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Sport England announce financial support for clubs

31st March, 2020

Sport England have announced that they are making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The package, which is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, is made up of the following:

* A £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available
* A £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they're facing specific financial difficulty
* An additional £55 million to support the sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment
* A £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Alongside this, given cashflow concerns in the sector, they’ve also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to their partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

The package follows their recent decision to offer major flexibilities to those who currently receive funding – including the ability to change timings, key performance indicators, targets and conditions, and redirect money to new activity in response to coronavirus.

Chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said he hoped the package would help the sector get through these “extremely challenging times”.

“Sporting events are being cancelled, gyms and leisure centres are closed, clubs and community groups are not operating, and children and young people are all at home," added Tim.

“This is impacting the sector financially in a significant way, although it is heartening to see huge amounts of innovation and agility, with many operators getting classes online in a matter of days to enable home workouts for example.

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity at a grassroots level, we have an important role to play both in ensuring that we support those with short term cashflow concerns and immediate loss of income, as well as those facing medium and long term survival challenges and financial difficulties.

“We want the sector not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future and this package will ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to that.”

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said everything is being done to support the sport sector and keep Britain active through these challenging times.

"This multi-million-pound package of public funding will not only help local sports clubs facing financial concerns but also encourage people to stay fit at home," he added.

"When it is safe to do so, we want our brilliant community sport organisations to bounce back and we will work alongside Sport England and others to make that happen.”

Sport England are also working closely with local authorities and the organisations who run their leisure facilities and have been supporting this part of the sector to access the government support now available.

They’ll continue to work to consider what support is needed during this period of closure, as well as the remobilisation phase where facilities will reopen.

Click here for more information about the fund.

(Story Source: Sport England)

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