Government funding schemes for the sector to address Covid-19 impacts

1 Apr 2020 Geoff Nuttall    Last updated: 27 Jul 2020

Below is a summary of available sources of government financial support available to sector organisations in Northern Ireland to address the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.  We will update this list as things develop.  

UK Government Support Schemes (available in NI) - 

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme HMRC (see - here) Scheme will cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions of furloughed workers – on top of 80% of salary. The Government has also confirmed that those workers furloughed can volunteer for the NHS without risking their pay.
  • UK Charities £750 Million Covid-19 funding package - On 8th April the UK chancellor announced £750 million of funding for the UK charity sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis.  Northern Ireland will receive just over £22 million of this, with £6.75 earmarked for hospices and the remaining £15.5 million to be made available to charities under an open application procedure.  See further details below.

Northern Ireland Government Schemes  -

  • The Childcare Recovery Support Fund (Opening 27th July) Aims to provide financial assistance (tiered levels of awards depending on the childcare provision offered and the opening/operational dates following endorsement from the HSC Trust. Administered by Early Years – the organisation for young children on behalf of the Department of Education.
  • Northern Ireland Charities Covid-19 Fund -  The Northern Ireland Executive has now approved a £15.5 million Charities Covid-19 funding package open to small, medium and large charities through application.  This fund opened on 15 June 2020, more details about the fund can be found here. This fund will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, for the application process and form go here.  NICVA is holding a webinar with TNL Community Fund on 17 June at 11am to give you more information, you can register here
  • DfC Community Contingency Fund - https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-outlines-initial-support-community-and-voluntary-groups-they-pull-together-respond-covid-19 Please note that the Department for Communities DfC ‘Community Contingency Fund’ has been allocated to the Councils to distribute locally (further details below), and to the Community Foundation for NI’s Coronavirus Community Fund, as well as providing support to other response initiatives being co-ordinated by the DfC-led ‘Emergencies Leadership Group’ such as the Covid-19 Community Helpline 0808 802 0020
  • DfC Discretionary Support Scheme. Includes a grant payment to assist with short-term living expenses where a person, or a member of their immediate family, has been infected by COVID-19 or told to self-isolate https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-announces-further-support-those-affected-by-covid-19
  • DfC emergency sports fund.  Name and details to be confirmed.  See - https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/news/minister-hargey-ensures-sports-sector-supported Communities Minister has asked DfC officials to ‘work with Sport NI to develop a programme launch in early April to provide initial emergency financial relief to ensure that grassroots sports organisations can continue to function and provide the support that they have done to date’
  • Education Authority - COVID-19 Free School Meals. As a result of school closures due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Minister for Education and Minister for Communities has agreed to make payment to families who have been assessed as eligible for free school meals https://www.eani.org.uk/getfsm
geoff.nuttall@nicva.org's picture
by Geoff Nuttall

Head of Policy and Public Affairs

[email protected]

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