.
  • The Government will match fund whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC’s ‘Big Night In Charity’ appeal on 23rd April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

Charities providing vital services and helping vulnerable people through the current crisis will benefit from the £360 million allocated by government departments. These are expected to include:

  • hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector
  • St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
  • victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
  • vulnerable children charities, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities
  • Citizens Advice to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time

The current expectation is that government departments will now work to identify priority recipients, with the aim for charities to receive money in the coming weeks. The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a similar period of time.

Where charitable services are devolved, the UK Government has applied the Barnett formula in the normal way. The expectation is that the devolved administrations will receive £60 million through the charities pot. This is broken down as follows:

  • £30 million for the Scottish Government
  • £20 million for Welsh Government
  • £10 million for the Northern Ireland Executive

There may also be further Barnett allocations, dependent on the final projects funded, through the £360 million direct grant pot.

We will of course provide further details and updates as these are announced.

For details of other sources of funding to support charities through this crisis, please click here

Read our article answering your most frequently asked questions here.


Please get in touch with Ross Preston for advice and information regarding available cash grants to help support your charity on 07886366096 or email ross.preston@armstrongwatson.co.uk.

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