Covid-19: Funding Opportunities

Listed below are a number of funding opportunities available during the current COVID – 19 Incident. However, One Knowsley work in partnership with a number of other organisations to bring you the Merseyside Funding Information Portal  which is updated daily.




If you have existing charitable grant funding:
150+ grant makers have signed a pledge of support for groups, offering reassurance for those who have received grants and whose delivery is now affected by the current situation:

Grants for individuals seeking support can be found at  Turn2Us:


Local/Liverpool City Region – Emergency Funds for Voluntary & Community Groups:

Steve Morgan Emergency Fund

The Steve Morgan Foundation has extended charity Covid-19 campaign for another three months.

Apply online at: Steve Morgan Eligibility & Application Form
If you do not meet any of the eligibility criteria your application will not be processed.
If you are unsure please email


LCR Cares COVID – 19 Community Support Fund

Liverpool City Region (LCR) and the National Emergencies Trust (NET) funding to support community and voluntary organisations on the frontline. Open to voluntary, community and faith organisations, registered charities, social businesses, churches, PTAs and parish/town councils. Grants of up to £5,000 will be available initially. Recently formed organisations can apply. Eligible projects include:

• Foodbanks
• Food/care package delivery to vulnerable people self-isolating
• Delivery of services and projects supporting the most vulnerable, such as older people e.g. a telephone    support/friendship  service or delivering online activities to help reduce isolation
• Emotional and mental health wellbeing
• Financial Inclusion, support to access benefits and debt advice

Priorities will be reviewed regularly and changed/additions made as fundraising and the outbreak develops.
Details and application at:


P H Holt Foundation 

This local fund welcomes applications from small and medium sized Merseyside charities operating in any Merseyside borough. Its funding can provide help as you deliver new programmes to reach people affected by the pandemic, or help keep your vital charity services running

- Resources for specific community-based activities
- Supplies for beneficiaries i.e. emergency food, toiletries, household products or other items
- Help with running costs or overheads due to a disruption to existing services
- Support for salary or volunteer costs to keep a service functioning
- Assistance to deliver a service differently or to reach more people needing help

To be eligible for an emergency grant, you must be a registered charity in Merseyside with an income under £1 million.
P H Holt will fund activities in one or more of the five metropolitan boroughs. Grants start at £1,000 with most awards falling between £5,000-£10,000.

These are for a single year. Contact the Foundation office on 0151 237 2663 any Wednesday to Friday if you would like further advice before sending your application in.

Check out its application form for further details which can be found at the website above.

Elizabeth Rathbone Charitable Trust
The Elizabeth L Rathbone Charitable Trust is a grant-giving charity which supports projects and organisations which benefit disadvantaged people living in Merseyside. Preference will be given to Merseyside based charities.



The first tranche of funding, supported by Barclays, comes from reserves initially allocated to deliver the city region’s Pride weekend celebrations. The funding is available as part of three separate pots, a General FundFilm Fund and an Inclusive Physical Activity and Sport Fund.
All funds in this first round will close to applications at Midnight on the 3rd August 2020.

Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund

The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund has announced a fund to support organisations and charitable associations in Merseyside who have had extra demands put on them in light of Covid-19. An application form and sample application layout are available from the website. Find out more.

Covid-19: Discretionary Business Support Grant Second Window

In May 2020, Knowsley Council received £739,000 from the Government to fund a Discretionary Business Grants Scheme.  The Council designed the application process to reflect Government guidance, eligibility criteria, and local priority areas. As anticipated, in some priority areas the amount of funding received has not met the demand from applicants.  The Council received over 200 applications from local companies and enterprises during the first ‘window’.

Following appraisal and payment of the eligible applications we received, we have an unspent grant fund of £173,465.  The Council will therefore open a second ‘window’ for applications from Monday 9am 6 July 2020 to 5pm Friday 10 July 2020.

Voluntary and charity sector organisations are encouraged to apply for grant funding.

Businesses and organisations that were rejected in the first window should not apply in the second window.

ESF Community Grants Liverpool City Region 2019 – 2021: Re-Connect Priority Grants Round

The ESF Community Grant Programme is already helping many people across the Liverpool City Region who face additional barriers in the workplace to improve their employability and gain employment. Whilst the formal bidding rounds are currently closed, the Programme is launching a targeted Grant Programme in response to COVID 19.

This round is called Re-Connect and seeks applications from a wide range of voluntary organisations who are ready to reach out by using approaches which tackle the new and emerging barriers arising from the impact of COVID 19.

Projects should look to develop and maintain participant connections to learning experiences. Project activity should support, maintain and improve participant employability and resilience.

For more information about ReConnect, please click here




National Funds:

Aviva Community Fund

Small charities and constituted community groups with innovative ideas that benefit their community can apply for funding of up to £50,000 for projects that build more connected, more resilient communities and give people the tools to become more financially independent. In response to the Covid-19 Aviva are temporarily opening up the Fund to projects that will ensure organisations can adapt or maintain critical services and infrastructure in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Projects must still relate to one of Aviva’s key funding areas. The closing date for this funding round is the 28th July 2020.

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

At the weekend, the Government announced additional discretionary support for small businesses, including charities. This additional fund of £617m will be distributed via local authorities. It is aimed at small businesses – and charities – with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

The Government are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.
Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

Full details can be found here.


Children In Need Emergency Essentials Programme 

The BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme which supports children and young people up to the age of 18 living with severe poverty as well as additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family is currently open for applications from referral organisations that will be able to apply for grants on behalf of families or young people.

Emergency Support Package for Charities

The Government has announced a £750 million emergency support package for charities across the UK to ensure they can continue their work during the coronavirus outbreak. The funding package consists of £360 million direct from government departments to charities such as hospices and victim support charities that are providing vital services and helping vulnerable people through the current crisis; and £370 million for smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund. The National Lottery Community Fund is currently discussing with Government on how best to distribute the funding.

• WRAP COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

As part of the UK Government’s collaborative response to supporting key infrastructure throughout this difficult time, Defra is today making £3.25m available through the Resource Action Fund administered by WRAP. The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant will be delivered in three phases.
Phase 1: WRAP has approached a target list of small redistribution organisations who have previously applied to the fund to ascertain their immediate need for potential funding support.
Phase 2 provides funding opportunities for small surplus food redistributors and is now open.
Phase 3 is aimed  at medium-to-larger operators and is now open.

The aim of the grant is to assist surplus food redistributors in overcoming challenges that they are currently facing in obtaining surplus food from food businesses (such as retailers and food manufacturers) and distributing this to people in need or those considered vulnerable.

The Yapp Charitable Trust

The Yapp Charitable Trust has invited small UK charities affected by the impact of COVID-19 to apply for grants of up to £3,000. Registered charities in England and Wales, with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000, can apply for funding for core costs and staffing.

Heritage Emergency Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced a £50m fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Fund is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage. Organisations which are either a current grantee, or still under contract following a previous grant, can apply.

Sport England Community Emergency Fund

Applications are currently being accepted to the £20 million Community Emergency Fund from any organisation delivering community sport and physical activity if it is experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus. Grants of between £300 and £10,000 can help community sport and physical activity organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on rent, utilities, insurance, facility or equipment hire, core staffing costs, and retrospective losses dating from 1 March 2020.

Persimmon – Community Champions

Persimmon’s Community Champions initiative has run since 2015 and gives away £64,000 every month in single donations up to the value of £1,000. So far over £3.5 million has been donated in the UK. Persimmon has decided that from April 2020 all funding will go directly to groups supporting the over 70s.

The National Lottery Community Fund 

The National Lottery Community Fund is now open for applications and will provide grants to activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19. They are prioritising funding projects and organisations supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. They are reviewing the situation on an on-going basis and will share any updates or developments on their website. They have limited funding to support as many organisations as possible. So please only ask for what you need to support communities during this crisis.

£150m from Dormant Accounts to be Used for Coronavirus Response 

The Government has announced that £150 million will be taken from dormant bank and building society accounts to help support the UK’s charities and social enterprises whose work has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The £150 million in funding will support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

The money will be used as follows:

·         £10 million will be brought forward for the Youth Futures Foundation to help organisations who support unemployed, disadvantaged young people across the country into jobs. They will be launching an Emergency Levelling Up Youth Fund to support young people from hardest hit communities; and will expand their Development and Impact grants programme to rapidly increase youth employment provisions.

·         £45 million will be deployed by Big Society Capital to allow better access to investment including emergency loans for charities, social enterprises and some small businesses facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading following the coronavirus outbreak.

·         £65 million will be used by Fair4All Finance to support affordable credit providers to increase access to fair, appropriate products and services for those struggling financially, providing them with an alternative to high cost loans. This includes an expanded Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme and other initiatives for those in financially vulnerable circumstances.

·         £30 million will go to Access – The Foundation for Social Investment to support social enterprises helping people in vulnerable circumstances. They will make up to £10 million available for emergency support through social lenders while also developing a wider programme of recovery finance for the social sector. Both initiatives will work alongside Big Society Capital and other social lenders and will enable a wider range of organisations to access affordable and flexible finance.

Asda Foundation

In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Asda Foundation has created two new grant schemes to support communities: the Hygiene Grant and the Healthy Holiday Grant. Charities, not-for-profit companies, community interest companies, and unincorporated clubs and associations are eligible for these grants and should get in touch with the Community Champion at their local Asda store to enquire about funding.

The Community Justice Fund

The Community Justice Fund has been formed by a partnership of key representative umbrella bodies (Advice UK, Law Centres Network and Citizens Advice) and a group of independent funders (The AB Charitable Trust, Access to Justice Foundation, Indigo Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Legal Education Foundation and Therium Access) to help specialist social welfare legal advice organisations to cope with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 epidemic and lay the foundations for longer term renewal. The Fund is made up of contributions from a range of sources, including the government, and it’s envisaged that funding will be awarded in two waves.
The first wave, which is now open and will run for six months, will provide flexible grants to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and priorities here. Grants are likely to be between £25,000 and £75,000, but could be larger in certain circumstances. The Fund aims to assess applications on a weekly basis and decisions received within ten days of an application being submitted. To find out more about the Fund, see the guidance and find the online application form here.

The 7 Stars Foundation

In July, The 7 Stars Foundation is launching an unrestricted grant funding programme open to charities with a turnover of less than £1.5m across the UK who are working with at-risk young people across the themes of abuse; addiction; and homelessness; and for those who are supporting young child carers. The charity is offering grants of up to £2,500, which can be directed towards overheads; salary costs; and/ or wherever else the organisation needs to apply the money to ensure its survival and sustainable services in the future.

The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust

Aware that the COVID-19 crisis is having an extreme and significant effect on the whole charitable sector, The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust has reviewed its criteria for its next round of grants. In order to spread the Trust’s available funding as far as possible, grants will be for £1,000 rather than the usual £5,000 for grant round 3, which is for projects to deal with people aged 60 and over. You can apply for a grant from the Trust if you have an operating income and expenditure of between £100,000 and £1,000,000, and applications should be submitted between 1st and 31st July.Further information on the eligibility criteria, on future grants rounds and what the Trust will and won’t fund are here.

Edge Post Covid-19 Revival Fund – how to build back better

The Edge Post Covid-19 Revival Fund will launch on Monday 8 June. This is a one-off fund with up to £250,000 of grant funding available. Applications are welcomed for grants of between £10,000 and £50,000, and the closing date for applications is midday on Thursday 9 July 2020. Find out more.

 Government Opens Second Round of Emergency Funding for Domestic Abuse Charities

The Government has launched a second round of the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund to allocate the remaining £1.85 million of the £10 million fund launched on 7 May. Bids will be accepted until the funding has been exhausted or until 20 July 2020, whichever is sooner. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

 Lloyds Bank Foundation Makes Changes to Grant Programme in Response to COVID-19

The Foundation announced recently that it has redesigned its funding programme to better meet the needs that charities are facing due to coronavirus/COVID-19.   Existing grant holders can apply for grants of £5,000 to £15,000, from the new £2 million COVID-19 React Fund.      New applicants who are meeting the needs of critically vulnerable people in their communities will be able to apply for funding once the Foundation launches a new grants programme later in the summer. These applicants will be able to access organisational development support following an in-depth conversation with one of the Foundation’s Regional Managers about what would be most helpful to them.

Further information about the changes as well as the Foundation’s analysis report on how charities are responding to COVID-19 can be found on the Foundation’s website.

Funding to Support Local Housing Projects (UK) 

UK registered charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives can apply for funding of between £10,000 and £50,000 for local housing projects that will support the most vulnerable and strengthen local communities. Through the Nationwide Community Grant, the Nationwide Building Society will award £22 million over five years across 11 UK regions, to housing related charities and projects. The program will fund between 50% to 100% of the total cost of projects which last up to two years, to help prevent people from losing their home, help people into a home or support people to thrive within the home environment. Up to 20% of the amount requested can be used to cover core costs. Funding can also cover costs such as staff and volunteer costs, small-scale capital costs, and building works. More info

Comic Relief: Apply for a Project Delivery Grant

Project delivery grants of up to £4000 will support grassroots organisations to deliver projects that address Comic Relief’s four strategic themes. Projects should be able to clearly show, the local need for the project, robust planning, and legacy.

The Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund

The Stop Loan Sharks Community Fund is open again for bids from charities, voluntary organisations and community groups involved in activities that have a positive impact on their communities. The Fund is made up of money seized from convicted loan sharks, which is made available to groups through a bidding process and grants are awarded to successful applicants.

Places of Worship Security Funding Scheme

The fifth round of the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme is now open for applications, until 23:59 on 9 August 2020. We have produced the attached leaflet to be shared. 

The scheme is open to places of worship and associated faith community centres (defined as a community centre run by a place of worship or near a place of worship that is faith based, and where regular worship takes place) across England and Wales.  

Further details of the scheme and how to apply can be found on GOV.UK 

Edward Gostling Foundation

Grants are available to support people of all ages living on low incomes who have a physical and/or mental disability or long-term illness.
Two funding streams are now available:

  • Fast Track Grants of less than £5,000 available to charities with an annual income of less than £3million.
  • Capital Grants of more than £5,000 available to charities with an annual income of less than £5million.

The Edward Gostling Foundation (formerly the ACT Foundation) provides grants to UK registered charities with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need, specifically the mentally and physically disabled or those with long-term illness.

£1.57 Billion Investment to Protect Britain’s Cultural, Arts and Heritage Institutions (UK)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has announced that cultural and heritage institutions, such as theatres, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music venues and independent cinemas can now access a share of £1.57bn that has been made available to help with the impact of Coronavirus. The funding will consist of a mix of grants and low cost loans. The funding will include £120 million to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic. Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.  The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

Comic Relief Announces Change Makers Programme (UK)

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Comic Relief is launching a new funding programme to support changes in the way which community and voluntary sector organisations work. Funding of between £150,000 and £600,000 will be available for projects lasting up to 3 to 5 years. The focus will be on work in areas that are of particular interest to Comic Relief. This includes addressing homelessness, forced migration, gender justice, mental health, and early childhood development. Organisations will be able to apply in one of two categories. Grants for small and medium-sized organisations that focus on equalities and are user-led; and grants for medium-sized organisations. 20% of the available funding is ring-fenced for efforts led by and working with BAME communities. The fund will open for applications on the 13th July 2020 and close at 12pm on the 28th August 2020.

Funding for Large Scale Built and Natural Environment Projects (England, Scotland and Wales)

Grants of between £250,000 and £750,000 are currently available for large scale Built Environment or Natural Environment projects. This could include transforming cultural, heritage or visitor centres to attract more visitors; or projects that protect, enhance and safeguard habitats or species. The funding is being made available through the Biffa Award Partnership Grants scheme and preference will be given to projects in which Biffa Award is the majority funder; which work in partnership with other organisations; and which engage with people through improving their knowledge of the asset. To be eligible for funding each project site must be within 15 miles of a significant Biffa operation or active Biffa landfill site. The closing date for submitting an Expressions of Interest is the 7th August 2020.



Grants of up to £100,000 Available for Community Facilities (England)

Registered charities, churches, parish councils, local authorities and CASC registered sports clubs can apply for grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 for the provision, maintenance or improvement of community facilities. This can include village halls and community centres, public play areas; publicly available multi use games areas, skate parks and BMX tracks; sport and recreation grounds including pavilions and clubhouses with full public access; churches – community spaces only; nature reserves; public gardens, parks, country parks and woodlands with at least dawn to dusk access; and Museums. The funding is being made available through the FCC Community Action Fund and is available to projects located within 10 miles of an eligible FCC Environment site. The closing date for applications at 5pm on the 2nd September 2020.

More info



Please sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest information regarding Covid-19: