What is the Sport Sector Private Provider Fund?
The Sport Sector Private Provider Fund will offer a financial contribution and much-needed lifeline to those private and commercial providers who directly deliver physical activity opportunities in Wales, for the benefit of the Welsh public.
The fund which is the latest in a line of support options from Sport Wales, thanks to money from the Welsh Government, is looking to ensure that the many viable private businesses, who play a key role in keeping people active across Wales, are able to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic to continue providing these opportunities.
Businesses will be able to apply for the fund via a short application process on the Sport Wales website.
Who is the fund for?
This fund is for private limited businesses who directly deliver physical activities, operating and employing people in the sport sector in Wales, and who have incurred financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Applicants will need to be able to:
- produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statement
- demonstrate they were operating sustainably before March 2020
- demonstrate they have experienced a net loss of £5,000 or more (if turnover less than £50,000) or a net loss of £15,000 or more (if turnover greater than £50,000) since April 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
What types of activities would eligible businesses provide?
The fund will look to support those private businesses who provide the wide-ranging breadth of different sport and physical activity opportunities in Wales, including but not limited to:
- fitness centres and gyms
- crossfit operators
- group activity providers
- swimming pools
- yoga and dance studios
- outdoor sport providers
- watersports centres
- privately run sport/multi-sport facilities (for example; tennis centres, 5-a-side facilities, cycling tracks, motor sports, indoor golf, footgolf, gymnastic centres, climbing centres, horse riding centres / tracks, martial arts operators, angling operators, skate park operators, ice rinks, squash facilities, boxing centres, target shooting, trampoline parks, snooker venues)
Who isn’t the fund for?
The Sport Sector Private Provider Fund will not be able to support private providers in the sport sector who do not directly deliver activities (for example, businesses such as sport consultant; sport nutritionist; sport physiotherapist; sport writer; sport commentator; sport photographer; sport analyst; business consultant; healthy, beauty and tanning businesses).
The fund is also not designed to support organisations, businesses or individuals in sectors other than sport, including but not limited to the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Hospitality or Events sector. Nor is it able to support public and third sector sports organisations as other mechanisms are in place to support these areas of the sport sector.
Can I apply for the Sport Sector Private Provider Fund if my organisation has already received Be Active Wales or Sport Wales Emergency Relief Funding?
No. As both Be Active Wales and Sport Wales Emergency Relief Funding is for community clubs and non-profit organisations, this newest fund, which is for private commercial providers, would not apply to your organisation.
How do I apply for the funding?
Applications for funding can be made on the Sport Wales website, via this link: https://grants.sport.wales/en/
Applicants will need to register for an account and complete an eligibility checklist before they can complete an application form. The eligibility checklist process will filter out ineligible applicants at an early stage and avoid unnecessary work on behalf of the applicant.
When can I apply for funding?
The fund will open to applications at 12 noon on Tuesday 9th February 2021 and will close at 4pm on Friday 19th February 2021.
Those intending to make an application can register for an account from Thursday 4th February via https://grants.sport.wales/en/
Is there somewhere / someone I can get help from?
The guidance notes and FAQ’s, available on our website should provide all of the other information that you require, but please feel free to also get in contact with us on one of our social media channels.
You can access guidance here www.sport.wales/sport-sector-private-providers-fund/
How much funding could I get?
The amount of funding available to a provider is dependent on its annual turnover. For providers with an annual turnover of under £50,000 a grant of £5000 could be awarded, on condition that the provider could show a net loss of at least this amount and all other eligibility was met.
For providers with a with annual turnover of £50,000 or more, a grant of £15,000 could be awarded, on condition that the provider could show a net loss of at least this amount and all other eligibility was met.
There are multiple sites or parts to my business, can I receive separate funding for each of them?
No. To ensure that as many providers as possible are able to benefit from the funding, multiple site operators are eligible to apply only once and cannot apply for individual venues / business functions.
I’m a franchisee, can I claim separately to the franchiser?
As the provider of activity, a franchisee is eligible to apply for this funding. A franchiser would not be eligible if they are not the direct deliverer of activity.
Only one application can be made by a single franchisee regardless of how many sites or franchises are held.
Can I apply for this grant if I’m a sole trader?
Yes. However, if you have received previous funding from Sport Wales for covid-related losses then the amount previously awarded will be deducted from the amount awarded via this scheme.
Those who have received Be Active Wales Funding or Emergency Relief Funding are not eligible to apply for this fund as charity or non-profit organisations.
I provide sporting competitions and events am I eligible?
Providers of signature and specific events, such as competitions (triathlons, marathons and cycling time-trialling for example) are not eligible for this fund. Alternative funding options may be available through other Welsh Government schemes.
Businesses providing regular activities, including those hosted within a venue or facility that is not owned by that business (such as bootcamps) could be eligible providing all other criteria is met.
Would my business be eligible if I’ve received other forms of funding during the pandemic?
We recognise that many providers will have taken advantage of other support packages offered in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. This fund cannot cover those costs which have previously been supported via other COVID-19 grant funding from other public bodies, but it could cover any costs not supported by such funding.
Organisations who have received other public body or state funding that totals more than 800,000 Euros over the last three financial years, will also be ineligible for this scheme.
How will I know that my application has been successful?
All applicants will be contacted and notified of a decision based on the information supplied within their application by 19th March 2021.
When would I receive a payment?
All successful payments will be made by 19 March 2021.
Would I have to pay any of the funding back?
No, this is not a loan, successful applicants would not be expected to pay back any part of the funding.
Applicants should note however that Sport Wales may require repayment of the grant in full or part if evidence emerges that the applicant was not eligible for the Sport Sector Private Provider Fund.
What can the funding be used for?
Funding can be used to support a range of business operation costs incurred from April 2020 onwards such as (but not limited to):
- Utility costs
- Salary payments that have not been claimed via Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Leasing payments for items required to deliver operational business needs (such as leasing exercise equipment)
- Other expenditure incurred that directly relates to the operational costs of the business e.g cleaning costs, costs incurred in mothballing sport facilities and to re-open them
- Staff development costs
- Costs incurred to develop new services, courses and activities
- Improving digital capability
- Offset lost revenue due to COVID-19
What can’t the funding be used for?
Expenditure incurred from April 2020 onward, that is ineligible for this fund includes (but is not limited to):
- Business loan repayments
- Bank overdraft interest incurred
- Corporation tax payments
- Salary payments already claimed via Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Bonus / dividend payments
Does the funding have to be spent within a certain time period?
No, the funding is to cover some of the costs incurred during the last financial year (April 20 – March 21).
Do I have to prove what the funding is spent on?
As part of our due diligence in managing public funds, we reserve the right to undertake financial monitoring of successful applications. It is a condition of grant for you to participate in this, if selected, responding in a timely manner to all reasonable requests for information on how the grant has been spent and the impact it has had.
Is the grant taxable?
Yes. You will have to declare it as income as the fund is to support cash flow and replace income lost due to Covid19
Will there be another opportunity to apply for this fund?
This is the first time we have developed a Fund for private providers directly delivering activities. We will assess take up of the fund throughout the period before making any future decisions. We would urge anyone eligible to take the time now to apply.
With the uncertainty around the pandemic and the ongoing impact it is having on the sector we will of course continue to make a case to Welsh Government for further support should that be necessary. The priority at the moment is ensuring that those providers eligible receive their grant as soon as possible.
Do I have to be a member of a professional body to qualify for this funding?
No, you do not have to be a member of a professional body to qualify for this funding. We have been working with a number of the bodies that represent the industry to promote and raise awareness of the fund.
Is this fund purely for those living and working in Wales only?
No. To be eligible you need to show that the organisation operates within Wales providing activity that takes place and directly benefits people in Wales. You will need to show that your loss of net income is related to those activities in Wales.
Why isn’t this happening in England/other home nations?
We are unable to answer this question in full but we are delighted that the Welsh Government recognised the need for additional funding into the sport and leisure sector in Wales, and that part of this funding could be utilised for supporting the vital role that many private providers play in helping to keep the nation active.
How have you come to the amounts that you are awarding?
We have finite resources available to support the sport sector in Wales and we want to be able to make a contribution that supports as many businesses as possible. We also recognise that support is also available from other sources at a UK level and in Wales.
I’ve applied to the Fund but haven’t heard anything yet- is my application ok?
Applications are being processed and a member of the investments team will be in touch via email if they require any additional information. Otherwise you should receive an update on your application by 19th March.