£250,000 Emergency Fund support awarded to Suffolk Sports Clubs
Posted: Wed, 20 May 2020 11:26
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for local Sports Clubs across the country, however, an announcement made by Sport England on the 31st March offered some hope for the sport and physical activity sector and our county is now beginning to benefit.
In response to the Government's advice and lockdown rules implemented mid-March, Sport England publicised its Community Emergency Funding opportunity, designed to support clubs and physical activity organisations to survive these unprecedented circumstances.
The Community Emergency Fund is a combination of National Lottery and government funding, administered by Sport England. Grants of £300 - £10,000 were available to help cover such things as club utility costs, rent, core staffing costs and any losses since 1st March 2020.
In response to the opening of this fund, Active Suffolk, the county's Active Partnership publicised the opportunity and encouraged local sports clubs and physical activity providers to apply. Support and guidance was provided by the Active Suffolk team to identify need and help clubs submit applications to the fund. They were pleased to receive the news this week highlighting that clubs in Suffolk have already been successful in collectively receiving £250,000 of funding support.
John Clough, Director of Active Suffolk, responded to the news:
"We are delighted to have been able to help so many organisations across Suffolk access this much needed funding support. This funding will help clubs with their immediate needs but we must not underestimate the challenges many clubs and organisations will face as the sport and physical activity sector emerges from the current restrictions. Sport and physical activity organisations are vital to the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities across Suffolk and will need to be supported in the months ahead to ensure the sector continues to thrive."
Ipswich Sports Club is one of the fortunate clubs to have been successful with its application. Andy Yorke, General Club Manager said:
"I was delighted when Sport England confirmed our grant award. On behalf of the Club and our members we would like to pass on our huge thanks to Sport England for its recognition and support. The grant will help to cover some of our on-going staffing costs, utilities, regular costs and loan commitments and we will be back serving our members and the community as soon as it is safe to do so".
In total, 67 clubs across Suffolk have now been successful in their bid for funding from Sport England. The opportunity to apply for funding support has been welcomed by many clubs across the country, particularly those at grassroots level who may have struggled to bounce back from such challenging times. Lakenheath Football club was another to be successful in its bid. Ben Cowling First Team Manager from the club said:
"The award is fantastic news for the club and its volunteers. We know that our base costs are covered until July which takes an enormous amount of pressure off the volunteers who run the club. These are unprecedented times and the response from Sport England will help ensure that we have Grassroots sport to return to in the coming months."
Along with the support from organisations such as Active Suffolk, successful sports clubs across Suffolk are also giving their thanks to the volunteers and staff that have worked tirelessly during this time to adapt and apply for funding.
Nick Drane from Ipswich Basketball Club also shared his thanks to Sport England and the club's incredible team of volunteers who put in the time to work on their successful bid,
"Ipswich Basketball Club is incredibly thankful for this financial boost in what is an unprecedented time for all of us. Had we not been in such a strong financial position as a club, this could have really damaged us long term.
Thankfully we have an amazing team of volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure that didn't happen and it was those volunteers who put in the time to ensure that we were successful in our bid to Sport England."
Sport England has now paused new applications to the Community Emergency Fund to ensure that all existing applications can be assessed promptly and the much needed funds distributed to those in need. All updates and information regarding other funding opportunities available to the sport and physical activity sector can be found at www.activesuffolk.org/sectorworkers