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£750 million funding package for UK’s frontline charities

Frontline charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of government support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. Lodders’ charities specialist Mark Lewis, partner in the corporate and commercial practice, explains.

Last week (8 April 2020), Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extra £750 million coronavirus funding. Detailed information is a bit thin on the ground at this stage, and more detail from the government is certainly necessary to help clarify which charities are eligible and how they can access the fund.

What is known is that the tens of thousands of charities that are providing vital services at this difficult time will benefit from these government direct cash grants. This will ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the virus as well as maintain their day-to-day activities supporting those in need.

What is the fund for?

As part of the UK-wide package of support, £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.

As well as this, £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support those organisations at the heart of local communities that are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

The Government will also match fund whatever the public donates to the BBC’s Big Night In charity appeal on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

‘Crucial’ role

In his announcement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our charities are playing a crucial role in the national fight against coronavirus, supporting those who are most in need. It’s right we do everything we can to help the sector during this difficult time, which is why we have announced this unprecedented £750 million package of extra funding. This will ensure our key charities can continue to deliver the services that millions of people up and down the country rely on.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “Our brilliant charities are already playing a crucial role in our national effort to fight coronavirus – backed up by an army of volunteers. We’re determined to support them and match the generosity being shown by the British people. This package will make sure those on the front line are able to reach people who need help most, support communities and take pressure off our NHS.”

Viewpoint

The announcement builds on the Chancellor’s previous statements to support charities and businesses, including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for shops next year, and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages.

Whilst the £750 million funding package for charities is well received and a welcome first step, it is only a small proportion of charities which will benefit. The Treasury has been called upon to keep this under review because many charities doing good work will not be able to survive, and many charities need to look at the other ways in which they can receive support from the government schemes.

More information

If you are charity seeking guidance and information on the financial support available from the government during the Coronavirus, visit our Bitesize hub or contact Mark Lewis in our Corporate and Commercial practice.

More information about the government’s financial support for charities is available on the Gov.uk website here.

Click here to access our growing bank of resources and advice pieces to help you, your business and your family through the difficult weeks and months as we navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

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Get in touch...

For more information, please contact Mark Lewis on 01789 206135, or via email.