Essex 2020: Funding Opportunities Round-Up

Funding related to Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting social distancing advice has had an unprecedented impact across all sectors and industries.

We have collated a selection of new funds that have arisen to support practitioners, businesses and organisations through this extremely difficult time.

Updated regularly. If you know of other relevant funds or grants please let us know by contacting us.

TOP TIP for charities: The Charity Excellence Framework has a useful Covid Response Toolkit and comprehensive searchable database of Covid funders

Scroll through or click a heading to jump straight to the section relevant to your organisation or sector.


Creative Industries

Business and Enterprise

Heritage & Culture



Foyle Foundation Grants Schemes
Small Grants Scheme awards grants of up to £10,000 to smaller charities in the UK working at a grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities. Main Grants Scheme awards £10-50,000 to charities with the core remits of arts or learning.

Independent Age Grants fund
£5,000-15,000 grants for organisations grants to help smaller organisations across the UK working with older people hardest hit by the virus.

Comic Relief: change Makers
Grants of between £150,000 to £600,000 over three to five years to organisations that can make change and a significant contribution to their sector. Comic Relief have a particular interest in working with and for those who are hardest hit and systematically excluded in society: BAME communities, the LGBTQ+ community, women, those living with disabilities. Deadline Sept 25th.

The Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust
Supporting projects that focus on the many complex issues that have arisen from the Covid 19 pandemic that address the specific needs of people aged 60 and over. Priority will be given to charities that work within BAME communities. Deadline: Sept 30th.

Rosa: Covid-19 Support Fund
Awards grants of up to £10,000 (for a period of up to six months) for specialist women’s organisations across the UK. Rolling deadline.

Infrastructure Fund
Applications open for Infrastructure Organisations to support BAME-led charities and groups to access National Emergencies Trust (NET) funds. Applications considered weekly.

Alpkit Foundation
Small grants for projects that are a community response to Covid 19 such as food access, health, well-being and recovery issues. Rolling deadline.

Asda Foundation Covid-19 Grants: Hygiene Grant
This grant (maximum £500) is open to applications from care homes, hospices, hospitals and homeless shelters to support residents with hygiene dignity.

Youth Futures Foundation
Rolling grants programme designed to find, fund, support and evaluate promising practice. Funding will go to organisations working with young people aged 14-24 to help overcome barriers to finding meaningful work. 

National Lottery Reaching Communities (COVID-19)
Focusing on funding projects and organisations helping communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and support with running costs for organisations that have been financially impacted. Currently paused.

Essex Community Foundation Emergency Grants
The purpose of the Essex Coronavirus Response and Recovery Programme is to get help quickly to voluntary and community organisations that are in crisis as a result of the pandemic and need emergency funding to keep their vital services running.

Childs Charitable Trust
Emergency Funding Application for charities affected by the pandemic.

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund
A new fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.

BBC Children In Need Emergency Essentials Programme
Programme that supports children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances.

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant
Grant to assist not-for-profit surplus food redistributors in overcoming challenges that they are currently facing in obtaining surplus food to distribute to people in need or those considered vulnerable.

Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund
This fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

Creative Industries

Aim Crisis Fund for Independent Music Contractors
Support fund aimed at the contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry whose source of income has been severed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women Make Music
The fund can support projects by women, trans and non binary songwriters, composers, artists, bands and performers who are writing their own music. Deadline: Oct 5th.

The Royal Variety Charity
Nationwide Grant Scheme. Assistance for those affected by COVID-19.

Actors’ Benevolent Fund
support for actors and stage managers unable to work owing to illness, injury or old age.

Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust Grant
Grants for the families of those working in the fashion or textile industries who have been financially affected by coronavirus

The Authors’ Emergency Fund
Emergency funding for authors affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.

MAD Trust Hardship Fund: Coronavirus
Up to £200 to meet unexpected expenses leading to hardship (for theatre practitioners)

Heritage & Culture

National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund
Grants of between £50,000-£250,000 for heritage assets at immediate risk. Applicants can apply to cover essential costs for up to four months. You may also apply for a contribution towards increasing your digital activities and offer during this period, testing new activities that will help your organisation’s recovery, and reviewing and revising your strategic and operating plans. Rolling deadline.

Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas
Applications can be submitted for both a Safety Grant and/or a Business Sustainability Grant at the same time or separately. Deadline Oct 30th.

Art Fund: Respond and Reimagine
These new grants (£10-50,000) aim to help museums, galleries, libraries, archives and cultural organisations respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, and offer support to adapt and reimagine ways of working for the future. Deadline: Oct 12th

Theatres Trust Theatre Reopening Fund
Fund awarding up to £5,000 to theatres run by charities and not-for-profit groups to support capital improvements and/or the additional costs of Covid-safe reopening. Rolling deadline.

Business and Enterprise

Innovate UK Foundation Industries Funding
UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of £8 million in grant funding for projects supporting the recovery and growth of foundation industries – spanning cements, ceramics, paper, metals, bulk chemicals and glass. Deadline Nov 4th.

Coronavirus Future Fund
Large government backed loans for innovative companies (eg life sciences, R&D) that are facing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. Launches in May.

Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund
A new fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.

The Prince’s Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund
A £5million fund to help young entrepreneurs across the UK to keep their businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19: Support for Businesses
Support and guidance from the UK Government for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
A list of accredited lenders from British Business Bank.


University Research Support Package
The government has announced 2 significant new support packages that will help protect science jobs and ensure that critical research projects can continue. Opens in the Autumn.

Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers
The Business and Local Government Data Research Centre is inviting small business owners, public sector organisations and local government to apply for Data Analytics Innovation Vouchers (DAIV) that can be used to pay for its experts to act as consultants to address specific problems or help organisations collect and use data more effectively.