Ulster County Crests


**Last updated on Friday 22nd May 2020**

A number of organisations have launched funding programmes to assist local groups in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Below you will find a list of organisations and the types of funding they have made available. This list will be updated over the next few days and weeks as and when information becomes available.

Department for the Economy: Micro-business Hardship Fund

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has launched a NI Micro-business Hardship Fund to help micro-businesses and social enterprises unable to access other regional and national COVID-19 support measures.

Summary of the scheme

The Minister for the Economy announced on 15 May 2020 that the scheme would open for online applications within the next seven days. An online eligibility checker will be available week commencing 18 May 2020 on http://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/hardshipfund

Only one grant will be paid to each eligible business, irrespective of how many properties the business occupies.


Businesses should ensure they meet the following criteria before applying to the fund:

  • The business must be based in NI.
  • At 29 February 2020, the business must have employed between one and nine employees paid via PAYE except where the sole employee is the business owner or company director.  The number of employees will be based on headcount.
  • Since 1 March 2020, the business must have experienced a reduction in turnover in excess of 40% as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic or associated Government restrictions.

Who cannot apply

The NI Micro-business Hardship Fund is open to all micro-business and social enterprises excluding the following:

  • Primary agricultural producers
  • Businesses eligible for the following NI Executive schemes:
  • £10,000 Small Business Support Grant Scheme
  • £10,000 Small Business Grant for rental properties and Total NAV of £1,590 or below
  • £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant
  • COVID-19 Childcare Support Scheme
  • Charities or social enterprises with charitable status.
  • Social enterprises that receive less than 60% of revenue from trade in goods and/or services.

Businesses should note that other non-repayable Government grants related to COVID-19 will be taken into account and will be deducted, where applicable, from the final grant awarded.

For more details see the website: http://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/hardshipfund

ESB COVID-19 Emergency Fund

The COVID-19 Emergency fund aims to support communities within the Area of Benefit of ESB windfarms. The fund is open to initiatives and activities addressing the impact of coronavirus in the community.

The fund is open to not-for-profit and voluntary community-based organisations delivering COVID-19 emergency projects and activities to support vulnerable sections of the community in the existing wind farm areas of benefit. The funding is not to be used to fund organisational running costs.

Funding will be awarded per wind farm, in amounts of between £250 and £1,000. The fund’s priority is to address the following issues:

  • provision of meals, emergency food parcels or other support for the isolated and vulnerable.
  • collection of and delivering prescriptions and medication for the isolated and vulnerable.
  • resources and activities related to the delivery of the above such as PPE, fuel, transport services, volunteer expenses.
  • Home schooling support including access to laptops, school materials and other related items

To be eligible to apply, your organisation must:

  • Be located within:
    • 10 km of Crockdun Wind Farm
    • or 10 km of Crockagarran Wind Farm
    • or 7 km of Carrickatane Wind Farm
    • or 7 km of Curryfree Wind Farm
    • or 7 km of Eglish Wind Farm

OR the primary beneficiaries of your project must be located within one of the above areas of benefit.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.groundwork.org.uk/projects/esbemergencyfund/

Community Foundation for NI: Coronavirus Community Fund

Community Foundation NI
This fund is continually evolving. Originally available for constituted community organisations supporting isolated older people over 50, it has now widened to also support activities for people at increased risk, particularly in relation to poor mental health and wellbeing and also vulnerable isolated people and families, particularly those living in rural areas. Grants range from £1000 to £2500 for small scale emergency support up to £10,000 for longer term support or for those significantly enhancing their services at this time.

NB – Safeguarding guidelines for this fund also changed on 27/03 to reflect the fact that groups want to respond to immediate COVID-19 issues and may not yet have full adult safeguarding policies and procedures in place.

For more details and to apply see the website:

Comic Relief: No Child Goes Hungry – Community Support Fund

Grants of up to £2,500 for community based food provision responses that support local families with children under the age of 10 as a result of the order to close schools and/or loss of household income as a result of the Covid-19 virus. As the closure order may run into the summer holiday period the fund is keen to support community based programmes that can provide support across this entire period.  (Managed by Community Foundation for NI)

For more details and to apply see the website: https://communityfoundationni.org/grants/comic-relief-no-child-goes-hungry-community-support-programme/

Halifax Foundation NI

Halifax Foundation NIHFNI are focusing on their SMALL and MEDIUM grants over the coming months, with Large and Special Initiatives grants on hold for now due to the activity-based nature of these programmes. They are inviting applications from charities and constituted groups that focus on supporting the community at this time and moving from quarterly to monthly (or even weekly) grant making to decrease turnaround time.

NB – Due to the COVID19 crisis, HFNI have broadened their criteria temporarily. They will now consider applications from constituted groups not yet registered as a charity with the Charity Commission or HMRC. Maximum grant award £1,000. If your group falls into this category, please complete this grant application form.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.halifaxfoundationni.org/programmes/community-grant-programme

Derry City & Strabane District Council Rural Community Resilience Programme

Derry City & Strabane CouncilA special fund of £50,000 is open in Derry and Strabane to assist with the delivery of support and bolster vital community services in the local response to Coronavirus.

The grants will be administered by the Community Foundation’s Acorn Fund. The localised fund will provide an additional £50,000 of funding to constituted community organisations throughout Derry and Strabane who wish to apply for £1,000 – £2,500 to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The NI wide Coronavirus Community Fund will continue to provide access to grants of £5,000- £10,000 through the same funding application.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.derrystrabane.com/Council/News/A-special-fund-of-%C2%A350,000-will-open-today-in-Derry

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council COVID-19 Community Funding

The funding is available for constituted groups wishing to provide community and social support to vulnerable and isolated persons in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area at this time.

Funding is open and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. The streamlined funding process will ensure a quick turnaround of applications and advance payments to ensure prompt delivery of support in local communities.

Groups must clearly evidence that their project will be delivered within the council area and to its residents. Applicants are encouraged to work together to maximise funding to address key priorities across geographical areas.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.fermanaghomagh.com/services/funding-and-grants/

Mid Ulster District Council Emergency Community Support Fund

Mid-Ulster Council
As part of their on-going support package for the voluntary and community sector, MUDC have opened an emergency grant programme for those organisations which are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in their local communities.

The programme offers financial support to assist constituted groups which are working in their local communities to:

  • Deliver food and essential items
  • Link to pharmacies to deliver prescriptions
  • Other emergency crisis community support

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.midulstercouncil.org/emergencyfundcovid19

Neighbourly Community Fund – Covid-19

Neighbourly Community Fund
With support from M&S Family (including M&S Bank and M&S Energy), Lidl, Aldi, Danone UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola European Partners, Neighbourly are launching a series of micro-grants of up to £400, for existing members of Neighbourly in UK and Ireland whose work involves supporting members of the community suffering economically, socially or from ill health as a result of the outbreak. This may include, but not be limited to, elderly people, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity. Grant are unrestricted and can go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.neighbourly.com/NeighbourlyCommunityFund

National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland (New COVID-19 restriction)

National Lottery Community FundA quick way to apply for smaller amounts of funding between £300 and £10,000. Suitable for voluntary or community organisations. All the funding decisions they make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the current crisis. This is restricted to:

  • Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis
  • Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by Covid-19.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/awards-for-all-northern-ireland

Enkalon Foundation Coronavirus Community Support Fund

The Enkalon Foundation will move the focus of their modest funding pot to charities and community organisations helping people who are isolated and vulnerable in their local communities at this difficult time. As a small funder they focus their funding based on their core objectives in the former Antrim Borough Council area.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.enkalonfoundation.org/

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Covid-19 Community Support Grant

ABC Council is offering financial assistance of up to £1,000 to organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to support community-led initiatives aimed at providing relief to those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. In particular it will support actions in line with the following interventions:

Financial – to those on low income and at risk due to financial stress.
Food – access to food (whether due to cost or availability) for those most in need.
Connectivity – to those living alone or in rural and border areas that are likely to experience greater challenges in accessing services.
The grant programme opens on Friday 17th April and will remain open on a rolling basis until the budget is committed or until Council decides to close it. The programme is part-funded by the Department For Communities.

For more details and to apply see the website: http://armaghbanbridgecraigavon.eformz.info

Sport Hardship Fund


Sport NI, in partnership with the Department for Communities, has launched a Sports Hardship Fund to deliver immediate funding to those most in need.

It’s specifically targeted at sports clubs, and other organisations in the six counties delivering sporting activities, who are experiencing immediate financial hardship.

The types of organisations eligible include governing bodies of sport, local sports clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around rent or lease costs, sports facility maintenance, and utility bills; community and voluntary sector organisations and charities who deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation.

What the Sport Hardship Fund will provide for

The fund has been developed to help sport and physical recreation 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/Lease
• Utility costs
• Essential ground maintenance
• Insurances

How much will it fund

Each successful applicant will receive £2,000 for costs incurred from 1st April 2020.

Where to apply

Please click the link below to read the programme guidance notes and to begin an online application for the financial support fund.


Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Community Response Fund

Emergency funds, up to a maximum of £3,000 per applicant, are now available through the ‘Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Community Response Fund’, from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for those actively helping residents stay resilient at this time.

For more details and to apply see the website: https://www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/communityhelp/funding-opportunities

Cavan County Council Community Call: Covid-19 Emergency Fund

The 2020 Covid-19 Emergency Fund provides grants to groups that are participating in the Local Authority led Community Call effort in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Priority is to be provided to organisations who incur costs on direct delivery of frontline services to people, such as Meals on Wheels and other similar activities.

For more details and to apply see the website: http://www.cavancoco.ie/Default.aspx?StructureID_str=255&guid=2750

Donegal County Council: Covid-19 Emergency Fund

This grant programme is providing grants to groups that are directly involved in the Community Call response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended that the majority of the funding allocated to each Local Authority area will be ring-fenced for grants of €1,000 or less. Grants will provide capital funding to groups that are directly involved in the Community Call response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For any queries please email: lcdc@donegalcoco.ie

For more information please contact Fionntán O’Dowd (fionntan.odowd.ulster@gaa.ie)

Sign up now to get the latest from Ulster GAA