Important Update – Third Sector Resilience Fund

The Scottish Government today have committed additional resources to the third sector resilience fund and are implementing a transition to a phase 2 to better align it with wider support available. With that I am keen to give you a detailed update on what the Scottish Government’s phase 2 of TSRF looks like.

 

With phase 2, the Scottish Government have refined the focus of the fund to allow resources to reach a greater number organisations, focus on those at risk of immediate closure, and work better in conjunction with other Scottish Government and UK Government programmes.

 

Whist phase 2 guidance and FAQs are being published at the SCVO hub today, I would like to take this opportunity to unpack what phase 2 will look like and highlight the specific changes that come with it.

 

Firstly, TSRF is going to be working closer with the Just Enterprise programme to ensure the third sector develop robust strategies for dealing with COVID. This means in cases where organisations have underdeveloped plans, they will be directly referred to Just Enterprise for support to further develop their plan, and will be expected to engage with that support before re-applying.

 

Additionally, there are 5 main areas where phase 2 criteria are more focused than in phase 1.

 

Applicants must be at risk of not being able to cover essential costs within 12 weeks from date of application.

This relates directly to how applicants answer the “how long can you cover essential costs?” question in the application. If an applicant appears to have a discrepancy between how they answer this question and their unrestricted reserves, they will need to explain it in the

“more financial info” section.

 

The maximum grant amount awarded will be £75,000

This was previously £100,000

 

Funding requests must be for a three month period

This was previously 4 months.

 

Eligible costs include primarily overheads and essential staff (administrative for example) who cannot be furloughed

This is to allow the fund to focus primarily on essential costs (rent, insurance, admin staff, etc…). As a result, the fund is unlikely to support costs associate with programme delivery.

We will, however, continue to work with government to ensure applications that include significant and front line key work provision are passed to relevant teams within government, particularly where other directorates have resources to address. This has been done with a number of applications to date, but will have a specific pathway as we enter phase 2. Advice, however, is to for organisations delivering key frontline services to approach the relevant directorate in government directly.

 

All grant applications requesting £50,000 or more will be considered for a loan, grant, or blended award approach.

This means that all applicants for over £50,000 could be offered a grant, an interest free loan, or a combination of the two. They will not, however, be offered a loan unless they are able to service it.

 

As we enter phase 2, there will undoubtably be applications that get submitted who are not aware of the evolved programme. In these cases the process will be to not reject the application, but award for eligible costs in line with the new parameters. This means that a number of cases will now get less than they asked for, but will likely still be awarded if they met the overall criteria.

 

Thank you again for your support for organisations to date, we anticipate there will be some confusion as the fund makes this transition and we will be updating everything over the next 24 hours to reflect the Government’s updated guidance