Major spectator sports in England will receive a combined £300m cash injection to protect their immediate futures over the winter period, the government has announced.
The Sports Winter Survival Package will support sports – from national governing bodies through to clubs – impacted by coronavirus restrictions.
The funding, which will be largely composed of loans, is the most generous of any Government for its domestic sport sector in the world, and will focus on sports severely impacted over the winter.
Support will be provided to rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and the lower tiers of the National League. Rugby League, motorsport, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing are also in line to benefit.
Preliminary allocations have been made on a needs-based assessment process and reflect the submissions made from the individual sports, and the funding process will be overseen by an independent decision-making board and supported by Sport England.
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Sports clubs are the beating hearts of their communities, and this £300 million boost will help them survive this difficult winter period. We promised to stand by sports when we had to postpone fans returning. We are doing just that by delivering another £300m on top of existing business support schemes. Britain is a sports powerhouse, and this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through covid.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “These are unprecedented times for our sector, and those sports and leagues that rely so heavily on spectators for their income that have been especially impacted by the pandemic. The role they play in their local communities is vital and this package of support from Government will be hugely welcomed.
“Alongside our wider support for grassroots and community sport, Sport England is working very closely with Government colleagues on the design of this fund and we look forward to playing a key role in its successful and swift delivery.”