Sport England outlines £195m grassroots support package amid coronavirus crisis

Up to £195million of public funding will be made available to help grassroots sport deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport England has announced the multi-million support package in a bid to ease short-term cash-flow issues and loss of income for the sport and physical activity sector.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available from a £20million emergency community fund, while an additional £55million will help fund ways to keep people active during the global health crisis and get organisations back into business once restrictions are lifted.

The package also includes a £5million pot for existing Sport England partners facing immediate financial difficulty, plus a £115million rollover of current funding into 2021-22.

Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said in a statement: “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 cash-flow 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 when added to the funding made available by Government this package will ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to that.”

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden believes the public funding will help people stay fit during lockdown
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden believes the public funding will help people stay fit during lockdown (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Financial support from the public body is additional to funds being made available by the Government.

Sport England has also agreed it will consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding to partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We are doing everything we can to keep Britain active and support the sport sector 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.”

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