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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Scotland FAQs

Support to Clubs and Centres in Scotland to assist with effects of the Covid -19 pandemic

Updated – 1 April 2021

First and foremost, as we roll the waves of Coronavirus and this pandemic we at RYA Scotland, will always follow Government advice – Scottish Government. We also encourage our clubs, centres, organisations and members to support us in this as we continue to work with the new normal (and ever-changing levels & guidance). The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on frontline services. We have a collective and individual role to play by following the Government guidelines which currently recommend we “stay at home”.

Guidance for Boating

We have a separate page which outlines our advice around getting on the water which can be found here and it contains current guidance around the protection levels and what you should think about when planning or taking part in activity. This page is continual updated when the Scottish Government provides additional information.  

COVID-19 Support & Resources

RYA Scotland is aware that members, affiliated clubs and organisations and recognised training centres will be worried about what is currently happening and what support they can access due to the Coronavirus.

We will continue to update this page to ensure our affiliated and recognised bodies have the most up-to-date information to support you at this time.

Financial Planning

It is important that clubs and centres look carefully at their finances, including membership subscriptions, customer payments, rent, rates etc. If you need it, the RYA has a financial planning tool that clubs and centres can use. There is support available, but we would advise you to read the relevant information for each support fund carefully, especially around the eligibility criteria. If you have any questions, please get in touch and we will see if we can help.

Government Support:

There is a dedicated Scottish Business Support website with all the latest information on the various support measures around Coronavirus.

There is also a UK Government Coronavirus Business Support Tool which will help businesses and self-employed people in Scotland, and the UK, to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them.

Strategic Framework Business Fund:

This Scottish Government fund is for businesses who are required to close, by law, or significantly change their operations due to COVID-19 restrictions from 2 November 2020. There are two types of grants that are available – temporary closure grant and business restriction grant. For those that are eligible, the grants will be paid every 4weeks and further details are available here.

Please note the fund is administered by Local Authorities and should now include gyms, indoor sports facilities that are required to close in level 4 areas or indoor sports facilities that can no longer provide group exercise in level 3 areas as well as other retail businesses and not just the original ‘hospitality’. The fund will also cover sports facilities that offer catering that are impacted by the restrictions on hospitality. As stated above, eligibility criteria must be met. We are aware of some slight differences in interpretation so please contact us if you are unsuccessful.

The UK Government announced additional funding for the leisure sector on 4 January 2021 – some of which will go to the Scottish Government. Further information is available here.

The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme:

This fund supports charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations in supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery and tackle the challenges presented by Covid-19. The Community Recovery fund has 2 strands to it so please check which one you may be most suited to and the eligibility criteria it has. There is also an opportunity to work in partnership to gain support through a joint project to ensure you are eligible.

Adapt and Thrive - This programme is about organisational change and aims to help organisations plan, adapt, change and thrive post-COVID. It offers tailored support to help develop and refine a recovery plan to operate sustainably post-COVID and some funding to enable delivery. Through this strand sports clubs could receive specialist support to navigate their way through the current pandemic. There will be a change to some of the programme’s criteria from 11 January 2021 to ensure that ‘eligible organisations can access funding regardless of their turnover size’ and also that the ‘top value of grants will increase from £25k up to £75k’. The remaining criteria will continue to apply. For more info and to apply under the updated criteria, please visit the website from 11th January.

Communities Recovery Fund - The fund aims to support the delivery of services in communities that were suspended or reduced because of COVID, or the creation of new services that tackle new challenges presented by COVID. Through this strand sports clubs could receive financial support to start or continue to deliver vital services that their community needs. For example, sports clubs using their facility and volunteers to distribute food to local families.

Funding for the Marine, Boating and Outdoor Tourism Sector:

In late December 2020, Sail Scotland, Wild Adventure and Visit Scotland secured a £2.5million fund aimed at ‘restarting’ the sector for Spring 2021. The fund will look to assist businesses in this ‘cost-heavy’ time giving financial support towards some of the essential pre-season costs unique to the sector e.g. recommissioning vessels, visitor moorings and visitor pontoons etc. so the sector is ready to welcome visitors for 2021. The fund is due to be administered by VisitScotland and opened in mid-late January 2021, and further details including how to apply will be available on the financial support area of the Visit Scotland website soon.

SCVO – other funding:

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has listed a variety of funders who are looking to support organisations during the Coronavirus Pandemic. You will need to check the eligibility around each area, but further information can be found here.

Better Places Green Recovery Fund:

This fund will help to support communities and destinations to either start or develop further, pro-active visitor management in “hot spot locations”. The fund is looking at the future management of nature sites in a low-impact and sustainable way, improving the experience for both visitors and local communities. A lot of our clubs and centres offer access to nature and will have been busy with people out & about exploring their local communities. Further information, including an eligibility checklist, examples of what can be funded or not and how to apply can be found here. The fund is open until 29th Jan 2021.

Staff Employment

The Government have a lot of information around paying of staff during this time, including Job Retention/Furlough support, Statutory Sick Pay, Job retention support (extended to 31st March 2021) and deferring VAT and Income Tax payments etc. This link also has broader information on other support to business from the UK Government.

Self Employment

The UK Government measures to support those who are self-employed can be found here.

The Self-Employment Income Support scheme has been extended with 2 further grants, each available for 3 month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This scheme can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cash flow. Further information can be found here and the closing date has been extended to 31st January 2021.


Clubs are strongly recommended to discuss their plans in regards to boating activity, with their insurers and/or insurance brokers. Some clubs have had success in reducing current premiums as their boats are not in the water.

Other Guidance

sportscotland Guidance

The National Agency for sport has pulled together information to support clubs and community organisations around a number of key areas:

  • Covid-19 and sport FAQ
  • Getting your Facilities Fit for Sport
  • Getting Coaches Ready for Sport
  • Latest Outdoor Sport and Physical Activity Guidance
  • Support for Clubs and Community Sport Organisations
  • COVID Officer Training

Mental Health & Wellbeing

There are some great resources to support us all during the coronavirus pandemic from SAMH for Scotland’s Mental Health. They have pulled together some information on the ‘Coronavirus and Your Mental Wellbeing’. It may be useful to share some of this information with your club members and committees.

Updated 17:00 on 7th January 2021

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