Rishi Sunak pledges £300million package for sport – a look at the Budget bailout

PA Sport Staff

A new £300million recovery package for sport in England was announced by the Government on Wednesday as Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget in the House of Commons.

Here, the PA news agency take a look in closer detail at the support that has been confirmed.

Why has this announcement been made?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA).
Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA)

News of this fresh funding to help sporting institutions dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic comes after the Government last week set out its ‘road map’ for the easing of lockdown restrictions. That included spectators not being able to return to sporting venues in England until May 17 at the earliest. The funding adds to a £300m ‘winter survival package’ announced by the Government in November last year.

Which sports will benefit?

Cricket will hope to receive a decent share of the funds (Steven Paston/PA)

The Treasury on Wednesday said the money was to “back clubs and governing bodies across a wide range of sports in England”, and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said it would help “spectator sports such as cricket, tennis and horse racing”. Ahead of the announcement, it had been expected that cricket would receive a significant slice of the package.

What other detail is there?

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Sunak on Wednesday spoke of the Government’s support for a potential joint bid from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to host football’s 2030 World Cup, with sport minister Nigel Huddleston saying £2.8m was being put towards it. That was after Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week voiced his backing, saying it was the “right time” to “bring football home”. There is also £1.2m for the England-hosted Women’s European Championship, set to take place in 2022, and Huddleston said the package included £25m for grassroots football facilities as well.

What happens now?

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Sport England is contacting national governing bodies to understand the impact of the pandemic, and further detail on how the money will be distributed, how organisations can apply and time frames are set to be announced in the coming weeks. The public body said it anticipated the package will be predominantly made up of loans, with grants only being considered by exception.

Who has the final say on the allocation of the funding?

An independent board, supported by Sport England, will make the final awards, as was the case for the winter package. Eligible organisations will be invited to apply and considered by the independent board on a staggered basis, based upon the urgency of financial need, Sport England said. It is hoped the first decisions will be made in April, with organisations receiving funding shortly thereafter.