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Chief executive welcomes Sport Recovery Package

£300 million of government funding will help sports, clubs and leagues affected by restrictions placed on spectator attendance

Our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth has welcomed the new £300 million Sport Recovery Package that was confirmed in today's budget.

The government funding, that builds on the successful rollout of the £300m Sport Winter Survival Package announced last November, will help sports that are heavily dependent on income from spectators such as cricket, tennis and horse racing continue until fans are allowed to return.

"We welcome the announcement of a new Sport Recovery Package for summer sports," said Tim. "This additional funding will make a big difference to many sports that depend on spectators and have been especially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"As we continue to do with the Sport Winter Survival Package, we'll work closely with the government to set out how sports can access this money as quickly and efficiently as possible once more details have been confirmed.

"Sports play a vital role in our communities up and down the country and, in these unprecedented times, the government’s survival package funding – which now totals around £600m overall – will provide vital and timely support during the next few months while restrictions start to be lifted."

We're responsible for managing and administering the Sport Winter Survival Package with funding decisions made by an independent board led by Barclays bank chairman Sir Ian Cheshire. 

And Sir Ian is pleased the new funding will help sports impacted over the next few months. 

"Having seen first-hand what a lifeline government investment through the Sport Winter Survival Package has provided for a huge number of sports, this extra £300m to run through to the summer is very good news," he said.

"The lack of spectators in venues has removed vitally important income, having an impact on sports from grassroots all the way to the elite, and so we will work at pace to ensure that those with significant financial need are engaged at speed and supported throughout the coming months."

Further details about the Sport Recovery Package, including how the money will be distributed, how organisations can apply and timeframes, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Allocations will be made in accordance to need, and will reflect the financial circumstance of each individual sport.

The package was just one of a number of government actions to support sport and physical activity announced in today's budget. Other measures included: 

  • £25m for UK grassroots community sports facilities, supporting the future of grassroots football
  • £1.2m to mitigate the financial effects of coronavirus on the Uefa Women’s Euro football competition and deliver a successful tournament in England in 2022, supporting the sport to grow and thrive
  • A £150m Community Ownership Fund that will allow communities across the UK to invest to protect the assets that matter most to them, including local sports clubs
  • £2.8m towards a joint bid from the home nations and the Republic of Ireland to host the 2030 Fifa Football World Cup.

We'll continue to work closely with the government and the sport and physical activity sector to ensure it opens up as soon as it's safe to do so and receives the support that's needed to rebuild. 

This includes the implementation and administration of the government's £100m National Leisure Recovery Fund for local authority leisure facilities, and our ongoing analysis of the continuing needs of the public leisure sector and the vital role it plays in supporting the nation’s activity levels.

How will funding be allocated and how can people apply for the funds?

Guidance on the assessment criteria and the process for application will be published in the coming weeks.

As with the Sport Winter Survival Package, the funding is designed to support those sports in urgent financial need as a result of the further restrictions on spectators announced in the government's roadmap on 22 February.

We anticipate the application and decision-making process will be broadly consistent with the Sport Winter Survival Package, however, we'll confirm the details in due course.

Which sports will receive funding? Can you share a breakdown of funding for each sport?

The funding is designed to support those sports in urgent financial need as a result of the further restrictions on spectators announced in the government's roadmap on 22 February. For the summer period this includes sports such as, but not limited to, cricket, tennis and horse racing.

We're contacting national governing bodies to understand the impact, with guidance on the assessment criteria and the process for application to be published in the coming weeks.

More than £20m of support for football, netball, basketball and badminton has already been announced through the Sport Winter Survival Package. Further announcements of confirmed support will be made in due course.

What will be the balance of grants and loans for this new scheme?

The balance of grants and loans will be confirmed in due course, however, we anticipate the package will be predominantly made up of loans, with grants only being considered by exception – similar to the Sport Winter Survival Package.

This has been announced today, but when will organisations receive this funding?

We're already in dialogue with a number of sports impacted by the government’s timetable for the return of spectators, as set out in the recent roadmap.

Eligible organisations will be invited to apply and considered by the independent board on a staggered basis, based upon the urgency of financial need. We hope that the independent board will be able to make the first decisions in April, with organisations receiving funding shortly thereafter.

Why is more support for professional sport being provided? What about community sport?

This further £300m package will provide support for those sports in urgent financial need as a result of the further restrictions on spectators announced in the government's roadmap on 22 February.

This is on top of more than £220m of support we've provided for the sport and physical activity sector since the start of the pandemic, with our Return to Play fund extended until the end of June.

‚ÄčBudget 2021: What you need to know

Channel website: http://www.sportengland.org/

Original article link: https://www.sportengland.org/news/chief-executive-welcomes-sport-recovery-package

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