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Financial support for flood-damaged facilities

Our Return to Play Fund is now open to applications from local authorities, leisure operators and other not-for-profit organisations needing funding to repair flood damage.

Emergency flood relief funding is being made available to community sports clubs and not-for-profit organisations to help them restore flood-damaged facilities.

Organisations from the areas worst affected by recent flooding caused by Storm Christoph are now eligible to apply to our Return to Play Fund, which has been bolstered by the addition of a targeted flood relief option.

While the effects of the recent flooding are still being assessed, we want to ensure sport and physical activity facilities aren’t forgotten and are ready to open when lockdown restrictions are eased.

A flooded playing field.

“This flooding has added another significant obstacle for clubs and operators of facilities to overcome in order to facilitate a safe return to play, just at a time when it was least needed," said Charles Johnston, our executive director of property.

“By adding a flood relief option to the Return to Play Fund, we hope to make it easier for organisations to recover from yet another setback and be ready to welcome back participants when restrictions ease to allow for the reopening of sport and physical activity facilities.

“Community sports facilities play a vital role in the physical and mental wellbeing of their participants and now, more than ever, we want them to be able to fulfil that role when allowed to do so.”

Focus areas

We’re focusing on areas we know to be the worst affected and will keep this list under regular review.

Applications from other areas may be considered, but this will be done on a case-by-case basis.

At present, the list of worst affected areas comprises of:

  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Cheshire
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire
  • Merseyside
  • Oxfordshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Yorkshire
  • Worcestershire.

The chief executive officer of Active Gloucestershire, Tom Beasley, welcomed news of the funding, and hopes facilities can be back up and running for when they’re allowed to reopen.

“Whilst tackling coronavirus remains the nation's priority, we know flood waters can cause significant damage to sports pitches, pavilions, changing and social facilities,” he said.

“It’s important that we provide hope to the clubs, players and volunteers whose facilities are flooded that they will return to play, in the not too distant future.

“The impact of localised floods is far reaching and we welcome Sport England’s timely intervention to offer support to help clubs plan remedial works to enable them to return to play, when safe to do so.

“In these challenging times we urge clubs to follow the web guidance on recovering flood-damaged facilities.”

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