Rishi Sunak announces £750m coronavirus bailout for charities

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £750 million coronavirus bailout for struggling charities as he claims ‘unprecedented’ handout will keep tens of thousands afloat

  • Rishi Sunak today announced £750m pot of cash to support frontline charities
  • The Chancellor said £360m will come direct from government departments 
  • Treasury suggested the cash will ensure tens of thousands of charities survive 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak tonight announced a £750 million bailout for charities badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. 

Many charities have seen their income streams slashed because of the current state of lockdown and Mr Sunak said it is ‘right we do everything we can’ to keep the sector afloat.

Describing the funding package as ‘unprecedented’, Mr Sunak said the cash would help ensure charities across the UK ‘can continue to deliver the services that millions of people up and down the country rely on’. 

The cash is expected to benefit tens of thousands of charities, including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced a £750m funding bailout for charities hit by coronavirus

Some £350 million of the cash will come direct from government departments with £370 million for smaller charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund. 

Speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference in 10 Downing Street Mr Sunak said: ‘The simplest acts have the potential to change lives. At this time when many are hurting and tired and confined, we need the gentleness of charities in our lives. 

‘It gives us hope, it makes us stronger and it reminds us we depend on each other.’ 

The Chancellor also announced the government will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser event, pledging a minimum of £20 million.        

The funding package will see charities granted access to direct cash grants to ensure they can meet increased demand for their services resulting from the virus.

The allocation of the £750 million for charities comes after the Chancellor last month announced billions of pounds for businesses as the government tries to keep different sectors alive during the current crisis. 

He 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 added: ‘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.’ 

Charities which are providing coronavirus-related services and helping the vulnerable will benefit from the £360 million allocated by Whitehall departments. 

That will include hospices, St Johns Ambulance services, victims charities, vulnerable children charities and Citizens Advice. 

Government departments will now ‘work at pace’ to figure out which charities should be priority recipients of the funding. 

It is hoped the first funding will be sent out within the next few weeks. 

Meanwhile, the cash available through the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot will be subject to an application system which will be operational in a similar timeframe.  

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