Covid-19 funding available for Voluntary and Community Sector organisations

Many Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in Calderdale can claim grants made available by the government in response to the coronavirus emergency. These are being administrated by the Business rates team.

To be eligible, groups must be liable to pay business rates, and they can claim for each property they occupy. The grants are based on activity undertaken in each property, including sports grounds and clubhouses, charity shops, community halls and art galleries. Properties used mainly as offices or storage are not eligible.

The schemes are as follows:

1. Expanded Business Rates Retail Discount scheme

Allows 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties. These include: shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues ; sports grounds, museums , galleries & theatres; community centres, clubs & institutions.

This will be awarded automatically by Business Rates section and an amended bill will be issued – if an organisation feels it should be included and isn’t, they should contact

Nurseries are also eligible for 100% Nursery Rate Discount, which should be automatically applied by Business rates.

2. Small Business Grant Fund

Provides for a cash grant for those properties which were eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief on 11th March 2020. Organisations can claim £10,000 for each eligible property. Application form available from

Those organisations in receipt of Discretionary Rate Relief or Mandatory Charitable Relief are not eligible for SBRR, and hence are not eligible for this grant. Government is being lobbied to remove this anomaly.

3. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant                                                                          

Provides for a cash grant for those properties with a rateable value less than £51,000 on 11 March 2020. The criteria are the same as for 1 above. Organisations can claim £10,000 for each property whose rateable value is under £15,000, or £25,000 for each property whose rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000. Application form available from

As of 1st May, 70 local voluntary and community organisations have been awarded £10,000 grants, and 13 have received £25,000.

Other funding is also available from the following sources:

1. £750 million Grants to support charity sector

Government announced £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, which is being administered by the National Lottery Community Fund. These will support local organisations including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice.

A further £360 million will be directly allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. Charities set to benefit include: hospices, St Johns Ambulance, victims charities, vulnerable children charities, Citizens Advice.

The National Lottery grants info can be found at:

For applications between £300 and £5k – Awards for All

For Covid related applications of between £10k and £30k – Reaching Communities

2. CMBC/CFFC Emergency Community Support Fund                                              

Grants of up to £1,000 jointly funded by Calderdale and the Community Foundation for those groups actively involved in supporting people during the immediate emergency caused by Covid-19. Application from

3. Voluntary Sector Infrastructure Alliance (VSI Alliance) support

Calderdale- based charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises can get advice and help from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure Alliance (VSI Alliance).

Further information about funding and resources is available from:

Organisations can get support with finding funding sources by contacting the VSI Alliance by email:

4. Charity Excellence database

The main single source of funding information (for projects in any part of the UK) is Charity Excellence’s searchable database:

Visit CMBC-CFFC online

Please note the Council’s Small Grants scheme has been suspended during the emergency with £30k allocated to the emergency fund.